American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Dynamic Assessment: Basic Framework

  • Pretest
    • Assess child's current performance
  • Teach
    • Using a mediated learning experience (MLE)
    • Help the child develop strategies
    • Observe the child's modifiability
  • Post Test
    • Compare performance to pretest
    • Assess transfer of strategies

A key to mediated learning experiences (MLE) is that the examiner deliberately teaches, watches how the child responds to instruction, and adjusts teaching accordingly. In this framework, it is the adult's responsibility to do whatever it takes for the child to learn new strategies that will help them continue learning. The ultimate goal of MLE is for children to become learners who are self-directed and independent.

Video Transcript

...You would first give a pretest to find out what the child's performance is regardless of why they are performing that way. So it could be a language difference issue, and then in the teaching part, you're going to teach them some strategies to perform better if you're trying to figure out if it's a language difference issue or language impairment kind of an issue.

Then the next phase is to do teaching, and we do teaching using mediated learning experience, and I'm going to talk a little bit more about that in detail. And there, you're trying to help the child develop some strategies for performing better on the specific task that you're trying to teach and that you're testing, and you're also observing modifiability. So how able is the child? Can the child make changes, and can they make them rapidly? What does it take for them to be able to apply the things that they learned in that session? And then at the end, you'll do a posttest to compare the pretest and to see how well they transferred the strategies that they learned to the posttest or to the task that you're targeting.

So, a really important aspect of dynamic assessment is to look at mediated learning experience. And this describes what the examiner does during teaching. You want to ensure that you have highly responsive teaching that helps the child to become self-regulated and active in their learning. So you want the child to be able to learn independently of you rather than you always having to guide their learning.

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