Comparing Spoken Versus iPad-Administered Versions of a Narrative Retell Assessment Tool in a Practice-Based Research Partnership

Lang Speech Hear Serv Sch. 2024 Jul;55(3):976-984. doi: 10.1044/2024_LSHSS-23-00022. Epub 2024 Feb 23.


Purpose: In the current age of greater digital delivery of services, it is important to examine the validity and differences between spoken and digital delivery of materials. The current study is a practice-based research partnership between school-based speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and researchers, evaluating presentation effects and validity of a narrative retell assessment tool created by SLPs.

Method: Fifty-one children across kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2 completed the narrative retell task, retelling One Frog Too Many and Frog Goes to Dinner in three in-person story presentation conditions administered 1 week apart: spoken, iPad with audio-recorded natural rate of speech, and iPad with slow rate of speech. This was followed by 10 comprehension questions related to story events. Children also completed the Story Retelling subtests from the Test of Integrated Language and Literacy Skills (TILLS).

Results: Children recalled significantly fewer events in the spoken condition compared to audio-recorded iPad conditions. No significant effect of speaking rate was found. Presentation condition and rate did not affect performance on comprehension questions. Correlations among retell measures and corresponding subtests on a standardized language test ranged from weak to strong, providing some evidence of concurrent validity.

Conclusions: This practice-based research partnership provided valuable insight into differences in delivery modality as well as the validity of a school-based SLP created narrative retell assessment tool. This study found that rate did not impact recall of events or performance on comprehension questions. Additionally, children performed better on narrative retell measures when stories were told using an iPad. This highlights the potential for iPad delivery as an option in narrative retell tasks. Finally, this study provided an initial examination of the Narrative Evaluation Tool's validity, finding the tool captures ability to recall narrative events; however, future studies are needed to examine the tool's validity as a measure of narrative comprehension.

Supplemental material:

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comprehension
  • Computers, Handheld*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language Tests
  • Male
  • Narration*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Speech
  • Speech-Language Pathology / methods