WWC review of this study

Effectiveness of Reading and Mathematics Software Products: Findings From Two Student Cohorts. NCEE 2009-4041

Campuzano, Larissa; Dynarski, Mark; Agodini, Roberto; Rall, Kristina (2009). National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED504657

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
    , grade

Reviewed: February 2017

No statistically significant positive
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Literacy Achievement outcomes—Indeterminate effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Reading test score

Academy of READING® vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Full sample;
40 classes




Show Supplemental Findings

Reading test score

Academy of READING® vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Year 2 classrooms only;
14 classes





Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • Female: 50%
    Male: 50%

  • Urban


The study took place within 4 school districts and across 15 different schools. Two of the school districts were considered to be located in urban fringe areas and the other two in urban areas. The average district had 95 schools with roughly 64,342 students.

Study sample

Teachers in the classrooms averaged 9 years of teaching experience (intervention = 7.04; comparison = 11.87) with under half of the teachers holding a master's degree (32%; 27% in intervention and 37% in comparison). The teachers were mostly female with 73% in the intervention and 89% female teachers in the comparison group. Students in these classrooms were an average age of 9.7; all students were in grade 4. Fifty percent of the students were female (intervention = 48%; comparison = 52%). No other characteristics were reported.

Intervention Group

Intervention classrooms implemented the Academy of Reading program. The Academy of Reading program is a set of exercises to improve reading skills published by Autoskill Inc. The program focuses on phonemic awareness and sound-symbol association, phonics and decoding, fluency and comprehension, and reading proficiency. Students are able to work through each exercise at their own pace. Teachers are provided with assessment reports on student usage and progress through the exercises. The program is designed to be used in a computer lab for 25 minutes a day three or more days a week.

Comparison Group

Comparison students received business-as-usual.

Support for implementation

Prior to implementation intervention classroom teachers received one full day of training on how to use the product. Teachers also participated in another training that occurred four to six weeks later as a follow-up. The program publisher provided support during implementation via phone, e-mail, and webinars. The estimated annual cost, per student, to implement the program was $217. Of that amount 51% was used for license fees and the remaining 49% was used for teacher training and support, technical support, and printed materials and supplies.


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