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
    , grades

Reviewed: February 2017

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

Algebra I Test Scores

Larson Algebra 1 vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample;
43 classrooms




Show Supplemental Findings

Algebra I Test Scores

Larson Algebra 1 vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Year 2 only;
18 classrooms





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: 51%
    Male: 49%

  • Urban
  • Race
    Other or unknown


The study took place within 5 school districts and across 12 different schools. The school districts were considered to be located in urban fringe areas. The average district had 91 schools with roughly 68,000 students.

Study sample

Teachers in the classrooms averaged 10 years of teaching experience (intervention = 9.8; comparison = 10.64) with more than half of the teachers holding a master's degree (63%; 63% in intervention and 63% in comparison). The teachers were mostly female with 54% in the intervention and 79% female teachers in the comparison group. Students in these classrooms were an average age of 15. Fifty-one percent of the students were female (intervention = 52%; comparison = 50%) with 9% in grade 8 and 91% in grade 9. No other characteristics were reported.

Intervention Group

This supplemental curriculum addresses skill building and problem solving. The topics covered include whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percents, rational numbers, probability and statistics, coordinate geometry, pre-algebra, and algebra I. Teachers get to decide when and how much of each topic is covered. The curriculum developer recommends that the curriculum is used at least once on a weekly basis. The curriculum is designed to be used in computer labs.

Comparison Group

Comparison students received business-as-usual.

Support for implementation

Teachers received between two hours and one full day of pre-implementation training. Teachers had access to support via phone, email, or the product web site. The estimated annual cost, per student, to implement the program was $13. Of that amount 62% was used for license fees and the remaining 38% was used for teacher training and support, technical support, and printed materials and supplies.


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