The What Works Clearinghouse releases new reports throughout the year, and also participates in conferences, webinars, and other events. Use our news and events archive to find our reports and activities over time.
Do text message reminders regarding financial aid increase annual federal student aid renewal and college persistence? Using a sample of 808 students, researchers discovered that text messaging the financial aid renewal information significantly affected the rates of persistence from their freshman to their sophomore years for students in 2-year (but not 4-year) institutions. The study was well executed and meets WWC group design standards without reservations.
Researchers recently examined the impacts of two versions of the math instruction program Fraction Face-Off! on the math achievement of 243 fourth-grade students at risk for low mathematics achievement. This well-executed study that meets WWC group design standards without reservations found that both fluency and conceptual versions of the program had positive impacts on math achievement.
Academy of READING is an online program that aims to improve students' reading skills using a structured and sequential approach to learning in five core areas--phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. None of the existing research on the program and its impacts on adolescent readers meets WWC group design standards. More research is needed to determine the programs impacts.
Now available for viewing anytime, this webinar discusses a variety of WWC resources that can help instructors of teacher and school leader preparation programs help their students to make decisions and improve their craft. Watch the rebroadcast and download the transcript!
A recently published study examined the impacts of deviating from a traditional college lecture format to provide increased course structure for undergraduate students in a Biology course. However, because the comparison group was formed from earlier cohorts, time is considered a confounding factor—or a component of the study that is completely aligned with one of the conditions. Therefore, differences between the groups cannot be attributed solely to the intervention, and the study does meet WWC group design standards.
Developed at the Community College of Baltimore County, the Accelerated Learning Program is designed to help students meet the developmental writing requirement and maximize their likelihood of success in English 101. Researchers examined the effectiveness of the Accelerated Learning Program on course completion, credit accumulation, and grades. However, students were not randomly assigned to the intervention and comparison groups, and available information on baseline equivalence included some imputed cases. Currently, the WWC does not allow for the use of imputed data in quasi-experimental studies. Therefore, the research does not meet WWC group design standards.
Updated for 2014! Overwhelmed this college application season? The WWC can help. WWC practice guides and single study reviews offer tips on financial aid, exams, applications, and navigating enrollment. And our new postsecondary topic area page reviews the evidence on postsecondary educational interventions. Get started now!
This study examined whether the Fitness Improves Thinking in Kids (FITKids) after-school program improves executive control, increases aerobic fitness, and lowers body mass index (BMI) in students ages 7–9. The study authors randomly assigned 221 students to participate in FITKids or to be in a comparison group that did not participate in FITKids. Executive control was measured before and after the FITKids program by assessing students’ accuracy and response time on two tasks: an attentional inhibition task and a cognitive flexibility task. The study authors found that the FITKids program led to a statistically significant improvement in aerobic fitness and BMIs, as well as increased accuracy in the attentional inhibition task and in the harder portion of the cognitive flexibility task.
Residential learning communities, or living-learning programs, seek to improve student learning and success by integrating students’ academic and daily living environments. None of the existing research on residential learning communities and developmental education meets WWC group design standards. More research is needed to determine the impacts of these programs on students in developmental education.
Linked learning communities aim to improve academic outcomes by facilitating active learning and integrating themes and concepts in a community-based setting. The WWC found linked learning communities to have no discernible effects on academic achievement, degree attainment, postsecondary enrollment, credit accumulation, and progress for postsecondary students in developmental education.