WWC review of this study

Large-scale randomized controlled trial with 4th graders using intelligent tutoring of the structure strategy to improve nonfiction reading comprehension.

Wijekumar, K., Meyer, B. J. F., & Lei, P. (2012). Educational Technology Research and Development, 60(6), 987-1013. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ986753

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    4,856
     Students
    , grades
    4-5

Reviewed: March 2020

At least one finding shows strong evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Comprehension outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Short Comparison Text: Main Idea Test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Aggregated sample;
4,035 students

3.46

2.65

Yes

 
 
20
 
More Outcomes

Short Comparison Text: Competence Test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Aggregated sample;
4,040 students

4.25

3.71

Yes

 
 
9
 

Short Comparison Text: Total Recall Test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Aggregated sample;
4,073 students

26.17

22.37

Yes

 
 
9
 

Problem/Solution Text: Total Recall Test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Aggregated sample;
4,090 students

17.93

15.76

Yes

 
 
7
 

Gray Silent Reading Test (GSRT)

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Aggregated sample;
4,856 students

32.12

30.42

Yes

 
 
6
 

Problem/Solution Text: Competence Test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Aggregated sample;
4,084 students

3.54

3.21

Yes

 
 
6
 
Show Supplemental Findings

Short Comparison Text: Main Idea Test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

0 Months

Grade: 4;
1,875 students

3.22

2.44

Yes

 
 
43

Problem/Solution Text: Total Recall Test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Grade: 4;
1,910 students

15.36

13.48

Yes

 
 
23

Short Comparison Text: Competence Test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Grade: 4;
1,877 students

3.79

3.38

Yes

 
 
21

Short Comparison Text: Main Idea Test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Grade: 5;
2,160 students

3.66

2.84

Yes

 
 
20

Problem/Solution Text: Competence Test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Grade: 4;
1,904 students

3.07

2.79

Yes

 
 
17

Short Comparison Text: Total Recall Test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Grade: 4;
1,900 students

21.21

19.57

Yes

 
 
13

Short Comparison Text: Total Recall Test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Grade: 5;
2,173 students

30.44

24.87

Yes

 
 
12

Short Comparison Text: Competence Test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Grade: 5;
2,163 students

4.65

4.01

Yes

 
 
10

Gray Silent Reading Test (GSRT)

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Grade: 5;
2,485 students

35.18

32.84

Yes

 
 
8

Problem/Solution Text: Total Recall Test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Grade: 5;
2,180 students

20.16

17.78

Yes

 
 
8

Problem/Solution Text: Competence Test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Grade: 5;
2,180 students

3.95

3.58

Yes

 
 
6

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Rural, Suburban

Setting

The study included fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms from 45 rural and suburban elementary schools, 12 school districts, and two states in the United States.

Study sample

The number of students in the analytic sample, including both fourth- and fifth-grade students, differs by outcome, ranging from 4,035 to 4,856 students. No demographic or sample characteristics were provided on the fourth-grade analytic sample; however, the authors stated that the intervention and comparison groups were balanced on student socioeconomic status, number of English learners, percentage of racial/ethnic minorities, and gender. The 45 schools in the fifth-grade sample are composed of 8% to 14% racial/ethnic minorities and 39% to 44% socioeconomically disadvantaged students.

Intervention Group

Students in the intervention group received the ITSS program over the course of the 2009–10 school year. ITSS sessions took place for 30 to 45 minutes a week over 6 to 7 months, which was lower than the developer-recommended dosage, as a partial substitute for the regular language arts curriculum. In fourth-grade classrooms, the recall task of ITSS was removed from the lesson sequence after the first month of instruction because students had difficulty typing. In fifth-grade classrooms, the recall task was implemented as intended.

Comparison Group

Students in comparison classrooms received the typical language arts curriculum, which was the same curriculum used by the intervention group classrooms within the same school except for the partial substitution of ITSS. Total daily and weekly amounts of language arts instruction were the same for both intervention and comparison classrooms.

Support for implementation

The research team conducted ITSS training sessions for the teachers of intervention classrooms during the 2009–10 academic year. Teachers in comparison classrooms were offered the same professional development after the study was completed.

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.

  • Wijekumar, K., Meyer, B.J.F., & Lei, P. (2013). High-fidelity implementation of web-based intelligent tutoring system improves fourth and fifth graders content area reading comprehension. Computers & Education, 68, 366-379.

  • Meyer, B.J.F., Wijekumar, K., & Lei, P. (2018). Comparative signaling generated for expository texts by 4th-8th graders: Variations by text structure strategy instruction, comprehension skill, and signal word. Reading and Writing, 31(9), 1937-1968.

  • Wijekumar, K., Meyer, B.J.F., Lei, P., Lin, Y.-C., Johnson, L. A., Spielvogel, J. A.,...Cook, M. (2014). Multisite Randomized Controlled Trial Examining Intelligent Tutoring of Structure Strategy for Fifth-Grade Readers. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 7(4) 331-357.

Reviewed: July 2013

At least one finding shows strong evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Comprehension outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
    index
ESSA
rating

Comparison Text: Main Idea Test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 4;
1,875 students

3.22

2.44

Yes

 
 
19
 
More Outcomes

Comparsion test: Comparison Competency test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 4;
1,877 students

3.79

3.38

Yes

 
 
7
 

Problem/Solution Text: Total Recall Test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 4;
1,910 students

15.36

13.48

Yes

 
 
7
 

Problem/Solution Text: Problem Solution Competency test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 4;
1,904 students

3.07

2.79

Yes

 
 
5
 

Comparison Text: Total Recall Test

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 4;
1,900 students

21.21

19.57

Yes

 
 
4
 

Gray Silent Reading Test (GSRT)

Intelligent Tutoring for Structure Strategy (ITSS) vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 4;
2,371 students

28.93

27.86

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Rural, Suburban
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    Pennsylvania
 

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