Rebecca ErwinFRIT 7231: Instructional Design Key Assessment
Identification of Learning Problem
Target AudienceThe target audience is one class of fifteen 9th graders at Howard High School in Bibb County. There are 12 males and 3 females, and they range in age from 14-16. Nine of the fifteen are labeled as special education. All of the members of the target audience were given a test at the beginning of the year to determine their current Lexile level. A students Lexile level corresponds to his or her reading ability. All of the students are significantly below the desired Lexile level for beginning ninth graders. In addition, the students have demonstrated low comprehension, vocabulary, spelling and fluency.
Problem IdentificationThe students in this class are struggling readers who do not read much beyond what is required from them at school. As a result, they have very limited vocabularies and are ill-equipped to tackle unfamiliar words. This deficiency has greatly affected these students performance not only in English classes, but also in other content areas and on standardized tests. Their limited vocabulary has also affected their writing abilities. Perhaps most concerning is the fact that this vocabulary deficiency has the potential to affect them for years to come. If these students continue to struggle with vocabulary, their reading level will not improve, making it difficult for them to read and understand complex texts they will encounter in their everyday lives, such as a job application or a rental agreement or an employee handbook.This deficit became evident after the students took their first vocabulary quiz. The words were all words that may be encountered in daily reading, such as infect, contagious, courageous and feasible. These students still had difficulty in selecting correct definitions for these words, identifying the word properly used in context, and selecting correct synonyms for each word. I perceive this difficulty as a need that can be fixed with explicit vocabulary instruction. The average score on this first vocabulary quiz was 72%, with a lowest score of 45%, and a highest score of 90%. With instruction, the average score should be 90%.
Instructional GoalThe goal of this instruction is that, given a set of vocabulary words, students will be able to correctly define each word, use each word properly in context, and identify synonyms and antonyms for each word.
IntroductionThe target audience is a class of 9th graders at Howard High School, in Bibb County, Georgia. The students are ages fourteen to sixteen, with 80% male and 20% female. All of the students are identified as Black, not Hispanic. According to their student records, 60% of the students are identified as Program for Exceptional Children (PEC), 27% are identified as Early Intervention Program (EIP) and 13% are identified as Response to Intervention (RTI) for either academics or behavior. Looking at their transcripts, 33% of the students failed one Language Arts course in middle school. After analyzing prior Criteria Reference Competency Test scores (CRCT), it was determined that in the last 3 years, 73% of the students failed either or both the English portion or the Reading portion of the CRCT. The information in this learner analysis was obtained through use of the systems online Student Information System as well as through teacher observations, student interviews, and other student records.
Entry Skills and Prior KnowledgeAll students have the ability to navigate a computer, including logging on and using a mouse and all have experience working in an online learning environment. All students are significantly below reading level as evidenced by their Lexile reading measure. All students have severe vocabulary deficiencies as evidenced by their performance on a vocabulary quiz which consisted of words that may be encountered in daily reading. The students had difficulty selecting correct definitions for the words, identifying the word properly in context, and selecting correct synonyms for each word. All students do have basic reading and writing skills.
Attitudes Toward Content and Academic MotivationSeveral students have expressed a frustration with school and learning in general, including having a general dislike of English classes. The majority of the students do not enjoy reading, unless it is a very specific subject e.g. sports. Teacher observation and a recent vocabulary quiz confirm that the majority of these students struggle with vocabulary, and some have a reluctance to do the work to improve their vocabularies.
Educational Ability LevelsAt the beginning of the school year, all students were given a diagnostic reading assessment to determine their current reading level. This is given as a Lexile measurement, which is used to help students select appropriate reading materials. All students in the target audience tested significantly below the expected reading level for 9th graders. On their most recent CRCT, 53% scored below 800 on the English portion, which means they did not meet the standards on that part of the test.
General Learning PreferencesThrough observation and interview, as well as a learning styles survey, it was determined that many of the students are primarily kinesthetic learners. Also, many prefer listening to music as they work, and they believe they perform better with music. They also enjoy working in small groups and playing computer games.
Attitude Toward Teachers and SchoolMany of the students have expressed a dislike for school, but seem to still have a respect for their teachers. As this is their first year in high school, some students perceive they have less freedom than they did in middle school.
Group CharacteristicsAll but one of these students knew each other and interacted daily last year in middle school. While the majority of the students are around the same age, and seem to be in the appropriate grade for their age, several students had been retained at least once between kindergarten and 8th grade. The majority of the students have cell phones, including several with iPhones or another type of smart phone, but there are several students who show up without a pen or pencil several days a week. The group generally gets along with each other, although there have been instances of problems and other confrontations in the past. Currently, the class is divided into 3 groups of 5, with one of the 3 girls in each of the groups.
Task AnalysisThe task analysis chosen was procedural because when encountering new vocabulary, there is a definite set of steps that should be followed. Students who are effective readers know how to navigate through new vocabulary and can effectively tackle unfamiliar words without having to follow a series of steps. The students in the target audience are not effective readers, so they do not automatically do the things that good readers do. Having a series of steps to perform when encountering new vocabulary will help the students to self-monitor and self-assess.
When reading any text, students should1. Preview the text and determine which words are challenging2. Assess current knowledge of the challenging word.3. Recognize the prefixes, suffixes and roots that make up the word.4. Look at the context in which the word is being used.5. Try out possible definitions of the word.6. Substitute the definitions for the word.7. Go to the dictionary to double-check the definition.
Subject-matter experts (SMEs) abound in the area of vocabulary instruction. There are several people in particular who have helped to inform this project. Dr. David W. Moore has been a co-chair of the International Reading Associations Commission on Adolescent Literacy and has published research reports, professional articles, book chapters and books. Dr. Robert J. Marzano is a leading researcher in education and has authored or co-authored numerous books and articles in a variety of areas related to education including assessment, instruction, and writing and implementing standards.
Instructional ObjectivesObjective 1: The student will correctly define unknown vocabulary words.Objective 1A: The student will write a working definition of the vocabulary word.Objective 1B: The student will identify a standard dictionary definition of the vocabulary word.Objective 2: The student will correctly identify synonyms and antonyms for the vocabulary word.Objective 3: The student will correctly identify relationships between the vocabulary word and other known words using analogies.Objective 4: The student will construct sentences that demonstrate the correct meaning and usage of the word.
Classification of Instructional ObjectivesPerformance
Relationship between Instructional Objectives and StandardsInstructional ObjectivesCommon Core Georgia Performance Standards
1ELACC9-10L4: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 910 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
1AELACC9-10L4d: Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).
1BELACC9-10L4c: Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning, its part of speech, or its etymology.
2ELACC9-10L5b: Analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations.
3ELACC9-10L5: Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word