Tangerine is an open-source, browser-based, offline application that simplifies and improves the quality of data collection and analysis for Early Grade Reading Assessments (EGRA) and Early Grade Math Assessments (EGMA).
Tangerine is easy to use and compatible with a number of mobile devices and local languages. The application uses open source libraries (such as CouchDB and JQuery) and requires limited internet access only when saving assessments and uploading results to the server. RTI International manages a central database of information and makes the source code available for anyone to use, modify and manage on their own server if they choose. In addition to measuring students' reading and math skills, Tangerine can be used for questionnaires and surveys for students, parents, teachers, and principals as well as school and classroom inventories.
Tangerine maximizes cost efficiency by saving paper, field work, and time and is equipped with validation and quality assurance features so assessors can concentrate more on the results and less on the data collection process. Tangerine provides consistent and reliable data with fewer measurement and data errors normally caused by human error. Test scoring and reporting take a fraction of the time so schools and policymakers can have immediate access to the data and respond effectively to the needs of their students.
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CEI approaches in action
Over 173,000 observations have been conducted. These observations include EGRAs in various languages; EGMAs; interviews with teachers, head teachers, and parents; surveys; and school observations and inventories.
Since the initial field trial use of Tangerine in Kenya in January 2012, numerous organizations and national governments have adopted the use of Tangerine for EGRA and EGMA testing. Tangerine has been used to collect data on more than 60,000 students in 15 countries and is currently being piloted or introduced in another 5 countries.
RTI International seeks to grow Tangerine's community of participants and is considering expanding its compatibility to Apple products. Work is currently under way to do the final evaluation of a year-long randomized controlled field trial of Tangerine:Class, a version of Tangerine customized to assist teachers with continuous reading and mathematics assessments to inform instructional decision making on a classroom level.
Monitoring & Evaluation
Prior to the official use of Tangerine, a field trial in Kenya was conducted in January 2012 that tested 200 children in 10 different schools. RTI International continually monitors data collected to ensure the software is working properly and provide feedback to enumerators in the field to improve their work.
Enumerators have expressed a near-universal preference for the software over paper-based testing
RTI International has conducted a cost analysis of the software and determined that, for large-scale data collection and repeated applications (ie, baseline midterm, and final evaluations), Tangerine is more cost effective than paper-based assessments. Some countries have demonstrated over 40% in savings; this figure does not take into account an overall increase in the quality of the data collected.