University of Oregon Launches Voice-Enabled Assessment for Early Readers

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Behavioral Research and Teaching (BRT) at the University of Oregon has partnered with SoapBox Labs, a provider of voice artificial intelligence technology for kids, to power its CBMskills diagnostic assessment system.

The CBMskills platform incorporates recommendations to support improvement in reading from the National Reading Panel Report, including phonemic awareness, word identification, and oral reading fluency assessments. With CBMSkills and easyCBM, teachers can now ensure that students succeed in learning to read and fluently reading to learn.

Powered by the SoapBox voice engine, the assessment tracks students' progression through timed reading passages for educators to pinpoint where students are making oral fluency errors.

"Although the link between reading fluency and comprehension is widely acknowledged, it's particularly critical for struggling readers. The advancements in speech recognition technology and development of a voice engine like SoapBox that captures the unique rhythms and patterns of young voices allows us to much more effectively and precisely unpack where students are struggling so we can intervene more strategically and more quickly. That's a really exciting development for reading instruction," said Gerald Tinda, director of Behavioral Research and Teaching at the University of Oregon, in a statement. "The collaboration between SoapBox Labs and BRT provides an innovative partnership of research to practice, so teachers can move from data collection to data use in helping students learn to read."

"We are thrilled to be partnering with the College of Education at the University of Oregon, which has long been a pioneer in advancing the field's understanding of how we learn to read, as well as the development of effective tools that put that research into practice," said Martyn Farrows, CEO of SoapBox Labs, in a statement. "This partnership underscores our commitment to revolutionizing language and reading development through technology, and together with the University of Oregon, we're continuing to leverage voice technology to help teachers and students."

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