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SCIENCE
PASSION
TECHNOLOGY
School Start Screening Tool
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
Motivation for the project
• Introduction of a new screening method in Austrian schools in the future
• Announced by the Federal Ministry of Education in January of 2020
• Used to assess children before entering school as well as in first and
second grade
• Available as paper-pencil and digital screening
• Mobile app for iOS and Android tablets
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
2
School Start Screening Tool
• Completely new screening method
• Automatic evaluation of results at the end of each screening
• Cooperation with University of Graz and University of Vienna
• Designed assignments’ underlying structure
• Developed calculations for evaluation
• Further requirements:
• Offline functionality
• Different screenings for different schools
• Downloadable Excel file containing all collected screening results
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
3
Analysis of Existing Screenings
• Today: multiple screenings to choose from
• Most screenings only available as paper-pencil screening
• Some also provide digital versions
• Analysis of existing screenings should show:
• Similarities
• Best practices
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
4
ELFE 1-6
• Available as paper-pencil or digital screening(!)
• Makes use of a child-friendly graphical character
• Motivates children
• Gives verbal instructions and feedback
• Uses audio files for instructions and feedback
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
5
ELFE 1-6 – Reading Speed Subtest
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
6
Design and Structure of App
• Children at preschool age do not have necessary skills in reading and
writing
• How to communicate assignment’s task to children?
• Make use of a visual language
• How to enable children to perform input?
• Make input options as intuitive as possible
• Children should stay motivated for several minutes
• Wrap screening into a, for the child interesting, frame-story
• Make use of a child-friendly graphical character
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
7
School Start Screening App
• Software was implemented during employment at University of Graz
• Continuous feedback from psychologists
• App makes use of local SQL database
• Solves offline functionality requirement
• Central web application and API
• Possible to assign different screenings to different schools
• Possible to download Excel File containing results
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
8
The App’s Frame Story
• Poldi, the elf, is
looking for a treasure
• Child helps Poldi by
solving assignments
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
9
Single Choice Assignments
• Phonological
Awareness
• Knowledge of
Letters & Number
Recognition
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
10
Single Choice Assignments
• Comparison of
Numbers
• Quantity
Comparison
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
11
Supervisor Assisted Assignments
• Screening supervisor is in charge of the whole screening process
• Usually, one the school’s teachers
• Input performed by screening supervisor
• Start with warning prompting to place tablet in front of child
• After alert view is confirmed, assignment starts
• At end of assignment, another warning asks to place tablet again in front
of child
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
12
Quantity Knowledge
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
13
Arithmetic Problems
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
14
Repeat Numbers
• With supervisor
• Repeat the numbers from the
audio file
• Supervisor has to click the button
for “correct” or “incorrect”
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
15
RAN and Sorting Assignment
• With Supervisor
• speak out loud the names of the
objects seen in the image /
printed on a separate sheet of
paper
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
16
Automatic Evaluation
• Considers all results of current screening run
• Calculates level of development in 7 different educational subjects
• Calculations given by developmental psychologists
• Make use of specified cut-off values
• 3 different levels of development:
• Slight special educational needs
• Obvious special educational needs
• A checkmark representing no educational needs
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
17
Automatic Evaluation
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
18
Web Application
• Only accessible to authenticated admins (University of Graz, University of
Vienna)
• Features to:
• Create and edit schools
• Create, edit and assign screenings
• Download Excel file with uploaded results
• Developed using Zend Framework (PHP)
• MySQL as database
• Doctrine ORM (Object–relational mapping)
• Deployed on Linux Server
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
19
API
• Part of the web application
• Also developed using Zend Framework (PHP)
• Processes HTTP requests to:
• Authenticate schools to login to the mobile app
• Download assigned screenings
• Upload collected screening results
• HTTP-body in JSON
• JSON Web Tokens (JWT) for authentication
• Automated API testing using Postman
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
20
Evaluation
• Evaluation happened through:
• Interviewing the developmental psychologists who were in continuous
contact with schools
• Report of the Austrian Ministry of Education
• Based on survey with involved schools
• First screenings with final app in September 2019
• More than 800 children were assessed
• In 25 Austrian schools
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
21
Evaluation
• Evaluation basically very positive
• Assignments were implemented as required and were very intuitive
• Teachers would choose app over paper-pencil screening
• Children did get along very well with the app and had fun using it
• Things that could have been done better:
• Some technical problems with the prototype
• Web application had set some restrictions
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
22
Conclusion
• Better educational support for child due to new screening
• Step to more digitized education in Austria
• App saves paper-work and is more attractive than paper-pencil
• If more time available, more automated tests
• Instead used bug reporting software in mobile apps
• More functionality in central web application
• Test screenings, central file manager and more
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
23
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
24
Platzhalter Abschlussfolie
edMedia, July 2021
Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
25

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School Start Screening App Development

  • 1. SCIENCE PASSION TECHNOLOGY School Start Screening Tool edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner
  • 2. Motivation for the project • Introduction of a new screening method in Austrian schools in the future • Announced by the Federal Ministry of Education in January of 2020 • Used to assess children before entering school as well as in first and second grade • Available as paper-pencil and digital screening • Mobile app for iOS and Android tablets edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 2
  • 3. School Start Screening Tool • Completely new screening method • Automatic evaluation of results at the end of each screening • Cooperation with University of Graz and University of Vienna • Designed assignments’ underlying structure • Developed calculations for evaluation • Further requirements: • Offline functionality • Different screenings for different schools • Downloadable Excel file containing all collected screening results edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 3
  • 4. Analysis of Existing Screenings • Today: multiple screenings to choose from • Most screenings only available as paper-pencil screening • Some also provide digital versions • Analysis of existing screenings should show: • Similarities • Best practices edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 4
  • 5. ELFE 1-6 • Available as paper-pencil or digital screening(!) • Makes use of a child-friendly graphical character • Motivates children • Gives verbal instructions and feedback • Uses audio files for instructions and feedback edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 5
  • 6. ELFE 1-6 – Reading Speed Subtest edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 6
  • 7. Design and Structure of App • Children at preschool age do not have necessary skills in reading and writing • How to communicate assignment’s task to children? • Make use of a visual language • How to enable children to perform input? • Make input options as intuitive as possible • Children should stay motivated for several minutes • Wrap screening into a, for the child interesting, frame-story • Make use of a child-friendly graphical character edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 7
  • 8. School Start Screening App • Software was implemented during employment at University of Graz • Continuous feedback from psychologists • App makes use of local SQL database • Solves offline functionality requirement • Central web application and API • Possible to assign different screenings to different schools • Possible to download Excel File containing results edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 8
  • 9. The App’s Frame Story • Poldi, the elf, is looking for a treasure • Child helps Poldi by solving assignments edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 9
  • 10. Single Choice Assignments • Phonological Awareness • Knowledge of Letters & Number Recognition edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 10
  • 11. Single Choice Assignments • Comparison of Numbers • Quantity Comparison edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 11
  • 12. Supervisor Assisted Assignments • Screening supervisor is in charge of the whole screening process • Usually, one the school’s teachers • Input performed by screening supervisor • Start with warning prompting to place tablet in front of child • After alert view is confirmed, assignment starts • At end of assignment, another warning asks to place tablet again in front of child edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 12
  • 13. Quantity Knowledge edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 13
  • 14. Arithmetic Problems edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 14
  • 15. Repeat Numbers • With supervisor • Repeat the numbers from the audio file • Supervisor has to click the button for “correct” or “incorrect” edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 15
  • 16. RAN and Sorting Assignment • With Supervisor • speak out loud the names of the objects seen in the image / printed on a separate sheet of paper edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 16
  • 17. Automatic Evaluation • Considers all results of current screening run • Calculates level of development in 7 different educational subjects • Calculations given by developmental psychologists • Make use of specified cut-off values • 3 different levels of development: • Slight special educational needs • Obvious special educational needs • A checkmark representing no educational needs edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 17
  • 18. Automatic Evaluation edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 18
  • 19. Web Application • Only accessible to authenticated admins (University of Graz, University of Vienna) • Features to: • Create and edit schools • Create, edit and assign screenings • Download Excel file with uploaded results • Developed using Zend Framework (PHP) • MySQL as database • Doctrine ORM (Object–relational mapping) • Deployed on Linux Server edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 19
  • 20. API • Part of the web application • Also developed using Zend Framework (PHP) • Processes HTTP requests to: • Authenticate schools to login to the mobile app • Download assigned screenings • Upload collected screening results • HTTP-body in JSON • JSON Web Tokens (JWT) for authentication • Automated API testing using Postman edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 20
  • 21. Evaluation • Evaluation happened through: • Interviewing the developmental psychologists who were in continuous contact with schools • Report of the Austrian Ministry of Education • Based on survey with involved schools • First screenings with final app in September 2019 • More than 800 children were assessed • In 25 Austrian schools edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 21
  • 22. Evaluation • Evaluation basically very positive • Assignments were implemented as required and were very intuitive • Teachers would choose app over paper-pencil screening • Children did get along very well with the app and had fun using it • Things that could have been done better: • Some technical problems with the prototype • Web application had set some restrictions edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 22
  • 23. Conclusion • Better educational support for child due to new screening • Step to more digitized education in Austria • App saves paper-work and is more attractive than paper-pencil • If more time available, more automated tests • Instead used bug reporting software in mobile apps • More functionality in central web application • Test screenings, central file manager and more edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 23
  • 24. edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 24
  • 25. Platzhalter Abschlussfolie edMedia, July 2021 Paul Krassnig, Markus Ebner, Martin Ebner 25