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ASTL 5726/6726/7726 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

ASTL 5726/6726/7726 - Diagnosing Literacy Problems K-8 (Literacy IV)

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course engages participants in reading, discussions, and implementation of diagnostic tools and techniques in literacy for struggling students grades K-8. Participants enrolled in the course are expected to give specified reading tests to a minimum of two students.

Course Outcomes:

Literacy IV is based on National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, as well as state Special Licensure Standards 2-7 and 9-10. At the completion of this course, the successful student will be able to the following: 

  1. Express informed understanding of reading and writing processes and factors that affect reading/writing acquisition and reading/ writing proficiency. NBPTS II: Knowledge of the Field of Literacy: Reading-Language Arts; NBPTS IX: Reading
  2. Interpret standardized reading test scores. NBPTS VI: Instructional Decision Making 
  3. Gather appropriate background information for a learner, as a part of the reading assessment. NBPTS I: Knowledge of Learners.
  4. Administer and interpret situation-appropriate diagnostic reading assessments. NBPTS V: Instructional Resources; NBPTS VII: Assessment; NBPTS IX: Reading 
  5. Conduct comprehensive case studies for learners with apparent reading problems. NBPTS VI: Instructional Decision Making 
  6. Produce coherent, easily understandable case reports for the learners with whom he or she has conducted a comprehensive diagnostic case study. NBPTS VI: Instructional Decision Making; NBPTS XIII: Collaboration with Families and Communities
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

Admission to the TN eCampus Masters of Education program and completion of ASTL 5721/6721/7721, ASTL 5723/6723/7723, and ASTL 5725/6725/7725.

Course Topics:

½ Language and Reading

  • Characteristics and Functions of Language as related to Reading Diagnosis 
  • Reading as construction of meaning and the meaning of this in diagnosing reading problems.  
  • Learning to read and write as a literate society

½ Reading Assessment

  • Standardized (often high stakes) reading o Diagnostic and informal reading assessments 
  • Choosing diagnostic assessment procedures appropriate to particular learners and situations 
  • Assessing Special Learners

½ Diagnostic Case Studies & Reports: Field Application

  • Gathering background information 
  • Choosing and administering appropriate diagnostic assessments 
  • Interpreting and analyzing results of assessment 
  • Applying assessment results to remedial instruction 
  • Writing a case report and making recommendations

½ Conferencing with guardians and teachers

Specific Course Requirements:

This course will be completed on-line, therefore, it is necessary that the student have access to the Internet frequently for extended periods of time. In addition, the student needs to have basic computer skills including the ability to browse internet sites, create documents in a word processing program, and upload and download files.

All of your written work is to be computer generated. Remember, you are writing for an audience, and your work should be formatted to facilitate your readers' understanding of the information you report. Because you will be writing your personal philosophy of reading and an assessment/remedial case report for your learner, both of which will be developed and revised over time, you should keep your work on disk. The following activities will be graded to generate your course grade. 

(25pts.) Philosophy of Reading Essay

(25pts.) Obtaining Information from online Mental Measurements Yearbook

(150pts.) Write-ups of Your Assessment Activities with Your Learner 
Compilation of Background Information (30pts.) 
Informal Reading Inventory (20pts.) 
Limited Miscue Analysis (20pts.) 
Concurrent Interview (20pts.)

(100pts.) Written Case Report for Your Learner 
(25pts.) Discussing Your Results with Your Learner's Teacher and/or Parents 
(50pts.) Participation in online discussions per requirements. 
(25pts) Professional Reading from printed or on-line professional journals

Total 400points.

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:
Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Testing Procedures:

Students may be expected to complete an examination in this course. If an exam is scheduled, it must be completed during the designated time period

Grading Procedures:

Evaluation will be based on student performance and active participation. Assignments and discussion responses should be completed by the due date so that the instructor can provide prompt feedback and constructive guidance to the student.

Grading Scale:
90-100%A360-400 points
80-89%B320-359 points
70-79%C280-319 points
0-69%F279 points or below

Participation will be considered in calculating grade

Assignments and Projects:

Philosophy of Reading essay: Due 1 week into semester 
Obtaining Mental Measurements information: Due 2 weeks into semester 
Select learner who will be evaluated: Due 3 weeks into semester 
Compile background information about learner: Due 5 weeks into semester 
Administer Informal Reading Inventory and present results: Due 6 weeks into semester 
Use Miscue Analysis and present results: Due 7 weeks into semester 
Turn in Draft Written Case Report: Due 8 weeks into semester 
Turn in Final Written Case Report: Due 9 weeks into semester 
Discussion of report of meeting with teachers and guardians: Due 11 weeks into semester

Class Participation:

Students must participate in all interactive aspects of the course. Students are expected to communicate with the instructor as a learning resource. In addition, students must check the course bulletin board frequently for announcements, and students must actively participate in threaded discussion events.

Late Policy:

Students are expected to log in a minimum of four to five times per week. All course assignments, discussions, and examinations must be completed by the due date.

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on April 28, 2017