Learning Media Assessment (LMA)
By: Carmen Willings
A Learning Media Assessment or Reading Media Assessment (LMA/RMA), conducted by the Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI), is required to determine what kinds of literacy and functional learning materials are appropriate. Although sometimes used interchangeably, the Learning Media Assessment can perhaps best describe the assessment of the learning mode of students who are non-readers or pre-readers. A Reading Media Assessment is a better term for students who are already reading. Either way, it access the way a student learns from the environment.
The LMA/RMA is a systematic way of collecting information about sensory preferences, learning environments, and intervention materials and methods. It is used with the Functional Vision Evaluation (FVE) to describe sensory abilities. It identifies sensory preferences, allows the Teacher of Students Visual Impairments (TVI) to understand how to present information to the student. For younger students or those with multiple impairments, the TVI can gain sensory information to the student, understand how to calm or alert the child, and identify adaptations and intervention strategies to promote effective use of senses. In an academic student, it is used to determine the primary or secondary mode for reading or if the student is a dual learner.
The LMA/RMA indicates the use of sensory channels; best learning media; indicators of readiness for a literacy program; initial selection of literacy medium; continuing assessment of literacy media; and literacy tools inventory. When conducting the RMA, be sure to provide a variety of environmental print for the student to read in addition to using a formal assessment tool such as the Jerry Johns Basic Reading Inventory. If the student has been prescribed low vision devices, encourage them to use the devices. Possible media includes: class handouts, class textbooks, leisure books, maps, graphs, dictionary, diagrams, ruler, newspaper, magazine, catalog, ads, phone book, menu, food labels, clothing tags. Be sure to take note of the estimated font size and type.
Also be sure to observe the students writing skills including keyboarding skills. Include if the student uses the correct fingering, and what the words per minute were as well as the errors. Observe the student copying information from the board and note the distance. Also observe the student copying information from a text to a separate paper. Note the size of writing, the difficulty and note if it was legible to the student and to you.
Characteristics of Print Learners
On page 43 of Learning Media Assessment of Students with Visual Impairments 2nd Edition, Koenig and Holbrook identify the following characteristics of students who may be print learners.
The student :
Characteristics of Braille Learners
They identify the following characteristics of students who may be braille learners.
Additional LMA Resources...
Johns, Jerry. Basic Reading Inventory. Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2012. is a popular informal reading inventory. It helps determine a student's instructional, independent, and frustration reading levels & listening levels based on speed, accuracy, and comprehension. This tool helps determine the most effective literacy modalities for students with visual impairments.
Johns, Jerry. Basic Reading Inventory. Kendall Hunt Publishing, 2012. is a popular informal reading inventory. Large Print and Braille reading lists and reading passages are now available from APH (The Instruction Manual and tools must be purchased separately). It helps determine a student's instructional, independent, and frustration reading levels & listening levels based on speed, accuracy, and comprehension. This tool helps determine the most effective literacy modalities for students with visual impairments.
A great resource on conducting Learning Media Assessments is the Texas School for the Blind (TSBVI) Learning Media Assessment.
Functional Vision & Learning Media Assessment (FVLMA) is an assessment tool, available from APH, that helps practitioners gather, store, track, and analyze information regarding students' functional vision and appropriate learning media.
This presentation provides a walk-through of the process and steps of conducting a Functional Vision Evaluation and Learning/Reading Media Assessment. Key points include interpreting the eye report, materials to use in the assessment, conducting interviews and observations as well as strategies for direct assessment and writing a professional and thorough report that is informative to all audiences. Next steps are also covered including the importance of a low vision assessment, determining the need for additional assistive technology and implications for service.
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