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While some studies measure student involvement in educational activities during the crisis through phone-based surveys, the literature on assessing learning by phone is almost nonexistent, despite the fact that learning loss has major implications for school dropout and rising inequality. In this article, we draw on our pilot testing of phone-based assessments in Botswana, along with the existing literature on oral testing of reading and mathematics, to propose a series of preliminary principles to guide researchers and service providers as they try phone-based learning assessments.