The effects of student choice, interest, and performance on standardized reading assessments



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This study examined the effects of choice on student achievement using a criterion-referenced assessment with a quasi-experimental design and a non-experimental design to investigate the relationship between choice, interest, and performance on standardized reading assessment. Furthermore, the study explored the relationship between measures of choice (e.g., interest) and the standardized reading comprehension assessment with fourth and fifth grade students. The research was guided by two questions. Are there significant differences in reading comprehension assessment scores when reading ‘teacher-selected’ passages versus reading ‘student-selected’ passages? Is there a relationship between interest and performance on standardized reading comprehension assessments? Based on the literature review, it was predicted that the provision of choice could increase the reading performance outcome on a standardized reading passage. Specifically, it was thought that choice would be a motivating factor in the students’ comprehension and result in a higher score, when compared to the no-choice performance. However, findings from question one established the provision of choice was not a significant variable impacting students’ scores on the standardized reading assessment, and findings from question two revealed no correlation between student preference for reading and achievement score. Implications for research, future research recommendations, and practical applications of choice through autonomy-supportive environments are discussed.



Student choice, Choice, Interest, Reading comprehension, Standardized reading assessments, Quasi-experimental design, Self-determination theory, Motivation, Reading engagement, Autonomy, High stakes testing