WWC review of this study

The effect of Earobics (TM) Step 1, software on student acquisition of phonological awareness skills.

Rehmann, R. (2005). Dissertation. Dissertation Abstracts International, 66(07A), 157–2533.

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
     examining 
    35
     Students
    , grades
    K-1
No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards with reservations

Reviewed: January 2009

Alphabetics outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS): Initial Sound Fluency subtest

Earobics® vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Kindergarten;
30 students

17.3

15.1

No

--
More Outcomes

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS): Phoneme Segmentation Fluency subtest

Earobics® vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 1;
35 students

37.2

34.6

No

--

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS): Letter Naming Fluency subtest

Earobics® vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Kindergarten;
31 students

26.7

26.6

No

--

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS): Nonsense Words Fluency subtest

Earobics® vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 1;
35 students

38.6

48.1

No

-14
 
 

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 58% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 45%
    Male: 55%
  • Race
    Black
    8%
    Native American
    17%
    Not specified
    22%
    White
    36%
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    Alaska

Setting

One Title 1 elementary school in Anchorage, Alaska, participated in the study. The intervention was administered in the computer lab or in the student’s regular classroom.

Study sample

At a school with 140 kindergarten and first-grade students (70 at each grade level), the researcher blocked the students by gender and grade, and then randomly selected a sample of 80 students (40 in group 1, 40 in group 2). Among this sample, 14 were discontinued during the study (10 in group 1 and four in group 2), leaving a final analysis sample of 66 students. Students in the study participated in two 10-week intervention phases. During the first phase, group 1 received the intervention and group 2 served as the comparison. In the second phase, group 2 received the intervention and group 1 was the comparison. (The WWC focuses on phase 1 only, because by phase 2, the comparison group had just received the intervention.)

Intervention Group

The intervention group received computerized instruction in phonological awareness with Earobics® Step 1 software 20 minutes a day, three days a week, for a total of 10 weeks. Earobics® Step 1 uses a game format designed to assist students in developing specific phonological awareness and auditory-processing skills. The software consists of six multileveled interactive games with adaptive technology. This was in addition to whole-group direct instruction that the students received together with comparison students.

Comparison Group

While intervention students were engaged with the intervention software, comparison students received an additional 20 minutes of peer or individual classroom activities in a variety of formats dependent on the individual teacher’s program.

Outcome descriptions

Students were tested before and after the intervention using the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) 6th edition and the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP). For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendices A2.1 and A2.2.

Support for implementation

Training was provided in two phases: implementation and data collection. Seven classroom teachers and one Title 1 paraprofessional received training, which was provided by specialists from the developer. Other staff members were trained and available to provide technical support, and additional support was available online and by telephone.

 

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