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.
The WWC reviewed the research on first year experience courses, also known as college success courses or freshman seminars, and how they affect the postsecondary outcomes of first-year college students. After reviewing the research, the WWC found that first year experience courses have potentially positive effects on academic achievement, degree attainment, and credit accumulation for postsecondary students.
The WWC examined the research on summer bridge programs and how they impact the postsecondary outcomes of incoming college students. Based on the research reviewed, the WWC found that summer bridge programs have potentially positive effects on attainment for postsecondary students.
This study investigated the impact of access to Internet-enabled technology on student academic performance in a postsecondary course. Through a cluster randomized controlled trial, the study authors randomly assigned introductory economics courses at one institution to one of three conditions in class: 1) no laptops or tablets; 2) restricted use of tables; 3) full access to Internet-enabled laptops and tablets. The study authors reported that students allowed both unrestricted and restricted use of Internet-enabled devices had lower final exam scores than students who did not have access to these devices during class. This study meets WWC group design standards without reservations.
Young learners need strong foundational reading skills to achieve literacy success. Help them develop the skills they need to read words and connected text with accuracy and fluency and discuss those words and text using academic language. Our new practice guide, Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade, can show you how. The guide offers recommendations that educators can use to improve literacy skills in the early grades. Discover ideas to improve instruction in alphabetics, fluency, and oral language skills, including academic vocabulary, and find out how an integrated approach to instruction can help improve early reading achievement.
An updated What Works Clearinghouse report on enVisionMATH incorporates re-reviews of studies using current WWC standards and reviews of five new studies published since the original 2013 report. Based on the updated review of the research, the WWC found that no studies of enVisionMATH meet WWC group design standards. Therefore, the WWC is unable to draw any conclusions based on research about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the curriculum on the mathematics achievement of primary students in grades K-6.
In this quasi-experimental study, researchers examined the effects of music training on the auditory and literacy skills of high school students. The study compared auditory and literacy outcomes of students in a music training program with those in a Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program in the same schools. These groups had differences in the auditory and literacy skills at the beginning of the study, and, because statistical adjustments were not made for these differences, the study does not meet WWC group design standards.
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) reviewed a study that examined whether a school-based supplementary sleep education program improved sleep in elementary school students. The study assigned two schools to receive the Sleep for Success program and one school to a comparison group. The study authors reported that students assigned to receive Sleep for Success improved more in terms of both sleep and grades than the comparison group. The WWC reviewed this study and determined it does not meet group design standards because the comparison group included only one school, so the difference in outcomes between the intervention and comparison groups cannot be attributed solely to the intervention.
The Cognitive Tutor secondary mathematics curriculum offers a variety of courses designed to improve mathematics achievement. The WWC found that Cognitive Tutor Algebra I has mixed effects on algebra achievement and no discernible effects on general mathematics achievement for secondary students. In addition, the WWC found that Cognitive Tutor Geometry has potentially negative effects on geometry achievement for secondary students. No studies that examine Cognitive Tutor Algebra II or Cognitive Tutor Integrated Math I, II, and III meet WWC group design standards; therefore, more research is needed to determine their effectiveness.
A study of the supplementary program Reading Partners, which provides struggling elementary readers with individualized tutoring, has found the program to have positive impacts on reading comprehension, reading fluency, and sight word efficiency for a sample of over 1,200 students in 19 elementary schools in California, New York, and Washington, DC. The study is a randomized controlled trial with low attrition, and the research meets WWC group design standards without reservations.
This report on Accelerated Reader incorporates re-reviews of studies using current WWC standards and reviews of 25 new studies. Accelerated Reader is a computerized supplementary reading program that provides guided reading instruction to students in grades K-12. This review of the program focuses on studies that examine outcomes for beginning readers (students in grades K-3). Based on the updated review of the research, the WWC found Accelerated Reader to have mixed effects on comprehension and no discernible effects on reading fluency for beginning readers.