The American multinational technology company Microsoft is launching a new Reading Progress feature to its video meet and collaboration platform Microsoft Teams.
Students will be able to record themselves reading a passage of text, which will help them enhance their reading fluency. Teachers will be able to measure accuracy rates and mispronunciations, among other things, through this feature.
COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way of life and the very meaning of what was considered natural until a few years ago. Teachers can no longer test a student’s reading fluency in person. Microsoft’s latest feature will help in the resolution of this issue.
During the pandemic, when teachers found it difficult to assess reading fluency remotely, the company is said to have accelerated its work on the latest Reading Progress feature. Since October, Microsoft has been testing a beta version of the feature with more than 350 teachers, and the company is now ready to release it as a free addition.
The feature will allow teachers to measure the speed, accuracy, and expression of reading. Though the feature is expected to support a variety of dialects and accents soon, it will initially be limited to a US English audience.
Teachers will be able to turn off auto-detection and manually view the student’s performance with this feature. This will allow teachers to watch a video of a student reading and then manually grade it.
Teachers may also adjust the feature’s sensitivity to assess students with speech disabilities or dyslexia. The technology is powered by Azure on the backend. The technology is powered by Azure on the backend.
In addition to supporting children in elementary schools, the company hopes that the new feature will be used to assist with reading fluency in special education and adult literacy. Microsoft Teams currently has over 145 million regular active users around the world. Over the last year, the company has introduced more than 300 new features to Teams, with more than 100 new capabilities added in 2021 alone.