Thurlow, M. L., Moen, R. E., Lekwa, A. J., & Scullin, S. B. (2010). Examination of a reading pen as a partial auditory accommodation for reading assessment . University of Minnesota, Partnership for Accessible Reading Assessment. https://rtc3.umn.edu/docs/OnlinePubs/PARA/ReadingPen/ReadingPenReport.pdf
The Reading Pen II, a separate handheld device, was examined in this study. The researchers describe the reading pen as a "partial auditory accommodation," as users can select words or phrases to be read aloud.
Grade 6 (n=46) and grade 8 (n=30) students from two schools in a district in the Midwest (U.S.) participated. Both students with (unspecified) disabilities (n=32) and students without disabilities (n=44) were included as the 76 participants. Other participant demographic information, including ethnicity, was also reported.
Scores from the Gray Silent Reading Test (GSRT), forms A and B, served as a dependent variable. Also, participants were screened for reading level with curriculum-based measures (CBMs), including words read correctly (WRC) per minute, and maze tasks with scores of number of items correct and incorrect.
According to a dependent samples t-test, the mean score of students with disabilities using the reading pen was higher than without accommodations, at a statistically significant level. According to a repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA), both students with and without disabilities did not score significantly differently when using the reading pen than when not using accommodations. Students without disabilities scored significantly higher than students with disabilities, whether with or without the reading pen. The mean score of students without disabilities was not significantly different between the accommodated and not accommodated condition. A review of individual student score patterns, 65 students did not improve their score when using the reading pen (compared to the no-accommodation condition), and 11 students did improve their scores when using this accommodation. Of the latter group, 5 were students with disabilities and 6 were students without disabilities. Additional characteristics were reported for those who benefited from the reading pen, including than 7 were in grade 6 and 4 were in grade 8. The test-taker survey results indicated that most found the reading pen helpful to varying degrees, and very few found it not helpful. Additionally, students' comments about the helpful features were simply about the primary use of the pen—that is, that it allows users to scan difficult words. Improvements suggested include that words' definitions could be provided, and better audio quality and scanning precision.