WWC review of this study

The effects of intensive computer-based language intervention on language functioning and reading achievement in language-impaired adolescents (Doctoral dissertation).

Beattie, K. K. (2000). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 9983709)

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    24
     Students
    , grades
    7-10
Does not meet WWC standards

Reviewed: November 2015

Study sample characteristics were not reported.
No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards with reservations

Reviewed: August 2010

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

Woodcock-Johnson Revised Test of Achievement (WJ-R ACH): Word Attack

Fast ForWord® vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Ages 12-17;
24 students

86.41

85.91

No

--
More Outcomes

Woodcock-Johnson Revised Test of Achievement (WJ-R ACH): Letter-Word Identification

Fast ForWord® vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Ages 12-17;
24 students

90.99

92.08

No

--

Woodcock-Johnson Psychol-Educational Battery- Revised (WJ-R) Tests of Cognitive Abilities: Auditory Processing Cluster for Phonemic Awareness subtest

Fast ForWord® vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Ages 12-17;
24 students

82.58

85.66

No

--

Wide Range Achievement Test- Third Edition (WRAT-3): Spelling subtest

Fast ForWord® vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Ages 12-17;
24 students

82.58

85.66

No

--
Comprehension outcomes—Substantively important positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Woodcock-Johnson Revised Test of Achievement (WJ-R ACH): Passage Comprehension

Fast ForWord® vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Ages 12-17;
24 students

97.17

93.25

No

 
 
12
Literacy achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals- Third Edition (CELF-3): Receptive Language

Fast ForWord® vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Ages 12-17;
24 students

86.08

86.83

No

--
Reading fluency outcomes—Substantively important positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Gray Oral Reading Test, Third Edition (GORT-3)

Fast ForWord® vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Ages 12-17;
24 students

87.39

79.5

No

 
 
17

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 42%
    Male: 58%
  • Race
    Asian
    6%
    Black
    19%
    Native American
    1%
    Not specified
    1%
    White
    55%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    17%
    Not Hispanic
    83%

  • Suburban
    • B
    • A
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    • D
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    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
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    • Q
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    • V
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    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
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    Virginia

Setting

The study took place in two middle schools and one middle-high school located in the suburbs of a large metropolitan area in northern Virginia.

Study sample

Eighty-one 11- to 16-year-old students who scored in the bottom quartile on standardized reading or language tests were randomly assigned by computer-generated procedures to one of four intervention groups or to a control group in a two-step process. The researchers first assigned 18 students to the two intervention groups that received a phase of SuccessMaker and Fast ForWord® and also concomitantly participated in a functional resonance imaging research project. Then, the remaining participants were randomly assigned across the five groups. To ensure an equal distribution among groups, fewer students were placed in the first two groups at the second step of randomization. For this review, the WWC reported results from 12 students in the Fast ForWord® group who were compared to 12 students in the comparison group. Although the overall attrition rate was higher than 20%, the post-attrition intervention and comparison groups were equivalent on the pretest achievement measures.

Intervention Group

Students worked on Fast ForWord® for 90–94 minutes a day, five days a week. The intervention ended after each student completed 64–80 hours on the program. The study reported students’ outcomes after two months of program implementation.

Comparison Group

The control group received the standard instruction provided as part of the regular school curriculum.

Outcome descriptions

For both pre- and posttests, the author administered the Gray Oral Reading Test, four subtests of the Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery (Letter-Word Identification, Word Attack, Passage Comprehension, and Auditory Processing), the Spelling subtest of the Wide Range Achievement Test, and the Receptive Language subtest of the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals. For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendices A2.1–A2.4.

Support for implementation

No information on training for the teachers and staff in this study was provided. To facilitate the use of Fast ForWord®, computers were procured or updated to meet criteria for running Fast ForWord® software.

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.

  • Given, B. K., Wasserman, J. D., Chari, S. A., Beattie, K., & Eden, G. F. (2008). A randomized, controlled study of computer-based intervention in middle school struggling readers. Brain & Language, 106(2), 83–97.

  • Given, B. K., Wasserman, J. D., Chari, S. A., Beattie, K., & Eden, G. F. (2008). A randomized, controlled study of computer-based intervention in middle school struggling readers. Brain & Language, 106(2), 83–97.

 

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