The Rapid Online Assessment of Reading
An open-access assessment platform grounded in ongoing research by the Stanford Reading & Dyslexia Research Program
What is the ROAR?
The Rapid Online Assessment of Reading is an ongoing academic research project and online platform for assessing foundational reading skills. The ROAR is a suite of measures; each is delivered through the web browser and does not require a test administrator. The ROAR rapidly provides highly reliable indices of reading ability consistent with scores on other standardized reading assessments.
The Stanford Reading & Dyslexia Research Program aims to investigate the factors contributing to reading difficulties and dyslexia. By developing and rigorously validating automated assessment tools that enable large-scale data collection, we can help researchers and educators understand and support the diversity of learners.
Scientific approach to validation
Administer anywhere online
Active research & development
The ROAR Assessment Suite
The ROAR is a tool for schools, clinics, and researchers. ROAR subtests under active research and development include:
ROAR-SWR measures a student’s ability to quickly recognize words. Word recognition is at the foundation of reading ability and is important for reading fluency and comprehension.
ROAR-PA measures elision and sound matching to assess a student’s phonological awareness. This subtest is under active development and validation – please give it a try so that we can use your response to continue improving this measure.
Sentence Reading Efficiency
ROAR-SRE measures students’ ability to silently read and understand sentences quickly and accurately. This subtest is under active development and validation – please give it a try so that we can use your response to continue improving this measure.
ROAR-Vocab measures receptive vocabulary, or the words that a student can recognize and correctly match to an image. This subset is under active development and validation – please give it a try so that we can use your response to continue improving this measure.
How Does it Work?
ROAR-SWR measures word recognition by rapidly presenting real and made-up words and asking participants to press a key to indicate whether each word is real or made-up. The words span a wide difficulty range, providing an accurate index of ability for 1st through 12th grade in just 5-10 minutes.
Animated characters guide participants through a colorful voiceover narrative, ensuring participants understand the task through brief practice and feedback. In our validation studies, children as young as 2nd grade were able to complete ROAR-SWR without a proctor, and children in 1st grade could complete it with minimal assistance.
After completing the ROAR-SWR, participants will receive information on raw scores, as well as estimated standard scores, percentile scores, and risk designations.
Research-Practice Partnership: A Model for Collaboration
Frequently Asked Questions
Each subtest takes less than 20 minutes to complete. Students can expect to spend between 5-10 minutes on each block of ROAR-SWR, 15-20 minutes on ROAR-PA, and 8-10 minutes on ROAR-SRE. Administered all together, the entire ROAR suite can take between 45 minutes to one hour. The ROAR can be administered to any number of students at once—individually at home or in a clinic, in small groups, or by classroom—as long as each student has access to an internet-connected Chromebook and headphones.
The ROAR provides a comprehensive profile of foundational reading skills for students from Kindergarten through Grade 12. The score reports show you how many students in your organization need support on each specific skill. Furthermore, the reports provide individual data on each student in a table that can easily be grouped by skill, level of support needed, and more.
You can find samples of our score reports in this Google Drive. (The score reports are .html files that must be downloaded to be viewed.)
ROAR assessments examine foundational reading skills for students of all ages. Some of the assessments are computer adaptive, so they will give more challenging items to students who are ready for them. Some of the assessments provide different sets of items for students depending on their grade level, such as more challenging texts for older students. The graphics and storylines are omitted for older students. The assessments are generally structured similarly and the scores are comparable across grade levels.
Nothing! The ROAR is an open-access assessment; no payment or subscription is required.
The administration is completely automated – directions are read to students through their headphones, and students respond on the computer. Teachers or guardians may need to help students with logging in. Students may do the assessments in their classrooms as a group, at home, or with a specialist.
Please see our optional Quick Start guide that we provide for partners.
No, the ROAR is a research tool and not intended as a substitute for a clinical diagnosis of dyslexia by a licensed professional. If you are seeking a clinical evaluation, please consult with a primary care provider or other qualified specialist.
We take research participant data privacy seriously. All assessment data is stored securely and separately from identifiers wherever possible. If your child’s school is engaged in a ROAR partnership, assessment data may be shared back with the school as additional information to support teaching and learning.
We are excited to partner with you to try these research tools in the classroom!
We are happy to come to your school virtually or in-person to discuss the ROAR and how it can support your students and teachers. Please reach out to our Director of Research and Partnerships, Carrie Townley-Flores (email@example.com) to make arrangements.
This is standard practice, and we are happy to work through this process with you. Please note that Stanford’s lawyers will need to sign off on any legal documents and this process may take some time. We also require our partners to review our Letter of Agreement or Terms of Service.
Learn more about the Stanford University Reading & Dyslexia Research Program!
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520 Galvez Mall
Stanford, CA 94305