Reviewed: August 2010
Meets WWC standards with reservations
Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.
Free or reduced price lunch
The study took place in four elementary schools in the Springfield City School District in Ohio.
Fourth-grade students who did not pass the fall 2002 Ohio Proficiency Test from four Title I designated schools were eligible to participate in the study. Each elementary school established its own method of identifying treatment and comparison group students for the study. The comparison group was formed by selecting 50 students with test scores from both fall 2002 and spring 2003 who had no exposure to Fast ForWord® products. The intervention and comparison groups were shown to be equivalent on the Ohio Reading Proficiency Test pretest scores. In all, 41 students who used the Fast ForWord® products and 50 students in the comparison group were included in the analysis sample.
The study used Fast ForWord® Language, Fast ForWord® Language to Reading, and Fast ForWord® to Reading 3 products. The Fast ForWord® Language protocol called for students to use the product for 100 minutes a day, five days a week, for four to eight weeks. The Fast ForWord® Language to Reading and Fast ForWord® to Reading 3 protocols called for use of the product for 90 minutes a day, five days a week, for four to eight weeks. Students included in the treatment group were required to have used Fast ForWord® products for 20 or more days. Schools used different implementation models, with some schools having students use the products in the back of the classroom, and other schools sending students to computer labs that served between 7 and 24 students. The study reported students’ outcomes after one semester of program implementation.
The study did not describe the comparison condition. Presumably, the comparison group received the regular school curriculum.
The Ohio Reading Proficiency Test (a statewide assessment) was administered in the year of the study, before and after the intervention. For a more detailed description of this outcome measure, see Appendix A2.3.
Support for implementation
At each participating school, educators were trained in current and established neuroscience findings on how phonemic awareness and the acoustic properties of speech affect development of language and reading skills, information on the efficacy of the products, methods for assessment of potential candidates for participation, the selection of appropriate measures for testing and evaluation, effective implementation techniques, approaches for using Progress Tracker reports to monitor student performance, and techniques for measuring the gains students have achieved after they have finished using Fast ForWord® products.