“No one buys shoes by age. So why sell books this way?”
GL Assessment is the UK’s largest publisher of schools tests, with over 25 years experience. Their tests are used by over 85% of all UK primary and secondary schools every year.
They also own the license for the UK distribution of the Lexile Measure. The Lexile Measure is a framework for measuring the complexity both of a piece of text, and the reading abilities of a child, based on their answers to exam questions. In other words, any school test answer can be run through a Lexile measurement to give the child’s answers a unique value on the Lexile Measure (which runs from 200 – 2000); whole books can also be run through the same measure, and the results used to match-make texts to a child’s reading abilities, plus other categorisations. So, a child with a Lexile Measure of 750 and a passion for cars and planes might be recommended a Jeremy Clarkson book; the range allows for books that “match” or will “stretch” a child’s current abilities.
GLA approached us in 2008 to plan a site for the UK launch of the Lexile Measure at a time when age banding by publishers was being hotly debated. We found the prospect very exciting as GLA illustrated how the Lexile Measure is a very real, popular, and effective alternative to simply giving an “age range”.
We were very excited by this job, as it brought together a number of our passions:
- Literacy and education
- Promoting reading through effective (and smart) recommendations
- The potential to integrate recommendations to the wider web
We planned the site, delivering a full set of Wireframes, Functional Spec, and a plan for integrating the web content management system into their existing IT infrastructure.