Using these materials
These Train-the-Trainer materials contain everything you need to appoint trainers or champions in your setting. We equip them with all the materials they will need to be able to train everyone in your setting, how to use Equatio.
In this section you will find:
You can also take this guide away to refer back to at any time.
Consistent with the UDL principle of multiple means of expression, uPar was designed to help all students recognize their strengths as readers. All students can benefit from examining their uPar profile, from the most able students who want to read higher level text, to students in career programs (e.g. technical career training, pre-nursing programs), to students with reading delays who may benefit from assistive technology accommodations and accessible instructional materials (AEM)to rely less on adult readers. In keeping with Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), English language learners can also benefit from text-to-speech to help them comprehend text with more accuracy and speed while they are learning to read in their non-native language.
For students with a history of reading issues, uPar can help mitigate students’ long-term anxiety related to early reading issues by allowing them the opportunity to see that they can read more independently. As one teacher described it: “ uPar helps identify tools for life and builds “expert learners”–helping students understand how they learn best and how technology fits into this, helping students comprehend complex materials more independently .”
uPar is also consistent with High Leverage Practices (HLP) as outlined by the Council for Exceptional Children (McLeskey, Billingsley, Brownell, Jackson et. al, 2017) in using assessment information to develop learner profiles. uPar collects information about students, provides processes for tracking progress, helps students and their families understand information collected. Lastly, uPar provides data to help design and evaluate individualized instruction.
Minimal professional learning is needed to administer uPar. Scoring and graphing of uPar results happens in real time and can be viewed immediately upon completion in order to share the findings with students, and reviewed by staff and administrators. Data in real-time strongly resonates with principals, reading specialists, general and special educators.. Results can also be aggregated for schools and classrooms. uPar results can be used to confirm:
- The benefit of TTS to increase a student’s reading independence and the ability to access grade level curriculum
- The benefit of text readers to increase the speed and efficiency of reading as compared to silent reading.
- The benefit of TTS as an accommodation for a student to improve comprehension
- When a read-aloud accommodation is no longer needed
Research in the past two decades has helped to dispel myths that text readers are a “crutch” or provide an undue advantage (See table below for citations on the benefits of Text Readers) Clinical experience shows that students who begin to make substantive progress in reading will not become dependent upon accommodations, they will use them less often, though at times TTS may be still be useful for reading challenging materials independently. Using uPar data, teachers are facilitators helping students find their best pathway to learning.
“Teachers feel they have critical data to share with their administrators and parents, allowing them to provide positive feedback to students and parents to help them understand why they are encouraging students to read at the appropriate level of challenge.”
“The results are amazing and already starting to generate such great conversations around appropriate reading accommodations, acquisition of AIM/AEM, and benefits of intensive reading instruction vs. accommodations.”
- What did you learn about uPar from the video?
- How does uPar support Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles?
- How can uPar be used to make reading more accessible for the widest range of learners?
- In what ways does uPar allow for efficiently gathering information about pathways to reading?
- How does uPar support decision-making about assistive technology in the classroom?
- In what ways does uPar support the needs of students with learning differences or disabilities?
- How does uPar’s integration of UDL, AT, HLP and AEM principles make it a valuable tool for supporting reading ?
- In what ways would the administration of uPar in your school contribute to collecting information, and designing instruction?
- Are there any concerns or limitations you have about using uPar in your school?
- How might uPar provide information to ensure students’ and parents’ understanding of reading success?
Chiang, H.Y. & Liu, C. H. (2011). Evaluation of the Benefits of Assistive Reading Software: Perceptions of High School Students with Learning Disabilities, Assistive Technology, 23:4, 199-204, DOI: 10.1080/10400435.2011.614673
Hecker, L. & and Engstrom, E. (2011). Technology that Supports Literacy Instruction and Learning.Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, 3rd Edition. Birsh, Judith R., pages 657- 683. Brookes Publishing: Baltimore.
Park, H. J., Takahashi, K., Roberts, K. D., & Delise, D. (2017). Effects of text-to-speech software use on the reading proficiency of high school struggling readers, Assistive Technology, 29:3, 146 152, DOI: 10.1080/10400435.2016.1171808
Lindeblad, E., Nilsson, S., Stefan Gustafson, S. & Idor Svensson, I. (2017). Assistive technology as reading interventions for children with reading impairments with a one-year follow-up, Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 12:7, 713-724, DOI: 10.1080/17483107.2016.1253116
Svensson, I., Nordström, T., Lindeblad, E., Gustafson, S., Björn, M., Sand, C., Almgren-Bäck , G.& Nilsson, S. (2021). Effects of assistive technology for students with reading and writing disabilities, Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 16:2, 196-208, DOI: 10.1080/17483107.2019.1646821
2. Curriculum and Training Materials
Objectives: To gain proficiency in uPar technology, including setup, administering a protocol, and data interpretation, in order to effectively determine an appropriate read-aloud accommodation.
Administrators: Managing Educators
- Take control of your uPar license by managing educators and students with ease!
- Administrators have the power to add and manage educators on the license - giving you more control over who can access and use uPar.
- Want to give instant access to uPar for educators or staff members with a separate domain email address? No problem! Just let your Texthelp representative know and they'll apply it to your license.
- If your educators' domain emails are the same as those of your students, no worries - administrators can still add them to the license easily through universalpar.com.
- Teachers can have different permission levels based on their roles:
- Educators can manage and view reports for their own students.
- Analysts can access reports for all students.
- Admins can manage all educator and student users.
- It's easy to change permission levels by selecting the settings cog wheel next to each educator's name - giving you more control over who can do what.
With these features, managing and controlling access to uPar has never been easier!
Add/Manage Student Accounts
- With uPar, both administrators and educators can add and manage students with ease - giving you more control over who can access and use uPar.
- Administrators have full visibility into all students and student data associated with the license - providing a comprehensive view of usage and progress.
- Educators, on the other hand, will only see students and student data they've added to their dashboard at universalpar.com - ensuring privacy and security for student information.
- Want to make things even easier for your students? Just add your students' domain to the license and they'll automatically have access to a uPar protocol at startpar.com! No need to add them individually to the license.
- And with real-time student reporting, admins can keep track of progress as students take a uPar protocol in real-time.
- Educators can still view specific student reports, but they'll need to add the students to their dashboard at universalpar.com first.
- Adding students for educators is easy - simply click on the "Manage students" button and enter their emails individually, import emails from a CSV file, or through Google Classroom.
- Schedule time: Choose a date and a place that will be conducive for learning to ensure a smooth and distraction-free experience for students.
- Prepare your devices: uPar can be administered anywhere on many different types of district devices that can access startpar.com. Make sure each student has access to a device and provide headphones for each student to block out distractions.
- Show the Intro to uPar video: To help students understand the purpose and format of the assessment, be sure to show them the Intro to uPar video before beginning the protocol.
- (Optional) Use the Educator Script: For even more guidance and consistency across students, consider using the optional Educator Script during the protocol.
By following these four simple steps, you'll be well on your way to administering uPar successfully and helping your students reach their full potential!
Student View of uPar
- Ready to see what your students will experience when they take a uPar protocol? As an educator, you can try it out for yourself!
- To do so, simply sign into startpar.com with your district email - it's quick and easy, and will give you an accurate representation of the student experience.
- Keep in mind that when you try out the uPar protocol as an educator, you'll see a red bar at the top indicating that you're in educator mode and that no data is being collected.
- This is a great way to familiarize yourself with the protocol and get a sense of what your students will encounter - so don't hesitate to give it a try!
Viewing and Interpreting Data
- To view uPar data, first go to universalpar.com and click the "View reports" button.
- Once you're in the reports section, click on "All students" to view group and individual student reports. Note that administrators will automatically have access to this data, but educators without admin access will need to manually add students as outlined in the Adding/Managing Students section.
- In the group summary circle data, you'll see the percentage of students who benefited from a read-aloud accommodation, as well as the total number of students who received accommodations. The students will be color-coded based on their results.
Student Data Talk & Actionable Next Steps
While uPar will give feedback to the student after they take the protocol, going over the results with students is critical for students to understand how they read best and what tools/strategies they can use to be successful.
Student Data Talk:
- Remind students that uPar was administered to see what reading strategies work best for them.
- Distribute the Student Data Talk form.
- Use the sample data to help understand the student’s data
- Explain their results and the grade levels they’re able to read with some support and various supports that may be available to them.
- Demonstrate Text Reader Tools
- Plan for Students' Use of Accommodations
Actionable Next Steps:
- Help individual students make a plan to use their accommodations at school and build routines for accessing their TTS accommodations. 3-4 weeks of consistently using new reading accommodations is critical.
- Build choices into class routines that help students take responsibility for accessing reading accommodations
- Ensure that the students have access to digital text aligned with curriculum content.
- Plan for Recheck in 6-8 weeks.
Quick Recheck for Progress
A quick recheck allows the student to start where they left off and check for comprehension one grade level higher than they were successful previously.
Rechecks are shorter protocols and typically take 5-10 minutes.
Administering a Recheck:
- Schedule time and create a testing environment for students.
- Have the student log in to startpar.com using their school email address.
- Student will select quick recheck.
- Protocol will begin. Recheck data will build on student reports as show in the below image.
Do Over a Protocol
The Do Over option within uPar will run students through an entire protocol again.
A few instances you would consider a Do Over:
- If the student did not take the protocol seriously.
- If the student went through the protocol very quickly as indicated in the time information.
- A student who was visibly frustrated during the protocol.
The Do Over data will build upon any previous attempts within the students report.
Educators need to take time to reflect on how and when they are implementing uPar.
1. Identify Students
- Choosing a group or class of students
- All students can benefit from viewing uPar results
2. Schedule Time
- Non-distracting environment
- 20-30 minutes to complete uPar protocol
3. View Reports
- Identifying student data reports
- Understanding a uPar report
4. Data Walk
- Administrators and Educators
- Schedule Data Talk with students