Ask the Expert: Robyn Steward

Robyn StewardRobyn is an experienced literacy education consultant. She has brought her expertise to Oxford Literacy Assess by creating rigorous levelling criteria for the assessment texts and conducting extensive classroom trialling of all
60 assessment texts.

Prior to her role as a consultant for Oxford Literacy Assess, Robyn was a Regional Literacy Leader for the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, and a Reading Recovery Tutor.

In addition to nearly 30 years of literacy experience in the Australian primary education system, Robyn spent over four years working in the American education system. There she designed, coordinated and delivered literacy professional development to district leadership, principals, coaches and teachers across the USA.

Q. How did you make sure that the Oxford Literacy Assess books were precisely levelled?

Oxford Literacy Assess - Growing Carrots

A.Growing Carrots is a level 7 non-fiction procedural text. You might think that with just 95 words, it was an easy book to develop! However, assessment texts are written to strict criteria, trialled extensively, and re-written many times to ensure they are accurately levelled and cognitively appropriate.

The writing, trialling and levelling process for Growing Carrots:

  • The author was provided with Oxford’s rigorous levelling criteria to develop the first draft.
  • After establishing their reading levels using existing assessment tools, I trialled the first draft with multiple primary school students from a range of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Growing Carrots was revised and trialled several times in schools before I considered it a true level 7 assessment text.’

Have a question for Robyn? Email us at blog.au@oup.com

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