Download About ePIRLS 2016 (pdf)

About ePIRLS 2016


The Internet has become the primary source for obtaining information at work, at home, and for school. Because Internet reading increasingly is becoming one of the central ways students are acquiring information, in 2016, PIRLS was extended to include ePIRLS—an innovative assessment of online reading. ePIRLS is a computer-based assessment that uses an engaging, simulated Internet environment to present fourth grade students with authentic school-like assignments involving science and social studies topics. For examples, see Take the ePIRLS Assessment. An Internet browser window provides students with a website containing information about their assignments, and students navigate through pages with a variety of features, such as graphics, multiple tabs, links, pop-up windows, and animation. In an assessment window, a teacher avatar guides students through the ePIRLS assignments, prompting the students with questions about the online information.

Participating in PIRLS 2016 was a prerequisite for participating in ePIRLS, so that the countries and students participating in ePIRLS are subsets of those that participated in PIRLS 2016 (see About PIRLS). Like PIRLS 2016, the ePIRLS assessment was developed based on the PIRLS 2016 Assessment Framework, used the same quality assurance procedures, and was given to the same students who participated in the PIRLS assessment typically on the next day. Thus, as an extension of PIRLS, ePIRLS results can be considered in the context of the PIRLS results, including comparative achievement on PIRLS and in relation to the PIRLS context questionnaire data.

TIMSS and PIRLS are directed by IEA’s TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center at Boston College in close cooperation with IEA Amsterdam, IEA Hamburg, and Statistics Canada. IEA is an independent international cooperative of national research institutions and government agencies that pioneered international assessments of student achievement in the 1960s to gain a deeper understanding of policy effects across countries’ different systems. IEA has been conducting international assessments of reading literacy and the factors associated with proficient reading comprehension in countries around the world for about 60 years.

The ePIRLS Tasks

The ePIRLS assessment consisted of five tasks with each task lasting up to 40 minutes. Each student was asked to complete two of the tasks according to a specific rotation plan. The assessments were administered via computer (typically PCs) and students entered their answers by clicking on options or typing words.

Because the idea of ePIRLS is new, two of the tasks are available on this website—“Mars” and “Elizabeth Blackwell (the first woman doctor).” The ePIRLS 2016 Example Tasks video provides an overview of the two tasks, and Take the ePIRLS Assessment provides the two tasks in their entirety, so they can be viewed in the same way they were given to students. You can enter your answers and the scoring key is provided.

ePIRLS 2016 Results

The international results for ePIRLS are reported on this website and the results for PIRLS 2016 also can be accessed from here. The ePIRLS 2016 International Results in Online Informational Reading includes four chapters or sections providing numerous exhibits summarizing student achievement on ePIRLS compared to PIRLS overall and at the PIRLS 2016 International Benchmarks. Results also are presented in relation to students’ home and school contexts for learning to read online. The exhibits can be downloaded and printed from the Download Center.