WWC review of this study

Improved reading skills by students in Seminole County School District who used Fast ForWord® to Reading 1 and 2.

Scientific Learning Corporation. (2005). MAPS for Learning: Educator Reports, 9(17), 1–6.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
    , grades

Reviewed: March 2013

No statistically significant positive
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Comprehension outcomes—Substantively important positive effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Degrees of Reading Power (DRP) Test

Fast ForWord® vs. business as usual


Grades 2 and 3;
38 students





Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

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    Not Hispanic or Latino    


The study was conducted in an urban pre-K to fifth grade elementary school in Fern Park, Florida.

Study sample

During the spring of the 2004–05 school year, 15 second-grade students and 23 third-grade students participated in the study. Using random assignment stratified by grade, academic skill level, and previous Fast ForWord® use, 20 students were assigned to the Fast ForWord® group and 20 students to a comparison group. Two students assigned to the comparison group later dropped out of the study, so the analysis was conducted with a sample of 18 students in the comparison group. Sixteen study participants had used one or more of the Fast ForWord® products before participating in the study; however, none had previously used Fast ForWord® to Reading 1 or 2, the focus of this study. At the study school, approximately 56% of the students were Caucasian, 22% were Hispanic, and 21% were African American. Nearly two-thirds of students in the study were receiving free or reduced-price lunch, compared with 57% of students at the school.

Intervention Group

All students in the Fast ForWord® group used the Fast ForWord® to Reading 1 or 2 products. The Fast ForWord® to Reading 1 and 2 protocols called for students to use the product for 48 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for 4–8 weeks. Students were pulled out of class to use the program in a computer lab, where a certified teacher and a paraprofessional oriented the students to the product and made sure they understood the tasks. Once the students started the product, no assistance was given.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison group took part in the regular school curriculum.

Outcome descriptions

The Degrees of Reading Power (DRP) test was used as both the pretest and the posttest. For a more detailed description of this outcome measure, see Appendix B.

Support for implementation

The intervention teachers were given background information on how phonemic awareness and the acoustic properties of speech can impact development of language and reading skills. They were then trained to implement the program, including approaches for using Progress Tracker, the program’s reporting system, to monitor student performance. Teachers were also trained to assess potential participants for the study and assess student outcomes.

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Scientific Learning Corporation. (2005). Seminole County School District, FL: Educator’s briefing. Oakland, CA: Author. Retrieved from http://www.scilearn.com

Reviewed: August 2010

Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Study sample characteristics were not reported.

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