The Learning Record
The Learning Record is a powerful assessment process developed first in England for literacy (reading, writing, speaking, listening) for use with low-income children, many of whom had first languages other than English. For years, U.S. work on the LR was led by the Center for Language in Learning, but sadly it has closed its doors.
Fortunately, all the materials to use the LR, K-12 and college, are available on the web at http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/~syverson/olr/olr.html.
The LR involves a set of forms teachers use to document and evaluate student progress: the forms help guide the kinds of information to obtain and things to consider in the evaluation process. The LR also includes teacher handbooks to help educators use the LR. And for reading and math, the LR developed scales: teachers can locate students on the scales as one means of identifying student progress. The Records were validated in various ways, as were the scales.
The LR is a process through which students take charge of their own learning and document their learning. It is also a means to more strongly integrate parental involvement into the school.
In addition to the site above, LR background materials are available on the FairTest website and through books from Heinemann publishers (see below).
Materials on the LR are available through three sources - and you likely need to use all three: the FairTest website, the website of the Tiospa Zina Tribal School (see below) and books from Heinemann publishers (see below).
For general background information:
FairTest Examiner articles:
On the FairTest website:
On the website of the Tiospa Zina Tribal School are several pieces on the background of the LR. [Note: the TZTS has partially taken on the work of the Center for Language in Learning; they are updating those pages, a task that should be completed in February 2005. We recommend you also visit their pages as well as the materials on our website.]
You can obtain from Heinemann Publishers copies of the teachers handbooks for literacy (reading, writing, speaking and listening): Assessing Literacy with the Learning Record, Handbook for Teachers grades K-6, and Handbook for Teachers grades 6-12.
The Recording Form for literacy (the tool for guiding the documentation and evaluation) and Reading and Writing Scales (sequential scales that enable a summary statement of student progress) are available on the FairTest website:
Additional material on reading is available on the Tiospa Zina Tribal School site. This includes Reading scales in Spanish, for K-3 and 4-9.
The following materials on the math LR are available on the FairTest website:
- LR math Recording Form (more detailed than the page incorporated in the literacy form)
The math handbook was not completed for publication, but a near-final draft is available, chapter by chapter, here:
- Ch 2 - Using the Scales (which are on this website)
- Ch 3 - Using the Recording Form (which is on this website)
For use in large-scale assessment:
Descriptions of how to use the LR as a larger scale assessment, including "moderation" (rescoring by independent readers) are available on the website of the Tiospa Zina Tribal School. See also the math handbook, Ch 11, moderations.
In addition, FairTest has posted some of the studies of the validity of the use of the LR, including:
- K-12 Testing
- University Testing
- Fact Sheets
- Get Involved
- Other Resources