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

LeapTrack Assessment & Instruction System vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Full sample;
55 classes




Show Supplemental Findings

Reading test score

LeapTrack Assessment & Instruction System vs. Business as usual

1 Semester

Year 2 classrooms only;
8 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: 51%
    Male: 49%

  • Urban


The study took place within 4 school districts and across 19 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 87 schools with roughly 38,050 students.

Study sample

Teachers in the classrooms averaged 11 years of teaching experience (intervention = 11.07; comparison = 11.58) with just under half of the teachers holding a master's degree (35%; 31% in intervention and 38% in comparison). The teachers were mostly female with 86% in the intervention and 88% female teachers in the comparison group. Students in these classrooms were an average age of 9.72; all students were in 4th grade. Fifty-one percent of the students were female (intervention = 49%; comparison = 52%). No other characteristics were reported.

Intervention Group

Intervention classrooms implemented the LeapTrack program. LeapTrack is a supplemental reading program published by LeapFrog SchoolHouse. The program is designed to help improve phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. The program works by providing an assessment the teacher administers to students to identify the areas a student needs to develop. The program then provides a "Learning Path" for the students based on their assessment. These paths include a list of skill cards and books the student works on to complete to help learn the skill. Students work on these activities at their own pace using either a LeapPad, skill cards, and/or LeapFrog SchoolHouse books. The program recommends that it should be used in the classroom for at least 15 minutes a day for three to five 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 and up to four days of follow-up training. Support during the year was provided via either phone or through a web site. The estimated annual cost, per student, to implement the program was $154. Of that amount 47% was used for license fees and the remaining 53% was used for teacher training and support, technical support, and printed materials and supplies.


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