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LASS: Summary of Research and Supporting Scientific Evidence

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LASS is a suite of computerised tests designed for the assessment of literacy and cognitive skills in the age ranges 8 to 11 and 11 to 15 years.  The LASS suite for each age group comprises eight standardised tests of reasoning, reading, phonic decoding, spelling, memory (visual and verbal), and phonological awareness.  These tests have been developed in order to provide teachers with an easy-to-use method for identification of dyslexia and other learning problems.

As with all of Lucid’s products, the tests in LASS were produced in accordance with the highest international test development standards, including procedures for item creation and refinement, psychometric validation and national standardisation to create robust norms.  The initial research to develop LASS was carried out using over 2,300 students throughout the UK.  Additional standardisation samples totalled 1107 children in 11 schools for LASS 8-11 and 505 students attending 14 schools for LASS 11-15, selected to give a nationally representative spread of types of school, levels of achievement and socio-economic advantage/disadvantage.  Student selection procedures conformed to recognised international test development standards to ensure no sample bias.  For further details regarding standardisation see Section 1.3 of the LASS 8-11 Teacher’s Manual  and Section 2.2.1 of the LASS 11-15 Teacher’s Manual.

Dr Joanna Horne of the Psychology Department, University of Hull carried out a concurrent validity study of LASS using 75 students attending five different schools in different regions of the UK.  The students’ scores were compared with those of well-known published conventional tests of skills that, as far as possible were equivalent or similar to those in LASS.  The results indicate significant correlations between the tests and the comparison measures, demonstrating the validity of LASS.  Horne also carried out a predictive validity study using LASS with a sample of 176 students, comprising 30 students who had been diagnosed by educational psychologists as having dyslexia, 17 students with other special educational needs and 129 students without special educational needs.  The dyslexic group scored significantly lower than the non-SEN group on five of the seven LASS tests, and the other SEN group scored significantly lower than the non-SEN group on all seven of the LASS tests used in the study.  Comparable results were found when the same groups were compared on several conventional tests.  These findings fit well with established views about dyslexia – i.e. that dyslexic students are comparatively poor on measures of literacy, phonological skills and auditory memory and these weaknesses are not due to low intelligence and provide further validation for the use of LASS in the identification of dyslexia.  When the overall profile of scores was examined, LASS was found to have correctly identified 79% of the dyslexic students as having dyslexia, compared with 63% success rate for the equivalent conventional tests and only 59% using the phonological measures alone.  These results provide convincing predictive validity for the use of LASS, which had rather greater accuracy than a mixture of conventional tests.  For further details regarding validation see Section 1.4 of the LASS 8-11 Teacher’s Manual  and Section 2.2.2 of the LASS 11-15 Teacher’s Manual.  Horne’s studies also showed that computerised tests are much less susceptible to gender bias than conventional tests; this research was reported in the international peer-reviewed research publication Journal of Computer Assisted Learning in 2007.

Research on LASS has been reported in several international conferences as well as many notable publications, including the books Dyslexia: Cognitive factors and implications for literacy (Wiley, 2002) and ICT and Special Educational Needs (Open University Press, 2004).  Among the notable professional reports on LASS is one by Alan Cowieson, Quality Improvement Officer with the Additional Support for Learning and Pupil Support Service, Department of Education, North Ayrshire Council, Scotland.  Cowieson concluded that LASS is a high cost-effective, easy-to-use system for efficient identification of dyslexia in schools.  Professional testimonials on the use and value of LASS can also be found on the Lucid website.

In addition Lucid's programs were quoted as an example of good practice in the House of Commons Education and Skills Committee Special Educational Needs Report Third Report of Session 2005-2006 Volume 2, Oral and written evidence EV 100, 101, 114 and 115.

Fact Sheet 11 contains a more extensive list of scientific publications that related to the development of the Lucid programs.  

Research Documents for Lucid LASS

Item Type Details Author Affiliation(s) Format
Book chapter Dyslexia: Cognitive factors and implications for literacy. In G. Reid & J. Wearmouth (Eds.) Dyslexia and Literacy: Research and Practice. London: Wiley, 2002, pp. 115-130. Singleton, C.H. Department of Psychology, University of Hull, UK. Department of Education, University of Edinburgh, UK. Click here for PDF
Book chapter Using computer-based assessment to identify learning problems. In L. Florian and J. Hegarty (Eds.) ICT and Special Educational Needs. Milton Keynes: The Open University Press, 2004, pp. 46-63. Singleton, C.H. Department of Psychology, University of Hull, UK. Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, UK. Department of Psychology, University of Keele, UK. Click here for PDF
Article in profesional journal Understanding children’s learning problems with the help of computerised assessment. Dyslexia Contact, 24(1), 2005, 27. Singleton, C.H Department of Psychology, University of Hull, UK. Click here for PDF
Higher degree thesis Development and Evaluation of Computer-based Techniques for Assessing Children in Educational Settings. Ph.D. thesis, 2002, University of Hull, UK. Horne, J.K. Department of Psychology, University of Hull, UK. Click here for PDF
Book Chapter North Ayrshire’s developing approach to identifying and meeting the needs of learners with dyslexia. In N. Brunswick (Ed.) Dyslexia Handbook 2009/10. Reading, Berks.: British Dyslexia Association, 2009, pp. 53-63. Cowieson, A. Quality Improvement Officer, Additional Support for Learning and Pupil Support Service, Department of Education, North Ayrshire Council, Scotland. Department of Psychology, University of Middlesex, UK. Click here for PDF
Professional report Implementation of Lucid assessment software in North Ayrshire schools: Approaches to identifying and assessing the needs of learners who struggle to develop the skills associated with literacy – reading and writing. Lucid Research Ltd, 2008. Cowieson, A. Quality Improvement Officer, Additional Support for Learning and Pupil Support Service, Department of Education, North Ayrshire Council, Scotland Click here for PDF
Peer reviewed scientific paper in international journal Gender differences in computerised and conventional educational tests. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 24, 2007, 47-55. Horne, J. K. Department of Psychology, University of Hull, UK. Click here for PDF
Book Chapter Computerised screening and assessment for dyslexia. In A. Cooke & J. O. Adams The Dyslexia Handbook 2007/8, Reading, Berks: British Dyslexia Association, 193-197. Singleton, C.H. Department of Psychology, University of Hull, UK. Click here for PDF
Academic Review Intervention for Dyslexia. Reading, Berks.: The Dyslexia-SpLD Trust, 2009. Singleton, C.H. Department of Psychology, University of Hull, UK. Click here for PDF
Paper delivered at international scientific conference Computer-based approaches to identifying and supporting children with dyslexia. Dyslexia International Tools and Technologies Conference, EU Parliament, Brussels, Sept. 2006. Singleton, C.H. Department of Psychology, University of Hull, UK. Click here for PDF
Paper delivered at international professional conference Understanding children’s learning problems with the help of computerised assessment. International Conference on Neuro-Developmental Delay in Children with Specific Learning Difficulties, University of Edinburgh, Mar. 2005. Singleton, C.H. Department of Psychology, University of Hull, UK. Click here for PDF
Paper delivered at international scientific conference New developments in information technology for dyslexia. International Conference on Dyslexia and the Multilingual Information Society, University of Ioannina, Greece, Apr. 2004 Singleton, C.H. Department of Psychology, University of Hull, UK. Click here for PDF
Paper delivered at international professional conference Using computer-based assessment to identify learning problems in multilingual children. European League for Middle Level Education (ELMLE) Conference, Rome, Italy, Jan. 2003. Singleton, C.H. Department of Psychology, University of Hull, UK. Document not available
Paper delivered at international scientific conference Computer and Dyslexia: Update on diagnosis and support. International Conference on Dyslexia, San Marino, Sept. 2002. Singleton, C.H. Department of Psychology, University of Hull, UK. Click here for PDF
Paper delivered at international scientific conference Early Identification Of Dyslexia Using Computerised Assessment. British Psychological Society Centennial Conference, Glasgow, Scotland, Apr. 2001. Singleton, C.H. Department of Psychology, University of Hull, UK. Click here for PDF
Paper delivered at international scientific conference The cognitive profiles of literate children with significant arithmetic difficulties. British Dyslexia Association 5th International Conference, University of York, UK, Apr. 2001. Simmons, F. R. & Singleton, C.H. Click here for PDF

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