WWC review of this study

An evaluation of computer-assisted instruction in phonological awareness with below average readers.

Barker, T., & Torgesen, J. K. (1995). Journal of Educational Computing Research, 13(1), 89–103.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    48
     Students
    , grade
    1

Reviewed: June 2012

Study sample characteristics were not reported.
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: September 2006

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

Production Test of Segmenting

DaisyQuest vs. Hint and Hunt software

Posttest

At-risk first graders;
48 students

7.51

3.27

Yes

 
 
39
More Outcomes

Undersea Challenge

DaisyQuest vs. Math software

Posttest

At-risk first graders;
48 students

10.49

9.4

Yes

 
 
37

Production Test of Segmenting

DaisyQuest vs. Math software

Posttest

At-risk first graders;
48 students

7.51

3.5

Yes

 
 
35

Undersea Challenge

DaisyQuest vs. Hint and Hunt software

Posttest

At-risk first graders;
48 students

10.49

9.41

Yes

 
 
33

Phoneme Elision Task

DaisyQuest vs. Hint and Hunt software

Posttest

At-risk first graders;
48 students

4.38

2.41

Yes

 
 
27

Woodcock-Johnson (WJ): Word Analysis subtest

DaisyQuest vs. Hint and Hunt software

Posttest

At-risk first graders;
48 students

2.92

1.28

No

 
 
24

Phoneme Elision Task

DaisyQuest vs. Math software

Posttest

At-risk first graders;
48 students

4.38

2.43

No

 
 
23

Sound categorization

DaisyQuest vs. Math software

Posttest

At-risk first graders;
48 students

9.14

6.1

No

 
 
23

Woodcock-Johnson (WJ): Word Identification subtest

DaisyQuest vs. Hint and Hunt software

Posttest

At-risk first graders;
48 students

16.35

11.59

No

 
 
22

Woodcock-Johnson (WJ): Word Identification subtest

DaisyQuest vs. Math software

Posttest

At-risk first graders;
48 students

16.35

12.39

No

 
 
17

Experimental Non-Word Reading

DaisyQuest vs. Hint and Hunt software

Posttest

At-risk first graders;
48 students

21.84

18.73

No

 
 
12

Production Test of Blending

DaisyQuest vs. Math software

Posttest

At-risk first graders;
48 students

7.3

5.94

No

 
 
12

Woodcock-Johnson (WJ): Word Analysis subtest

DaisyQuest vs. Math software

Posttest

At-risk first graders;
48 students

2.92

2.03

No

 
 
11

Experimental Non-Word Reading

DaisyQuest vs. Math software

Posttest

At-risk first graders;
48 students

21.84

19.38

No

--

Production Test of Blending

DaisyQuest vs. Hint and Hunt software

Posttest

At-risk first graders;
48 students

7.3

6.37

No

--

Sound categorization

DaisyQuest vs. Hint and Hunt software

Posttest

At-risk first graders;
48 students

9.14

8.43

No

--

Analog Reading Task

DaisyQuest vs. Hint and Hunt software

Posttest

At-risk first graders;
48 students

12.23

12.12

No

--

Analog Reading Task

DaisyQuest vs. Math software

Posttest

At-risk first graders;
48 students

12.23

12.56

No

--
Study sample characteristics were not reported.

Setting

This study took place at two elementary schools.

Study sample

Participants were the 54 students who met eligibility criteria (scoring below the 40th percentile on the Woodcock-Johnson Word Identification subtest) and the sound categorization measure (below 50th percentile). Initially, 87 at-risk first graders (approximately 6–7 years old) were nominated by their teachers and screened for study eligibility. The 54 qualifying students were given additional pretests and then randomly assigned to either the intervention or comparison group. Due to attrition, 49 students were in the final analysis sample.

Intervention Group

Intervention students used the DaisyQuest software in a school psychologist’s office in groups of three or four students under the direction of an experimenter. Students wore headphones and used the software independently during intervention sessions that lasted 25 minutes four times a week for eight weeks. Students used both components of the DaisyQuest program. This version of DaisyQuest contained seven instructional activities.

Comparison Group

Two comparison groups were used. Both sets of students used computers for the same amount of time as the intervention group for either an alphabetic decoding program that focused on vowel sounds (Hint and Hunt) or computer-based math programs (including Alien Addition, Math Rabbit, and Math Blaster).

Outcome descriptions

The authors used a battery of tests for pre- and posttests. The Woodcock-Johnson Reading Mastery Word Identification subtest and a sound categorization measure were used as screening measures for eligibility at pretest and as posttests. Students assigned to the study were given an additional seven tests as pre- and posttests: Undersea Challenge, the Woodcock-Johnson Reading Mastery Word Analysis subtest, a phoneme elision task, a production test of segmenting, a production test of blending, experimental nonword reading, and an analog reading task. The vocabulary measure from the Stanford Binet IV-Revised test was also mentioned by authors, but results for this measure were not presented. (See Appendix A2 for a more detailed description of outcome measures.)

Support for implementation

No information was given about teacher training, because teachers did not deliver instruction for any of the groups.

 

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