Reviewed: March 2013
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.
Free or reduced price lunch
| Not Hispanic
The study was conducted in an urban pre-K to fifth grade elementary school in Fern Park, Florida.
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.
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.
Students in the comparison group took part in the regular school curriculum.
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.