Tangerine® is electronic data collection software designed for use on mobile computers, including tablet computers and Android smartphones. Its primary use is to enable recording of students’ responses in oral early grade reading and mathematics skills assessments, specifically Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA), and interview responses from students, teachers and principals on home and school context information.

Tangerine is optimized for touchscreens, exclaiming Me Tangere!, or Touch Me!, and, like the fruit, the system is mobile, handy, easy to access, and ready to use, with nice, bite-sized pieces or modules. We expect it to have the same worldwide appeal!

To date Tangerine has been used by 18 organizations in 27 countries to collect more than 500,000 observations for Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and Early Grade Math Assessment (EGMA).

Key Features

Photo showing Tangerine running on a Barnes and Noble Nook tablet.

Tangerine is optimized for use on Android tablets, but because we use an open source, web-browser focused approach, Tangerine works on everything from laptops to eReaders and iPhones. Technologies like HTML5 and CouchDB mean that internet access is never a requirement. Furthermore, Tangerine will keep getting better as these community-developed technologies continue to evolve to support new devices and add new features. Finally, Tangerine uses Unicode, so it is compatible with more than 650 languages and writing scripts (including Arabic, Chinese, and many others).

Not only is Tangerine easy to use out in the field, but it also makes it easy for test designers to create new assessments and update existing ones. Users can add subtests, translate instructions, and view results without needing to hire programmers. Specifically, changes are made using a web application that provides a familiar word-processor-like interface.

Technical Details

Tangerine™ uses a variety of cutting-edge open source software libraries, including CouchDB, JQuery, jQuery UIBackbone.js, CoffeeScriptCKEditor, Inflection.js, Moment.js. This provides compatibility across a wide range of mobile devices and operating systems. It also enables the mobile devices to synchronize data automatically with a central database over a wide range of Internet connection types, including mobile phone networks, and provides massive scalability for the central database. The software is developed for touch screen devices, primarily tablet computers or eReaders and runs in a browser but does not require internet connectivity.

CouchDB logo.HTML5 logo.JQuery Mobile logo.Android logo.

Test Development Wizard

Users can customize Tangerine for different contexts and purposes by using a built-in step-by-step test development ‘wizard.’ This allows users to choose exactly which modules they will include, and how they would like the program to respond to specific inputs.

The wizard also allows users to customize for alternative settings and purposes, such as using Tangerine on a desktop computer with a mouse, using it as a data entry interface for cases where paper forms are used, or using it as a classroom tool for continuous assessment with student tracking ability.

We expect to continuously expand Tangerine to include new and revised modules (subtests) for EGRA- and EGMA-type assessments as well as features such as audio recording and audio playback. We will also expand the automatic feedback and data analysis functions to allow for immediate reporting of basic test results and results tracking over time. Recent updates to Tangerine include the use of GPS reporting and the creation of a local satellite server that allows users to render instruments on their local devices without internet access

Subtest Modules

Tangerine now features a range of subtest modules including those most commonly found in Early Grade Reading Assessment instruments, such as Letter Name Knowledge, Familiar Word Identification, Invented Word Decoding, Oral Passage Reading, and comprehension.

Early Grade Math Assessment

Tangerine now also features modules for the Early Grade Mathematics Assessment. Subtests already rendered include Number Identification, Number Discrimination, Missing Number Identification, Addition, Subtraction, and Word Problem Solving.

Snapshot for School Management Effectiveness

Tangerine can now be used to digitally administer the instruments for the Snapshot for School Management Effectiveness (SSME). These instruments include student, parent, teacher, and principal interview protocols, as well as school and classroom inventory tools.


Tangerine was originally developed by RTI and continues to be enhanced to meet the needs of several projects. We encourage other organizations to use Tangerine and to contribute to its further development.


Open source logo.As in the development of EGRA and EGMA, we have embraced an open development process and welcome contributions by other organizations and actors to the library of modules. RTI has released Tangerine under the GNU GPL3 license.

Software and Documentation

GitHub logo.Contribute to Tangerine on GitHub!


More Information

For more information about Tangerine, visit the Tangerine Central website.