Microsoft Teams has launched a tool to assist students in the reading development process. Named Reading Progress, the novelty allows users to record while they are reading. From this recording, points of improvement are mapped (such as pronunciation errors, for example), hit rate, among other metrics.
The idea of the tool is to provide support not only for students, but also for teachers, who will be able to monitor the performance and evolution of each member of the class.
Learning in times of pandemic
In a normal scenario, teaching and monitoring reading would be done in person in schools, considering a number of aspects, such as the student’s diction, speed and mistakes made.
This proximity, however, was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, which generated the need to implement remote education. Reading Progess arose, therefore, from this gap: the distance between students and teachers, which hindered not only learning, but also teaching.
The tool entered the testing phase in October 2020, with the collaboration of 350 teachers and, before the next school year, it will be released free of charge for use in the school environment. Powered by Azure technology, also from Microsoft, the tool is inclusive. In this way, the teacher can adjust his sensitivity for students with speech disorders or dyslexia.
How does Reading Progress work?
Although we have already painted how Reading Progress works, its possibilities are quite vast. As you can see in the video above, released by Microsoft itself, the reading interface is as intuitive as possible and displays only the text that the student needs to read – which, therefore, avoids possible confusion.
Teachers, who have access to these recordings, can check exactly which words were pronounced incorrectly, in addition to omissions and incorrect additions. All of this is considered in the hit rate, which is also displayed to the teacher. Teams also reports how many words were said per minute, thus measuring the speed of reading. At the end of the performance analysis, the teacher can send feedback to the student through Teams.
So far, the novelty is only available to English-speaking users, but Microsoft intends to include new compatible languages, as well as different accents.