Getting started with LASS 11-15

Correct time, date and date format used by your computer

Before you install the LASS 11-15 program it is important that your computer is configured to use dates correctly. LASS has to calculate students’ ages using their date of birth and the computer system date. Ensure that the computer’s system date is accurate (in Windows ® you can check the date and time using the digital clock/calendar at the extreme right of the Task Bar). For users in the UK, Eire and many other English-speaking countries you should use the computer’s Regional Settings (see Windows ® Control Panel) to check that the Short Date style used by the computer is in the format dd/mm/yy.

If you are in North America you should be using the American version of LASS 11-15, which is called LASS Senior. You should then use the appropriate date format mm/dd/yy. If your computer is brand new please check that the Regional Settings, including the Short Date style are configured appropriately.

Installing LASS 11-15

Installation of LASS is straightforward.

To view the start-up menu screen put the LASS CD in the CD-drive.

On the Windows desktop select Start and then Run and enter the command line:

D:\SETUP

where D is your CD drive letter. The start-up menu has options to install the software (and database components if you are using the networked version) and to view the user manuals in Adobe Acrobat ®.

You can obtain a free copy of the Acrobat ® Reader ® from www.adobe.com.

Running LASS 11-15 - Serial Number and password

After installation you should launch the LASS 11-15 program from its Desktop icon. If this is the first time you have used LASS you will be required to register your software by entering details for the licensee, school or institution and serial number. The serial number will be found in the inside of the DVD case in which the CD was delivered.

Whenever you run LASS 11-15 you will need to enter the administrator password. Your password is initially set to lucid (all letters lower case) You can alter this password at any time should you wish to.

For information on registering new students, deleting students, archiving, security settings and passwords, please consult the LASS 11-15 Software Guide, which can be found on the LASS CD as an Adobe ® PDF file, or can be viewed from within the LASS program as a web page.

Using the tests in LASS 11-15

Before administering any test in LASS please read Chapters 2 and 3. Together, these provide detailed guidance on how to select LASS tests and administer them. Although LASS 11-15 is mostly used in schools, it may also be used in other settings, and by professionals other than teachers. Nevertheless, for convenience throughout this manual, the term ‘teacher’ is typically used to refer to the person supervising the test administration. Where appropriate, the terms ‘test administrator’ or ‘supervisor’ may be substituted for ‘teacher’.

Interpreting LASS 11-15 results

Before attempting to interpret LASS 11-15 results, and especially when drawing up an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or considering educational provision for any student in detail, teachers are strongly advised to consult Chapters 4 and 5. Chapter 7 provides case studies in interpreting LASS results, which teachers will find very helpful.

Results obtained from LASS are analysed in relation to norms in 12-month age bands, and are shown as centile scores (or standard deviations) on a graphical profile that can be printed out. In addition, detailed results from every item delivered to the student are accessible to the teacher. The system is maintained under password security, so that the teacher is in complete control of what tests the students are permitted to do, and only the teacher has access to results.

Interpretation of results obtained from LASS is straightforward. It is easy to spot students who are under-performing in literacy in relation to their age and/or intellectual potential. It is also straightforward to verify if any difficulties are likely to be of a dyslexic nature — i.e. caused by underlying cognitive problems in phonology and/or memory. All this information can be used in formulating Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and is valuable when deliberating whether or not to request a formal assessment by an Educational Psychologist. LASS 11-15 can also be used on a regular basis (e.g. every term) to monitor progress in reading and spelling, or check development in phonic skills. 

Teaching activities and resources

Chapter 6 provides guidelines and suggestions regarding teaching activities and resources that may be adopted in cases where LASS results indicate a problem or potential problem in the student’s learning. This is supplemented by further information and resources on the Lucid website (www.lucid-research.com), which is updated from time-to-time. In particular, since going to press, educational software that is recommended in this manual may have been withdrawn from sale, superseded or augmented by new programs. The case studies in Chapter 7 also include suggestions on learning and teaching, and in Chapter 8 Anita Keates describes how LASS 11-15 and LASS 8-11 have been implemented in two different schools.

Use of LASS does not imply any obligation to follow a particular line of teaching, and teachers, as professionals, will naturally wish to use their own judgement regarding what is, and is not, suitable for any given student. Nevertheless, it is strongly recommended that teachers read the teaching advice provided in this manual, as it is likely that they will find ideas and strategies that they had not previously considered. This is especially likely if the teacher is not very experienced in working with students who have specific learning difficulties.

To keep up to date with software developments and other teaching resources, teachers should consult the Lucid website (www.lucid-research.com). In addition, the British Dyslexia Association publishes information on recommended software and teaching materials (www.bdadyslexia.org.uk).

Training courses

Training courses in the use and interpretation of LASS may be available through Lucid-approved third party organisations, usually within the UK.

For further information please contact Lucid, or visit the website (www.lucid-research.com).

Troubleshooting

Problems in running Lucid assessment software are rare; those that do occur are usually related to installation or connection problems on school or college networks, User Account restrictions, computer date and time inaccuracies and incorrect Regional settings on computers. Lucid’s technical support team can usually resolve these types of issues fairly quickly - please contact us if you need help. It is often quicker and more efficient to use email, as an initial exchange of information may be required to diagnose and resolve an issue. Initial information which will be required by Lucid includes (1) Software title (2) Software version number (3) Software serial number (4) Software licence details.

The technical support email address is technical@lucid-research.com.

You can also contact Lucid by telephone during office hours 9-5 Monday to Friday (GMT). See our website www.lucid-research.com for contact details.