T_L 413 01

TL 413 - Assessing and Correcting Reading Difficulties

2021 Fall Syllabus, Section 01, CRN 15087

Course Information

You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read carefully. Any changes will be announced in a Blackboard Announcement. You will be responsible for any changes. Your continued enrollment in this course is your implicit agreement to abide by the requirements of this class.

This syllabus describes the requirements and procedures for TL 413 - Assessing and Correcting Reading Difficulties. You are responsible for knowing this material, so please read it through carefully. Please note that this syllabus is subject to change at the instructor’s discretion, but any changes will be announced in an email and in a Blackboard Announcement in advance.

Times and Location

Instructor Information

McKenzie Rabenn

Email: mckenzie.rabenn@und.edu

Office: Working remote

2021 Fall Office Hours:
Contact me to set up an appointment

Course Description

The focus of this course and practicum is to learn about current approaches to assessment and methods to assist students who are having difficulty with reading and writing. Observations, running records, interviews, and other evaluation procedures are used to learn about reader and writers, and these assessments are used to plan for instruction.

Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Investigate the reading and writing processes of a learner in order to explore and understand how to facilitate his or her individual learning (CAEP 1, InTASC #1, 2, 8, ILA 1 & 4);

  • Examine a variety of assessment tools (including digital assessments) and analysis methods that illustrate and identify students’ attitudes regarding reading and writing by recognizing strengths and weaknesses (CAEP 1, InTASC 2, 6 & 8, ILA 1, 3 & 4), ISTE 2;

  • Understand the ways in which diversity influences the reading and writing development of all students, especially those who struggle with reading and writing (CAEP 1, InTASC 1 & 2, ILA 4);

  • Examine the variety of instructional practices aimed at strengthening a student’s ability to process print and perform more efficiently as a reader and writer (CAEP 1, InTASC 3, 7, & 8);

  • Examine learner engagement opportunities in reading and writing (CAEP 1, InTASC 1-9, ILA 1-5), and

  • Examine the use of digital technologies to inspire engagement, creativity and meaningful experiences in student learning (CAEP 1, InTASC 4, 7, & 8, ILA 2, 4 & 5, ISTE 1-5).

Course Materials

Dougherty, S. K. A., Flanigan, K., & McKenna, M. C. (2020). Assessment for reading instruction. The

Guilford Press. 

Minimum Technical Skills Needed

In order to succeed in this course, at a minimum, you should be able to:

Insert minimum requirements expected and needed. In the bulleted example list below

  • Navigate in and use basic Blackboard functions
  • Download and open electronic documents
  • Create, save, and upload/attach electronic documents
  • Send, receive, and manage email

Course Logistics

Access and Log in Information

This course was developed and will be facilitated utilizing Blackboard. To get started with the course, please go to: http://blackboard.UND.edu and log in with your NDUS.Identifier, Username and Password. If you do not know your NDUS Identifier or have forgotten your password, please visit Your NDUS Account page on the UIT website.

Course Overview

 The course content is organized by week for this semester. Each week contains a purpose, learning outcomes, and a variety of links to articles, video/audio files, and other instructional resources selected to enhance the learning experience and support the various topics. Discussions, blogs, wikis, surveys, quizzes, tests, and assignments will be used to assess your comprehension and application of those materials.

To get the most from your experience, it is recommended that you consider the following:

  • Review the syllabus and course schedule posted in Blackboard
  • Participate fully and in a timely manner to get the benefit of learning from your peers and the facilitators
  • Communicate with the instructor via email when truobles arise

What Should Students Do First?

The Blackboard site for this course will be open to you one week prior to the start of the semester with the syllabus, an introductory video, and other introductory materials available for your review. Prior to the start of the first week of the course, please review the course syllabus and schedule and view the introductory video for further details on how to navigate the course Blackboard site.

How Students Should Proceed Each Week for Class Activities

On the left side course menu in Blackboard there is a “Weekly Assignments” tab. By clicking on this tab, you will find all weekly content folders containing the required readings, videos, and assignments/activities for the week. An overview of each week can be found in the syllabus. Each weekly folder will be opened up on Tuesdays by 12:00pm CST for the coming week, and (unless otherwise specified), all assignments will be due by 11:59pm CST of the following Monday (ex. Week 1 materials are open by Tuesday at 12:00pm CST and all Week 1 material will be due by the end of Week 1, Monday by 11:59pm CST).

Course Requirements/Expectations

  1. The student will review the syllabus and course schedule posted in Blackboard.
  2. The student will access and follow all course instructions found in the weekly area of the Blackboard course.
  3. The student will participate in any lecture or discussion sessions on campus or online as provided and as part of this course.
  4. The student will complete and submit assignments, exams, quizzes, etc. by the date noted and in the manner described in Blackboard and on the course schedule. We will use Central Standard Time for due dates and times.
  5. The student will participate fully and in a timely manner to get the benefit of learning from instructor and/or peers.

Grade Scale: 

  •  A = 93 – 100%
  • B = 81 – 92%
  • C = 71 – 80%
  • D = 61 – 70%
  • F = 0 – 60%                    

* In the state of North Dakota, a GPA of 2.50 is required for teacher licensure. Please  make sure you know what your state will require.
* You must achieve a “C” or better in all T&L courses.


Insert information on how you will be communicating with students and how you would like them to communicate with you. Be sure to set expectations regarding response times. Some examples are provided below, please include all categories relevant to your instruction of this course:


Announcements will be posted in Blackboard on a regular basis. Be sure to check the class announcements regularly as they will contain important information about class assignments and other class matters.


You are encouraged to post your questions about the course in the FAQs discussion board forum in the Blackboard site or raise them in class if held synchronously or on campus. The Blackboard discussion board is an open forum in which you and your classmates are encouraged to answer each other’s questions. But, if you need to contact me directly, check the Faculty tab in Blackboard or the syllabus for my contact information. I will respond back to you within 48 hours during the week or weekend.

Discussion Forums, Blogs, & Wikis

These tools are an excellent way for you to engage with the course material and with your peers. Each week we will have at least one of these tools for you to participate in. You are expected to read all assigned discussion boards, blog posts, and/or wiki pages and provide thoughtful contributions.

Course Etiquette

When participating in class (online or in person) it is important to interact with your peers in an appropriate manner. Always use professional language (no netspeak) in your postings and emails. Please be respectful of your classmates at all times even if you disagree with their ideas.


Active Participation in Discussions & Activities (40%)

Active Participation in Discussions & Activities 40%

The weekly assignments for this class aim to have you process course content individually and/or in a group.  Some assignments will call for you to generate products or find resources that benefit you in your teaching situation, and be shared with others.  At times, the assignments will be completed with your group and at other times, the assignments will be individual.   The tasks will not always have points associated with them.  NOTE:  Weekly reading and collaborative discussion board reflection is a major portion of participation and should be taken seriously.  For any reflective written work, please use a professional communication style, including characteristics such as respectful tone; correct spelling, grammar, and mechanics; well-developed ideas; thoroughness; professional vocabulary; evidence of thoughtfully reading the course texts; demonstration of developing understanding or course content; and a sense of audience.  You are highly encouraged to make explicit references (pull out quotes that resonate with you) to the readings in your reflections and/or lessons.  Your active and supportive engagement in discussions and activities are critical elements that will ensure your attainment of course learning goals as well as make the course a worthwhile and enjoyable learning experience for you.  You will be expected to be reflective and thorough in all reading and response engagements.  You will be expected to actively read the assigned material, synthesize, and connect it to your life as a teacher.


Final Presentations (15%)

Final Presentations15%

At the end of the semester, each of you will provide a 20-30-minute presentation on your T&L 486 Literacy Student. In this presentation you will share information about your student and what assessments were conducted and what instructional strategies were used to address the needs of that student. As a part of this assignment, you will also be required to listen to and critically respond to your peers’ presentations. Consider the following information

  •  General background information

  • What assessments did you administer?

  • What were the results of those assessments? 

    • Consider the cognitive pathways from Chapter 1 of class text. What questions are you able to answer as a result of your assessments? 

  • What lessons did you teach to the student based upon those assessments?

  • What instructional strategies did you employ with your students?

  • How did you continue your planning of the lessons, based upon the results of those teaching experiences and post-assessments?

  • What was the end result? Your student learned… was able to… 

  • Looking back on the experience, what do you wish you had done differently? 

    • Consider the cognitive pathways from Chapter 1 of class text. Are there any questions you cannot yet answer? How might you find the answers to these questions?  

  • How have you grown as a teacher of literacy because of this experience and this class? 

Field Experience Elements (45%)

Field Experience Elements45%

You will be responsible for finding your own student for TL486: field experience as part of your TL413 and TL444 learning this semester. For your first field experience visit, you will create a Student Interest and Content Inventory. The second and third visits will require you to create reading lesson plans that match the grade level of your student. After your visits, you will complete an if/then analysis: 

Field Experience If/Then Analysis  

This semester you will be working 1-1 with an elementary student. During your visits, you will administer various literacy assessments. You will apply learned concepts of literacy development to the administration and analysis of literacy assessments for your elementary student reading buddy. These analyses will support your learning of various types and purposes of literacy assessment, as well as deepening your understanding of literacy development for elementary students. You will use the “If/Then” format to determine the strengths and needs of the student, write an intervention plan (teaching implications for instructional “next steps”), and also include recommendations for and a description of one or more assessments to help the student grow and develop mathematical skills and abilities in the given literacy content area. These will be completed and submitted within the weekly folders in which they are assigned.

Lesson Plan 

You will be responsible for planning two lesson plans for two different literacy content areas. You will use students from your field experience as your student models to observe, assess, and then design lessons to fit each student’s apparent needs in literacy. Your three lessons must cover three different literacy content areas (motivation, phonological awareness, phonics, spelling, sight words, comprehension, fluency, decoding, vocabulary). These lessons must be original, creative, and include clear standards and learning objectives, direct instruction in a strategy or skill, followed by modeling and guided practice of the strategy or skill in an engaging learning activity. The lesson plans you create will use the “Guided Literacy” template which will be provided on Blackboard.

Student Reading Interest Inventory

You will design your own student reading interest inventory including both math and "other" questions that could be given to a student in a chosen grade level. Questions will include reading interests and abilities as well as other academic content areas and non-school questions. Getting to know your students’ interests and perceived abilities in order to help design your lessons.

Examples of various student interest inventories are included in our Blackboard course. Note that some of these are more reading-focused, but these ideas could help you design math-focused questions instead. You can be as creative as you wish! You can use a Word document, Google Slides with interactive elements, Google Form, etc.

Aesthetics matter, so having a long list of questions with fill-in-the-blanks is not ideal, whereas a variety of questions (multiple choice, circle the answer, short answer, etc.) is preferred. You can also find great examples and ideas for questions and designs online, but you cannot find and use/print one that has already been created. You must create your own for this assignment.


FALL 2021 Schedule of Course Topics, Preparation and Assignment Due Dates

Week of Reading(s): Agenda/Topic: Due:
8/23 Tolman, C. (2005). Working smarter, not harder: What teachers of reading need to know & be able to teach. Perspectives, Fall, p. 16-24. Introduction to the course
The Reading Crisis
Scarborough’s reading rope
Voicethread Introductions
Reader Response
8/30 New ElementDougherty Stahl. K. A., Flanigan, K., & McKenna, M. C. (2020), Chapter 1
New Element Dougherty Stahl. K. A., Flanigan, K., & McKenna, M. C. (2020), Chapter 2
Introduction to Reading Assessment Discussion Board Activity: Explore the NAEP website. What aspects of reading does the NAEP assess? What purpose is it used for? What surprised you?
9/6 Video: What is MTSS? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjyzTNfwdCU MTSS Overview Discussion Board: Describe MTSS in your own words. Then, select a student presented in the Iris Center (Sammy, La Toya, Adam, Paloma, & Laney). Describe the student's assessment results & their journey through the Tiers.
9/13 Dougherty, S. K. A., Flanigan, K., & McKenna, M. C. (2020), Chapter 10 Assessing Reading Motivation Reading Motivation Survey
9/20 Dougherty Stahl. K. A., Flanigan, K., & McKenna, M. C. (2020), Chapter 4 Assessing Phonological Awareness Discussion Board
Practice PAST assessment
9/27 Field Experience If/Then Template
10/4 Dougherty Stahl, K. A., Flanigan, K., & McKenna, M. C. (2020), Chapter 5 Assessing Word Recognition Practice Informal Phonics Inventory Assessment
Lesson Plan
10/11 Field Experience Completed If/ Template
Lesson Plan Reflection
10/18 Dougherty Stahl. K. A., Flanigan, K., & McKenna, M. C. (2020), Chapter 3
Duke, N. (2020). When young readers get stuck. Educational Leadership, 78(3), 26-33.
Assessing Oral Reading Using an IRI Discussion Board
Practice IRI Assessment
10/25 Dougherty Stahl, K. A., Flanigan, K., & McKenna, M. C. (2020), Chapter 6 Assessing Fluency Discussion Board
Practice CBM Assessment
11/1 Dougherty Stahl. K. A., Flanigan, K., & McKenna, M. C. (2020), Chapter 8 Assessing Comprehension
Developmental Language Disorder
Practice Narrative Retelling Assessment
Lesson Plan
11/8 Field Experience Completed If/Then Template
Lesson Plan Reflection
11/15 Dougherty Stahl. K. A., Flanigan, K., & McKenna, M. C. (2020), Chapter 7 Assessing Vocabulary Discussion Board
11/22 Read the following Fact Sheets on IDA’s Website: https://dyslexiaida.org/fact-sheets/ - Dyslexia Basics - Dyslexia Assessment - Effective Reading Instruction for Students with Dyslexia Dyslexia Discussion Board
11/29 Final Presentations Final Presentations
12/6 Final Presentations Final Presentations

Course Policies

Assignment Policy

Assignments are expected to be submitted either in class or on Blackboard as specified on their designated due dates.

Late Work

  • Assignments are expected to be submitted either in class or on Blackboard as specified on their designated due dates. If you feel you require an extension on an assignment, please email me in advance in order to discuss options. Late assignments without such a request will result in a 10% reduction of points IF the assignment is turned in within one week after the due date. Failure to turn in late work AFTER one week without a written request for an extension will not be graded.

  • If you feel you need to revise and resubmit an assignment in order to improve your own learning and success, please email me to discuss. Such instances will be considered individually as they arise.


  • Plan to spend sufficient time on the course. You are expected to put in the same amount of time into online courses as you would if you were enrolled in a face-to-face course on-campus. For example, if a two-credit course were meeting on-campus it would meet for two hours each week for 16 weeks. In addition to this meeting time, you would be expected to spend, at minimum, an additional hour for each hour of class on assignments and readings. Thus, you can anticipate spending at least four hours each week on this two-credit class (e.g., readings, working on assignments, discussion, and other).


It is expected that students will complete all requirements for a course during the time frame of the course. For reasons beyond a student’s control, and upon request by the student or on behalf of the student, an incomplete grade may be assigned by the instructor when there is reasonable certainty the student will successfully complete the course without retaking it. The mark “I,” Incomplete, will be assigned only to the student who has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work up to a time within four weeks of the close of the semester, including the examination period, and whose work is incomplete for reasons satisfactory to his or her instructor. More information regarding UND’s Incomplete policy can be found on The Grading System webpage.


Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a serious matter, and any deviations from appropriate behavior will be dealt with strongly. At the discretion of the professor, situations of concern may be dealt with as a scholastic matter or a disciplinary matter.

As a scholastic matter, the professor has the discretion to determine appropriate penalties to the student’s workload or grade, but the situation may be resolved without involving many individuals. An alternative is to treat the situation as a disciplinary matter, which can result in suspension from the University, or have lesser penalties. Be aware that I view this as a very serious matter, and will have little tolerance of or sympathy for questionable practices. A student who attempts to obtain credit for work that is not their own (whether that be on a paper, quiz, homework assignment, exam, etc.) will likely receive a failing grade for that item of work, and at the professor’s discretion, may also receive a failing grade in the course. For more information read the Code of Student Life.

Access & Opportunity, Disability Support and Medical Services

If you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need accommodations in this course because of a disability, please visit with me as soon as possible. My office hours are at the top of this syllabus. If you plan to request disability accommodations, you are expected to register with the Disability Support Services (DSS) office online, (180 McCannel Hall, 701.777.3425).

If you have a temporary medical condition such as a broken arm or recovering after surgery, you may be able to arrange for courtesy services. In most cases, it is expected that you will make your own arrangements for these services. Examples of courtesy services include access to a test scribe if the student has a broken hand; lift equipped van transportation when the student has a broken leg or temporary accessible parking for a student using crutches for a short period. If you are unable to make your own arrangements, please contact DSS (777-3425). Unlike services and/or accommodations provided to eligible students with disabilities, the University is NOT obligated to provide courtesy services.

Resolution of Problems

Should a problem occur, you should speak to your instructor first. If the problem is not resolved, meet with insert name of conflict mediator or ombudsperson if available in your department, otherwise delete this sentence. If the problem continues to be unresolved, go to the department chair, and next to the college Dean. Should the problem persist, you have the right to go to the Provost next, and then to the President.

Notice of Nondiscrimination

It is the policy of the University of North Dakota that no person shall be discriminated against because of race, religion, age, color, gender, disability, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, veteran’s status, or political belief or affiliation and the equal opportunity and access to facilities shall be available to all. Concerns regarding Title IX, Title VI, Title VII, ADA, and Section 504 may be addressed to: Donna Smith, Director of Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Title IX Coordinator, 401 Twamley Hall, 701.777.4171, UND.affirmativeactionoffice@UND.edu or the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Dept. of Education, 500 West Madison, Suite 1475, Chicago, IL 60611 or any other federal agency.

Reporting of Sexual Violence

If you or a friend has experienced sexual violence, such as sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, or sex-based harassment, please contact UND’s Title IX Coordinator, Donna Smith, for assistance: 701.777.4171; donna.smith@UND.edu; or visit the Title IX webpage.

Faculty Reporting Obligations Regarding Sexual Violence

It is important for students to understand that faculty are required to share with UND’s Title IX Coordinator any incidents of sexual violence they become aware of, even if those incidents occurred in the past or are disclosed as part of a class assignment. This does not mean an investigation will occur if the student does not want that, but it does allow UND to provide resources to help the student continue to be successful at UND. If you have been the victim of sexual violence, you can find information about confidential support services on the Title IX webpage.

UND Cares Program

The UND Cares program seeks to educate faculty, staff and students on how to recognize warning signs that indicate a student is in distress.

How to Seek Help When in Distress

We know that while college is a wonderful time for most students, some students may struggle. You may experience students in distress on campus, in your classroom, in your home, and within residence halls. Distressed students may initially seek assistance from faculty, staff members, their parents, and other students. In addition to the support we can provide to each other, there are also professional support services available to students through the Dean of Students and University Counseling Center. Both staffs are available to consult with you about getting help or providing a friend with the help that he or she may need. For more additional information, please visit the UND Cares program Webpage.

How to Recognize When a Student is in Distress

The term “distressed” can mean any of the following:

  • Student has significant changes in eating, sleeping, grooming, spending, or other daily activities.
  • Student has cut off or minimized contact with family or friends.
  • Student has significant changes in performance or involvement in academics, sports, extracurricular, or social activities.
  • Student describes problems (missing class, not remembering, destructive behavior) that result from experiences with drinking or drugs.
  • Student is acting withdrawn, volatile, tearful, etc.
  • Student is acting out of character or differently than usual.
  • Student is talking explicitly about hopelessness or suicide.
  • Student has difficulty concentrating or difficulty carrying on normal conversation.
  • Student has excessive dependence on others for company or support.
  • Student reports feeling out of control of one’s emotions, thoughts, or behaviors.

UND Cares about Your Success

Important information is available to you through Starfish, which is an online system used to help students be successful. When an instructor observes student behaviors or concerns that may impede academic success, the instructor may raise a flag that notifies the student of the concern and/or refer the student to their academic advisor or UND resource. Please pay attention to these emails and take the recommended actions. They are sent to help you be successful!

Starfish also allows you to (1) schedule appointments with various offices and individuals across campus, (2) request help on a variety of topics, and (3) search and locate information on offices and services at UND.

You can log into Starfish by clicking on Logins on the UND homepage and then selecting Starfish. A link to Starfish is also available in Blackboard once you have signed in.

Ensure Accessibility

To comply with the latest accessibility guidelines, documents posted online, including, but not limited to, Adobe PDF files, Microsoft Word documents, Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, and online flipbooks, must be screen-reader friendly. For directions on how to make your syllabus and other course materials accessible, visit the Creating Accessible Content webpage on the TTaDA site.