WWC review of this study

Remediating Computational Deficits at Third Grade: A Randomized Field Trial [Math Flash with fact retreival tutoring vs. Reading Flash with word-identification tutoring]

Fuchs, Lynn S.; Powell, Sarah R.; Hamlett, Carol L.; Fuchs, Douglas; Cirino, Paul T.; Fletcher, Jack M. (2008). Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, v1 n1 p2-32. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ873872

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    67
     Students
    , grade
    3

Reviewed: February 2023

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations
General Mathematics Achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effect found for the domain
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Math Concepts factor score

Math Flash with fact retrieval tutoring vs. Reading Flash with word-identification tutoring

1 Week

Fact Retrieval tutoring vs. word-identification (reading) tutoring;
67 students

-0.08

-0.08

No

--
Whole Numbers Computation outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Fact Retrieval factor score

Math Flash with fact retrieval tutoring vs. Reading Flash with word-identification tutoring

1 Week

Fact Retrieval tutoring vs. word-identification (reading) tutoring ;
67 students

0.49

-0.21

No

--

Procedural Computation factor score

Math Flash with fact retrieval tutoring vs. Reading Flash with word-identification tutoring

1 Week

Fact Retrieval tutoring vs. word-identification (reading) tutoring;
67 students

0.16

-0.15

No

--
Whole Numbers Magnitude Understanding/Relative Magnitude Understanding outcomes—Substantively important positive effect found for the domain
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Computational Estimation

Math Flash with fact retrieval tutoring vs. Reading Flash with word-identification tutoring

1 Week

Fact Retrieval tutoring vs. word-identification (reading) tutoring;
67 students

-0.26

-0.51

No

--
Whole Numbers Word Problems/Problem Solving outcomes—Indeterminate effect found for the domain
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Story Problems factor score

Math Flash with fact retrieval tutoring vs. Reading Flash with word-identification tutoring

1 Week

Fact Retrieval tutoring vs. word-identification (reading) tutoring;
67 students

0.14

-0.08

No

--


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.


  • 12% English language learners

  • Female: 52%
    Male: 48%

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    Tennessee, Texas
  • Race
    Black
    49%
    Other or unknown
    28%
    White
    22%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    21%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    79%

Setting

The study was conducted across 18 schools, 56 third-grade classrooms in Nashville and 24 third-grade classrooms in Houston.

Study sample

For this contrast, two-thirds of students (66 percent) were eligible for free- or reduced-price lunch, 17 percent were special education, and 12 percent were English learners. About half (52 percent) were female.

Intervention Group

There were four groups in this study; for this contrast, the intervention condition was Fact Retrieval tutoring, which consisted of three activities: computer-assisted instruction (7.5 minutes), flash card practice with corrective feedback (4 minutes), and cumulative review with corrective feedback (4 minutes). The computer-assisted instruction used Math Flash in which addition and subtraction problems with answers were briefly displayed (“flashed”) on the computer screen for 1.3 seconds, after which the student was asked to recollect and type the math fact from memory. Typing in the math fact populated a number line illustrating the math fact at the top of the screen. The student received feedback to indicate whether they completed the task correctly, after which a new problem was displayed. The flash card practice involved two types of activities. First, math facts without answers were shown and students were asked to complete the displayed math problem. After students demonstrated sufficient mastery of these types of exercises, they were shown a second type of flash card, which displayed a number line illustrating a math problem. The students were asked to describe the math fact stated by the number line. Cumulative review was a paper-pencil activity, in which students were asked to complete 15 math problems on paper. The tutors then corrected the math problems aloud while the student observed. As with the other three groups in the study, students received 3 sessions per week for 15 weeks for a total of 45 sessions.

Comparison Group

For this contrast, the comparison condition was word-identification (reading) tutoring, which comprised two activities: computer-assisted instruction (7 minutes), and repeated reading (7 minutes with corrective feedback). The computer-assisted instruction used Reading Flash in which words individually “flashed” on the computer screen for 1.3 seconds, after which the student was tasked to type in the word correctly spelled. Repeated reading involved students reading a short story aloud for two minutes while tutors counted the number of words read aloud correctly. Students repeated the task two more times in an attempt to improve the number of words read aloud correctly within the time allotted. As with the other three groups in the study, students received 3 sessions per week for 15 weeks for a total of 45 sessions.

Support for implementation

Tutors were trained over two full days. During the weeks following training, tutors studied the tutoring scripts and practiced implementing the procedures alone and with each other. Tutors then each conducted a session in each study condition with a project coordinator who provided corrective feedback. Research assistants met with project coordinators every two to three weeks to address problems and questions.

 

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