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IES Grant

Title: An Efficacy Study of the Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes Complete Intervention for Upper Elementary Students
Center: NCSER Year: 2023
Principal Investigator: Kurki, Anja Awardee: American Institutes for Research (AIR)
Program: Reading, Writing, and Language      [Program Details]
Award Period: 5 years (07/01/2023 – 06/30/2028) Award Amount: $3,799,912
Type: Initial Efficacy Award Number: R324A230040

Co-Principal Investigator: Bowdon, Jill

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to test the impact of the Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes (LBLP) Complete program on interventionist behavior and the reading outcomes of students with or at risk for reading disabilities in upper elementary schools. There is a clear need for effective and scalable reading interventions that can accelerate growth in reading for students with or at risk for reading disabilities. The LBLP is an intervention package that is used by more than 500 school districts in Grades 3-5 to deliver Tier 2 and Tier 3 reading instruction. However, it has only limited evidence from small-scale randomized control trials and quasi-experiments conducted in tutoring centers. This project will rigorously evaluate the LBLP Complete program as delivered in schools and will collect information on its implementation, cost, and cost effectiveness. 

Project Activities: To examine the efficacy of the LBLP Complete program, researchers will conduct a randomized controlled trial, randomly assigning schools to either a business-as-usual control condition or to the LBLP condition. Schools in the LBLP condition will be trained to use the intervention in Tier 2 and Tier 3 reading intervention settings for Grades 3-5. The effects of the LBLP Complete program on interventionist behavior and student reading outcomes will be examined. In addition, the study team will collect and analyze data to assess implementation fidelity, the treatment-control contrast, and the cost and cost effectiveness of the intervention.

Products: This project will result in evidence of the efficacy of the LBLP Complete program for students with or at risk for reading disabilities in Grades 3-5, and information about the costs of implementing this intervention and its cost effectiveness. The project will also result in a final dataset to be shared, peer-reviewed publications and presentations, and additional dissemination products that reach education stakeholders.

Structured Abstract

Setting: This research will take place in 50 public elementary schools in Florida and Arizona.

Sample: Approximately 900 students in Grades 3-5 who are eligible for Tier 2 or Tier 3 reading interventions and 300 district reading interventionists will participate in this research.

Intervention: The LBLP Complete program is a multicomponent supplemental intervention to increase reading skills and achievement. In the LBLP Complete program, students are assessed with a battery of diagnostic reading assessments to understand their strengths and needs. Then, they receive differentiated explicit instruction in small groups from a trained interventionist. Depending on student needs as determined by the diagnostic battery, the focus of the instruction may be on becoming more automatic at decoding and recognizing words, visualizing and verbalizing strategies for reading comprehension, or both.

Research Design and Methods: This project will use a randomized control trial, with randomization at the school level, to compare LBLP Complete to a business-as-usual control. Treatment schools will receive professional training and supports for LBLP and implement the LBLP Complete as part of Tier 2 and Tier 3 instruction, with no changes to Tier 1 reading instruction. Initial outcomes will be measured in Year 2 of the project. Follow-up outcome data will be collected in Year 3 of the project. After measurement of outcomes is complete, the control group will gain access to the LBLP Complete intervention. Researchers will measure fidelity of implementation with observations of trainings and site visits and by collecting logs from coaches and interventionists. Researchers will measure the contrast between services received by the treatment and control groups using surveys.

Control Condition: Control schools will continue to use their business-as-usual Tier 2 and 3 reading interventions with no changes to Tier 1 reading instruction.

Key Measures: The research team will measure student reading outcomes using the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test and scores on computer-based state standardized reading tests. Researchers will measure interventionists' explicitness of instruction and degree of differentiation with a modified version of the Classroom Observations of Student-Teacher Interactions. To measure implementation fidelity and treatment-control contrast, researchers will use data from checklists, logs, and surveys. The extent to which schools are implementing multi-tiered systems of support prior to implementation will be measured using the Multi-Tiered System of Support Fidelity of Implementation filled out by principals.

Data Analytic Strategy: The research team will use a two-level hierarchical linear model with interventionists nested within schools to estimate the effect of LBLP Complete on the explicitness of instruction and degree of differentiation in instruction. They will use a three-level hierarchical linear model with students nested in interventionists nested in schools to estimate the effects of LBLP Complete on student reading outcomes. The team will use differential impact analyses to examine whether effects are moderated by students' reading scores at pre-test, students' demographic characteristics, and the implementation of multi-tiered systems of support in schools. Researchers will test the extent to which explicit instruction and differentiated instruction mediate effects of the intervention on student reading outcomes.

Cost Analysis: The research team will conduct a cost analysis by applying an ingredients framework approach. After calculating the overall cost of the intervention, the research team will pair the cost estimates with the primary impact estimate on student reading achievement to estimate the program's cost effectiveness.