ISR Awards

Burst: Reading Efficacy Study

Project Abstract

(1) Project title: Burst:Reading Efficacy Study

(2) RFA topic and goal: Educational Technology, Efficacy and Replication.

(3) Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy of a computer software program, Burst:Reading, that shows promise of helping teachers differentiate literacy instruction in kindergarten through 3rd grade, and to identify child, classroom, school and community factors that might mediate or moderate the effect of Burst:Reading on students? literacy gains

(4) Intervention: Using the mCLASS handheld application, teachers universally screen students with a series of short, individual assessments in component skills of reading comprehension: phonological awareness, decoding, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The mCLASS-home website produces a real-time class summary of results and employs an algorithm to group at-risk students with similar ability profiles for intensive, explicit instruction. Daily intervention
content aligned directly to students? specific literacy needs is provided to teachers. Based on the results of progress monitoring assessments, curriculum is iteratively adjusted to the changing abilities of students. Burst:Reading?s professional development and fidelity program supports strong implementation of the complete system throughout the school year.

(5) Primary research methods: Longitudinal cluster randomized field trial.

(6) Settings: Schools in New Hanover County School District in North Carolina, Union City School District in New Jersey, Denver Public School District in Colorado, and Providence Public School District in Rhode Island.

(7) Populations: Kindergarten through third grade students from four mid-to-high poverty school districts (Free and Reduced Price lunch eligibility range: 50-93%; median 77%) will participate. Across the districts, the ranges of student ethnicities are as follows: 3-64% (median 19%) White; 1-28% (median 19%) Black; 6-95% (median 57%) Hispanic; and 1-6% (median 3%) Asian.

(8) Control condition: Business-as-usual

(9) Measures and key outcomes: Improved outcomes on the Stanford Achievement Test ? 10th Edition reading subtest

(10) Data analytic strategy: Three-level repeated measures hierarchical linear model