Paper Title
Development of an on-Line Dynamic Assessment for Improving Students’ Comprehension of Science Texts

The NRC (2000) claimed that assessment methods must change to support learning potential, especially in constructivist-oriented approaches. Dynamic assessment (DA), one such assessment-as-learning approach that serves as an alternative to the accountability orientation, integrates teaching and assessment and seeks to identify the developmental trajectory for students and potential factors of achievements. This article reports on the development of an on-line dynamic approach for assessing and improving students’ reading comprehension of science texts— The Dynamic Assessment for Reading Comprehension of Science Text (DARCST). The DARCST blended assessment and intervention into a holistic learning task for grade 5 and 6 students that takes the form of graduated prompt approach against the criteria of reading comprehension of science text. Each cluster of items in the DARCST incorporated a unit stimulus (textual material with illustration), follow-up items, and a series of instructional prompts associated with each item and targeted reading comprehension component. The research study involved the two steps: The development of the DARCST and the validation of the instrument DARCST. The IRT analysis indicated the DARCST was applicable for most students with a wide range of reading abilities. Based on the acceptable psychometrics and students’ perceptions, the DARCST appears to be highly appropriate for use in middle year science programs where enhanced science reading is a goal.