WWC review of this study

The Effect of Tutoring with Nonstandard Equations for Students with Mathematics Difficulty [Standard + non standard equation (combined) tutoring vs. standard equation tutoring]

Powell, Sarah R., Driver, Melissa K., Julian, Tyler E. (2015). Journal of Learning Disabilities, 48(5), 523–534. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1070884

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    37
     Students
    , grade
    2

Reviewed: February 2023

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Algebra and Algebraic Reasoning outcomes—Substantively important positive effect found for the domain
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
Evidence
tier

Open Equations (Powell, Driver, et al., 2015)

Standard and nonstandard equation tutoring—Powell et al. (2015) vs. Standard equation tutoring—Powell et al. (2015)

3 Days

Standard and nonstandard equation tutoring vs Standard equation tutoring;
37 students

9.71

9.43

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Open Equations- Nonstandard equations (Powell, Driver, et al., 2015)

Standard and nonstandard equation tutoring—Powell et al. (2015) vs. Standard equation tutoring—Powell et al. (2015)

3 Days

Standard and nonstandard equation tutoring vs Standard equation tutoring;
37 students

5.94

5.33

Yes

 
 
27

Open Equations: Standard equations (Powell, Driver, et al., 2015)

Standard and nonstandard equation tutoring—Powell et al. (2015) vs. Standard equation tutoring—Powell et al. (2015)

3 Days

Standard and nonstandard equation tutoring vs Standard equation tutoring;
37 students

3.45

4.14

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

Equivalence Problems

Standard and nonstandard equation tutoring—Powell et al. (2015) vs. Standard equation tutoring—Powell et al. (2015)

3 Days

Standard and nonstandard equation tutoring vs Standard equation tutoring;
37 students

4.15

1.41

Yes

 
 
38
 

Equal Sign Tasks

Standard and nonstandard equation tutoring—Powell et al. (2015) vs. Standard equation tutoring—Powell et al. (2015)

3 Days

Standard and nonstandard equation tutoring vs Standard equation tutoring;
37 students

6.96

7.67

No

--

Addition Fluency

Standard and nonstandard equation tutoring—Powell et al. (2015) vs. Standard equation tutoring—Powell et al. (2015)

3 Days

Standard and nonstandard equation tutoring vs Standard equation tutoring;
37 students

6.38

8.13

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.


  • 5% English language learners

  • Female: 65%
    Male: 35%
  • Race
    Black
    43%
    Other or unknown
    14%
    White
    43%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic    
    3%
    Not Hispanic or Latino    
    97%

Setting

The study comprises Grade 2 students at risk for mathematical difficulties from 10 schools in two school districts of the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

Study sample

Within the analytic sample, 35 percent were male, 65 percent were female, 43 percent were African American, 43 percent were White, 14 percent were another race, 3 percent were Hispanic, 5 percent were English-language learners, and 16 percent had a school-identified disability.

Intervention Group

For the contrast covered in this review (combined tutoring vs. standard tutoring), combined equation tutoring is considered the intervention condition. Participating students in both tutoring conditions (combined and standard) began tutoring the second week of April. Tutoring, for both groups, lasted for four weeks with sessions conducted three times per week (12 sessions total) by one of six tutors. Sessions lasted 10 to 15 minutes each. Three activities occurred during each combined tutoring session: flash cards, tutor-led lesson, and paper-pencil review. In total, 12 lessons were provided by the tutor across the 12 sessions. Across the 12 lessons, students with mathematics difficult in the combined equation tutoring condition worked on nonstandard and standard equations. In a standard equation, the equal sign is in the standard position: number, operator symbol, number, equal sign, and number (e.g., 2 + 9 = 11; 3 + __ = 7). In a nonstandard equation, the equal sign is in a nonstandard position.

Comparison Group

For the contrast covered in this SRG (combined tutoring vs. standard tutoring), standard equation tutoring is considered the comparison condition. Participating students with mathematics difficulty in both tutoring conditions (combined and standard) began tutoring the second week of April. Tutoring, for both groups, lasted for four weeks with sessions conducted three times per week (12 sessions total) by one of six tutors. Sessions lasted 10 to 15 minutes each. Three activities occurred during each standard tutoring session: flash cards, tutor-led lesson, and paper-pencil review. In total, 12 lessons were provided by the tutor across the 12 sessions. Across the 12 lessons, students with mathematics difficulty in the standard equation tutoring condition only worked on standard equations. In a standard equation, the equal sign is in the standard position: number, operator symbol, number, equal sign, and number (e.g., 2 + 9 = 11; 3 + __ = 7).

Support for implementation

Six tutors participated in the study: five graduate students in education-related fields and one project coordinator with a graduate degree in education. Tutors participated in a two-hour training to become familiar with and practice the tutoring programs of both tutoring conditions. Tutors also met with the project coordinator at the end of the first and third weeks of tutoring for discussion and the resolution of any issues related to student behavior.

 

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