Quality Assurance Standards for Global Digital Library (GDL) content

The quality assurance (QA) standards below serve as minimum criteria for accepting or rejecting various types of reading materials submitted for upload to the GDL.

The two main content categories for the GDL are Classroom Materials and Library Materials.

Classroom Materials

This content category covers decodable and leveled reading books that are aligned to the national curriculum and have been government approved for use in the classroom. Below are QA standards that apply to all content in this category:

General QA Standards for all Classroom Materials

Item for Verification
Government Approval The book has been approved by the relevant government for use in the classroom either as core or as supplementary reading material
Language Quality There are no spelling or grammar errors
Visual Format Quality Illustrations are clear and provide support to the text
Appropriate Content The book represents different gender, racial, ethnic, majority and minority groups, including people with disabilities, without bias and avoids stereotypes in the text or illustrations
The book demonstrates positive behaviors or attitudes that do not go against values for peacebuilding, concern for others, or good citizenship

Within the Classroom Materials category, there are two sub-categories – Decodable Books and Leveled Books.

Decodable Books

When content is submitted to the GDL as decodable books for instructional use, it should be assessed and verified that the books align with the criteria indicated below, in addition to the General QA Standards referred to above.

Specific QA Standards for Decodable Classroom Books

Item for Verification
Decodability The book aligns directly with a curriculum that incorporates a systematic scope and sequence of skill instruction
The book uses simple, easy to decode words
The book has 75% – 80% of words that are decodable based on previous phonics instruction
The book incorporates a few sight words
Length of sentence and overall text is appropriate for beginner readers

 

Leveled Books

When content is submitted to the GDL as leveled books for instructional use, it should be assessed and verified that the books align with the criteria indicated below, in addition to the General QA Standards referred to above.

Specific QA Standards for Leveled Classroom Books

Item for Verification
Leveling Quality (in relation to leveling guidelines for the relevant language) Number of syllable(s) per word is appropriate for the given reading level
The words used in the story are easily understood by children at the given reading level
Sentence length is appropriate for the given reading level
There is appropriate sentence type and structure for the given reading level
Text density is appropriate to the given reading level
Appropriate Content The story is relevant to children and includes activities familiar to them
The story plot is engaging to children
The story is presented clearly and logically, with sentences and paragraphs that are coherent

Library Materials

This content category covers decodable and levelled reading resources for children’s independent reading and more complex texts that adults can read aloud for children. Most of the resources are books, but the Global Digital Library also links to some digital literacy games.

QA Approach for all Literacy Games

Digital literacy games proposed for inclusion in the Global Digital Library are broadly assessed against the principles embedded in the Guide to developing digital games for early grade literacy for developing countries and – where relevant – against more specific criteria that may have guided the game development process. Based on this assessment, a decision is made on whether to link to the game or not. If a game is localized to new languages, the localization approach for the game is also assessed, and published below:

The EduApp4Syria winning games 

In the EduApp4Syria innovation competition Norad and international partners, including All Children Reading: a Grand Challenge for Development, sought the development of two highly engaging game-based applications. The aim was to help children affected by the Syrian crisis build foundational Arabic literacy skills and improve their psychosocial well-being. Both winners of the competition; Feed The Monster and Antura and the letters, are linked to in their original Arabic versions under the Game category, and can be downloaded to Android devices.

Both games have been tested and quality assured against functional requirements in section 3 of the document “Specification of requirements”, appendix 1 of EduApp4Syria tender documents. The games have open licenses and are free to use.

Feed the Monster is in addition being localized to a number of new languages, and new language versions are added to the Library under the Game category as they become available. Localizations are being done in accordance with the approved Localization approach for Feed the Monster.

Below are QA standards that apply to all books in the Library Materials category:

General QA Standards for all Library Materials 

Item for Verification
Language Quality There are no spelling or grammar errors
Appropriate Content The story plot is engaging to children
The book represents different gender, racial, ethnic, majority and minority groups, including people with disabilities, without bias and avoids stereotypes in the text or illustrations
The book demonstrates positive behaviors or attitudes that do not go against values for peacebuilding, concern for others, or good citizenship

 

Within the Library Materials category, there are three sub-categories of books – Decodable Books, Leveled Books and Read-aloud Books.

Decodable Books

All decodable books in the Library Materials category are – for the time being – in process of being government approved for classroom use. As long as this remains the case, this content will be verified in accordance with all general and specific QA standards for Decodable Classroom Books except the requirement for government approval. When government approval is ready, these resources will be transferred to the Classroom Materials category.

Leveled Books

The leveled books in the Library Materials category follows a less granular and more generic leveling approach than the books verified for classroom use. The GDL levels for this category are based on the leveling approaches used by two large providers of reading content; Pratham Books and African Storybook, where resources for independent reading are leveled from 1-4. The GDL has assessed and approved these leveling systems. To ensure consistency leveled content submitted by other providers must therefore also be leveled from 1-4, and the provider must submit its leveling approach to the GDL for approval ahead of – or together with – submitting any content.

When content is submitted to the GDL as leveled Library books, it should be assessed and verified that the resources align with the criteria indicated below, in addition to the General QA Standards referred to above.

Specific QA Standards for Leveled Library Books

Item for Verification
Leveling quality (in relation to the leveling system used by the provider) The books has been leveled within the range 1-4 in accordance with a GDL-approved leveling approach
Visual Format Quality Illustrations/pictures are of high quality and relevant for the text

Read-aloud books

Read-aloud books are either at a more advanced reading level than Pratham’s or African Storybook’s level 4, or are not leveled at all. There are no specific minimum standards for this category, beyond the general quality standards for all Library Materials category.

Metadata and licensing

These quality assurance standards are in addition to the metadata and licensing standards that apply to GDL-content. GDL metadata and accessibility guidelines can be found here: https://home.digitallibrary.io/formats/, Licenses accepted for GDL content can be found here: https://home.digitallibrary.io/cc/

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