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Accelerated Reader as a Mechanism for Independent Reading Assessment: Reading Gains in Ninth Graders. Wendy Stephens CECS 5610 April 29, 2006 Dr. Knezek. Existing research. Chenoweth (2001) notes that all existing research failed to meet federal standards of scientific rigor

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accelerated reader as a mechanism for independent reading assessment reading gains in ninth graders

Accelerated Reader as a Mechanism for Independent Reading Assessment: Reading Gains in Ninth Graders

Wendy Stephens CECS 5610 April 29, 2006 Dr. Knezek

slide2

Existing research

Chenoweth (2001) notes that all existing research failed to meet federal standards of scientific rigor

Most work carried out by academics evaluating the efficacy of Accelerated Reader (AR), underwritten by Renaissance Learning

Ross et al. (2004) attempt to structure their study to meet the rigorous experimental guidelines outlined by federal government, but Renaissance Learning's provision of Accelerated Reader materials and monthly in-school consulting free-of-charge on the part of the software company makes this use of the software far from typical

More work is being undertaken to evaluate efficacy so schools can use federal funding (including Title I) to pay for software components

slide3

Design

Type of Design:Ex post facto bivariate and multivariate data analysis using previously collected data.

The proposed model presents a static group comparison, "a design in which a group which has experienced X is compared with one which has not, for the purpose of establishing the effect of X" (Campbell & Stanley, p. 12).

X ------------- 0

------------- 0

Principle:Analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) will control for mediating variables to investigate the relationship between a particular classroom computerized reading practice program and reading gains.

slide4

Variables

Independent variables:

  • the number of books read
  • mean level of books read
  • reading volume
  • percent correct
  • race, gender, and socioeconomic background

Dependent variables:

Growth in scores derived using another Renaissance Learning product, the STAR reading assessment, will be used as pre- and post-test outcome measure.

Improvement, rather than students' overall end reading ability, is the measure under consideration

limitations and design improvement
Limitations and design improvement
  • Single school, grade level, and treatment classroom as a sample of convenience provide the largest limitations to the proposed study. Expanding the study to a variety of school environments would also increase overall reliability.
  • Experimental design improvement at a single school might involve using alternative measures for reading comprehension assessment in some sections of the current AR teacher's classroom, and asking other ninth-grade English teachers to implement AR in some classes as a point of comparison.
  • Pre-test, post-test comparison proposed as an outcome measure would result in data that could be used to contrast the control and treatment groups, though even that design presents many interactions you cannot quantify. Instruction may differ between ninth-grade classroom teachers in ways other than the incorporation of AR, what Topping and Sanders (2000) "significant intra-school variation" (p. 306) or "noise" (p. 308) at the classroom level.
references
References

Campbell, D.T. and Stanley, J.C. (1966). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for research. Chicago: Rand McNally.

Chenowith, K. (2001, Sept.) Keeping score. School Library Journal 47, 48-52.

Everhart, N. (2005, Oct. 7 ). Accelerated reader research -- finally! Presented at the American Association of School Librarians Conference, Pittsburgh, PA.

Melton, C.M., Smothers, B. C., Anderson, E. M., Fulton, R., Replogle, W.H., & Thomas, L. (2004, March). A study of the effects of the Accelerated Reader program on fifth grade students' reading achievement growth. Reading Improvement.

Ross, S.M., Nunnery, J. & Goldfeder, E. (2004). A randomized experiment on the effects of Accelerated Reader/Reading Renaissance in an urban school district: Preliminary evaluation report. Memphis, TN:  The University of Memphis, Center for Research in Educational Policy. Retrieved March 30, 2006 from http://crep.memphis.edu/web/research/pub/Memphis_AR-RR_05-14-04_FINALcr.pdf.

Topping, K.J., and Fisher, A.M. (2002, July 29). Accelerated Reader: U.K. pilot. Presented at the International Reading Association World Congress on Reading, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Topping, K.J. & Paul, T.D. (1999). Computer-assisted assessment of practice at reading: A large scale survey using Accelerated Reader data. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 15: 213-231.

Topping, K.J. & Sanders, W.L. (2000). Teacher effectiveness and computer assessment of reading: Relating value-added and learning information system data. School Effectiveness and School Improvement 11:3, 305-337.

Vollands, S. R. Topping, K.J., & Evans, R. M. (1999). Computerized self-assessment of reading comprehension with the Accelerated Reader: Action research. Reading and Writing Quarterly 15:197-211.