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Institute of Education Sciences


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IES Grant

Title: Reducing Special Education/Reading Risk for Urban Learners through An Oral Reading Fluency Intervention
Center: NCSER Year: 2012
Principal Investigator: Cartledge, Gwendolyn Grantee: Ohio State University
Program: Reading, Writing, and Language Development      [Program Details]
Award Period: 07/01/2012–06/30/2015 Award Amount: $1,394,851
Goal: Development Award Number: R324A120103
Description:

Co-Principal Investigator: Rajiv Ramnath

Purpose: According to the 2009 NAEP fourth-grade reading results, a large gap exists between urban students with disabilities and their national counterparts. In many urban settings, the large teacher-student ratios increase the likelihood that students with the poorest reading skills will not get the needed instruction to become proficient readers. The research team is proposing to develop a computer-based intervention specifically designed for students with disabilities in urban areas. The intervention will provide needed individualized instruction, delivered through voice-activated computer software and designed for guiding students through reading passages, modeling, and correcting oral reading as needed. The intervention is designed to increase the students' oral reading fluency, and it will include culturally relevant passages that reflect the interests and backgrounds of students from urban settings.

Project Activities: Years 1 and 2 will be devoted to product development with the staff creating and integrating the culturally responsive paragraphs and software. The software will recognize and synthesize speech, and it will be designed to provide an instructional sequence that prompts readers through a story, administer pre- and post-lesson assessments, and provide prompts about the lessons. The research team will refine the intervention and conduct a pilot study during year 3. The team will use a multiple baseline design to determine whether the intervention improves students' oral reading fluency and overall reading skills. Visual analysis will be used to determine a functional relationship between the intervention and improved fluency and reading outcomes.

Products: The products of this project include a fully developed intervention to teach oral reading fluency to first- and second-graders who live in urban settings and have or are at risk for reading disabilities, as well as published reports describing its promise for improving outcomes.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The research will take place in urban schools in Ohio.

Sample: Students in first and second grade who have disabilities or are most at risk for reading disabilities will participate in this research. The students will be urban, culturally diverse, and from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

Intervention: The researchers will develop an oral reading fluency intervention to be delivered via computer. The intervention will be interactive and individualized to student need. The intervention passages will be culturally responsive, depict urban students in a variety of natural environments, and reflect students' interests and personal experiences. Each lesson will consist of pre-testing using timed reading of a grade-level passage. The lesson will then present irregular words that are contained in the lesson text, and the student will practice saying these words. The student will then follow along as the story is read and then read and reread the same text. At the end of the lesson, the student will reread the selection during a one-minute timed session. If the student fails to reach a fluency criterion, the student will read the same text during the next session. Once the child reaches the fluency criterion for a particular text, the child will participate in a maze assessment and a one-minute cold reading fluency assessment of a new, grade-level passage.

Research Design and Methods: The first project year will be devoted to product development with the staff developing the culturally responsive paragraphs and software. The software will recognize and synthesize speech, and it will be designed to provide an instructional sequence that prompts readers through a story, administer pre- and post-lesson assessments, and provide prompts about the lessons. The integration of the stories into the software will be completed during the second year of the project. The team will also investigate the feasibility of the integrated intervention during the second year. A multiple baseline design will be used to determine whether the intervention is operating as intended. The team will also develop manuals for school personnel about intervention content and procedures for using the program during the second year. The research team will then refine the intervention and conduct a pilot study during the third year. The team will use a multiple baseline design to determine whether the intervention improves students' oral reading fluency and overall reading skills.

Control Condition: Students' baseline performance provides the control condition.

Key Measures: A variety of student assessment and observational data will be collected. Curriculum-based measures and norm-referenced fluency and reading assessments will be administered to determine whether the intervention improved fluency and reading outcomes. Implementation data will also be collected through direct observations.

Data Analytic Strategy: Visual analysis will be used to determine a functional relationship between the intervention and improved fluency and reading outcomes. The researchers will consider the performance level, the trend or slope within each phase, the variability of the data, the amount of overlap between phases, and the consistency across phases.


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