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See detailProject NUMTEST: Assessing basic number competence without language
Greisen, Max UL; Hornung, Caroline UL; Schiltz, Christine UL

Poster (2018, June 28)

Although numerical skills are essential in modern societies, 5- 7 % of the population suffer from mathematical learning disabilities. Due to the hierarchical nature of mathematical knowledge, screening ... [more ▼]

Although numerical skills are essential in modern societies, 5- 7 % of the population suffer from mathematical learning disabilities. Due to the hierarchical nature of mathematical knowledge, screening during the earliest stages of learning is essential to intervene efficiently. While different screening tools exist, they rely on verbal instructions and task content, hampering their usefulness in linguistically heterogeneous young school populations. We developed a computerized task that requires subjects to encode both auditory and visual numerical information to successfully respond to the task’s demands. For task instruction, participants were presented a video showing a person correctly solving three easy items of the task, before moving on to a practice session of three different items. If any item was solved incorrectly, the entire practice session was repeated for the participant. We administered the task to a sample of first grade students and collected participant’s performance in standardized addition, subtraction and number comparison (1 & 2-digit) tasks. A multivariate analysis with practice repetition as between-subject factor on the four standardized control measures revealed that participants that repeated the practice session scored significantly lower in three out of four dependent measures. These results suggest that the immediate understanding (i.e. practice items solved correctly on the first try) of our task, requiring deductive reasoning and an abstract, format-independent representation of quantity, is able to differentiate between high and low performers on standardized measures of basic math competence non-verbally at an early stage of learning. Implications and limitations will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailTaking Language out of the Equation: The Assessment of Basic Math Competence Without Language
Greisen, Max UL; Hornung, Caroline UL; Baudson, Tanja UL et al

in Frontiers in Psychology (2018)

While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5–7% of children suffer from mathematical learning difficulties (MLD) that need to be assessed early to ensure successful ... [more ▼]

While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5–7% of children suffer from mathematical learning difficulties (MLD) that need to be assessed early to ensure successful remediation. Universally employable diagnostic tools are yet lacking, as current test batteries for basic mathematics assessment are based on verbal instructions. However, prior research has shown that performance in mathematics assessment is often dependent on the testee’s proficiency in the language of instruction which might lead to unfair bias in test scores. Furthermore, language-dependent assessment tools produce results that are not easily comparable across countries. Here we present results of a study that aims to develop tasks allowing to test for basic math competence without relying on verbal instructions or task content. We implemented video and animation-based task instructions on touchscreen devices that require no verbal explanation. We administered these experimental tasks to two samples of children attending the first grade of primary school. One group completed the tasks with verbal instructions while another group received video instructions showing a person successfully completing the task.We assessed task comprehension and usability aspects both directly and indirectly. Our results suggest that the non-verbal instructions were generally well understood as the absence of explicit verbal instructions did not influence task performance. Thus we found that it is possible to assess basic math competence without verbal instructions. It also appeared that in some cases a single word in a verbal instruction can lead to the failure of a task that is successfully completed with non-verbal instruction. However, special care must be taken during task design because on rare occasions non-verbal video instructions fail to convey task instructions as clearly as spoken language and thus the latter do not provide a panacea to non-verbal assessment. Nevertheless, our findings provide an encouraging proof of concept for the further development of non-verbal assessment tools for basic math competence. [less ▲]

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See detailProject NUMTEST: Assessing basic number competence without language
Greisen, Max UL; Hornung, Caroline; Martin, Romain UL et al

Poster (2017, September 08)

While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5-7% of children suffer from a mathematical learning disorder, called developmental dyscalculia (DD). Nevertheless, universally ... [more ▼]

While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5-7% of children suffer from a mathematical learning disorder, called developmental dyscalculia (DD). Nevertheless, universally valid diagnostic instruments are still lacking, as all current DD test batteries are based on language instructions. Consequently, their measurements are tightly linked to the specific language context of test administration and thus their results cannot easily be compared across countries. Here we are showing results of the first two pilot studies of a research project that aims to develop a test for basic math abilities that does not rely on language instruction and minimizes language use. To this aim, video and animation based instructions were implemented on touchscreen devices. A first version of the tasks has been tested with two samples of first grade children in Luxembourg’s fundamental schools, of which half completed the same tasks with traditional verbal instructions. Our results indicate that performance in the experimental group was similar or better than the control group using verbal instructions. Relationships between linguistic background and the sample’s performance on one hand and qualitative usability aspects of nonverbal task instruction and tablet-pc use with young children will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailProject NUMTEST: Assessing basic number competence without language
Greisen, Max UL; Hornung, Caroline UL; Martin, Romain UL et al

Poster (2017, May 31)

While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5-7% of children suffer from a mathematical learning disorder, called developmental dyscalculia (DD). Nevertheless, universally ... [more ▼]

While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5-7% of children suffer from a mathematical learning disorder, called developmental dyscalculia (DD). Nevertheless, universally valid diagnostic instruments are still lacking, as all current DD test batteries are based on language instructions. Consequently, their measurements are tightly linked to the specific language context of test administration and thus their results cannot easily be compared across countries. Here we are showing results of the first pilot study of a research project that aims to develop a test for basic math abilities that does not rely on language instruction and minimizes language use. To this aim, video and animation based instructions were implemented on touchscreen devices. A first version of the tasks has been tested with two samples of first grade children in Luxembourg’s fundamental schools, of which half completed the same tasks with traditional verbal instructions. Our results indicate that performance in the experimental group was similar or better than the control group using verbal instructions. Relationships between linguistic background and the sample’s performance on one hand and qualitative usability aspects of nonverbal task instruction and tablet-pc use with young children will be discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailProject NUMTEST; Assessing basic number competence without language
Greisen, Max UL; Schiltz, Christine UL; Hornung, Caroline UL et al

Poster (2017, February 20)

While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5-7% of children suffer from a mathematical learning disorder, called developmental dyscalculia (DD). Nevertheless, universally ... [more ▼]

While numerical skills are fundamental in modern societies, some estimated 5-7% of children suffer from a mathematical learning disorder, called developmental dyscalculia (DD). Nevertheless, universally valid diagnostic instruments are still lacking, as all current DD test batteries are based on language instructions. Consequently their measurements are tightly linked to the specific language context of test administration and thus their results cannot easily be compared across countries. The present study is the first pilot study of a research project that aims to develop a test for basic math abilities that does not rely on language instruction and minimizes language use. To this aim, video and animation based instructions were implemented on touchscreen devices. A first version of the application has been tested with a sample of first grade children in Luxembourg’s fundamental schools, of which half used the same application but with traditional German instructions. First results indicate that performance in the experimental group was similar to the control group using verbal instructions. Relationships between linguistic background and the sample’s performance on one hand and qualitative usability aspects of nonverbal task instruction and tablet use with young children will be discussed. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 93 (17 UL)