WWC review of this study

Means comparison of children enrolled in UPSTART Reading and UPSTART Math on early literacy outcomes

Overby, M., & Hobbs, L. J. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.eticonsulting.org/preschool-study

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    497
     Students
    , grade
    PK

Reviewed: September 2018

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

Brigance Inventory of Early Development - Composite Score

Utah Preparing Students Today for a Rewarding Tomorrow (UPSTART) Reading Program vs. Other intervention

0 Days

Full sample;
497 students

77.76

69.74

Yes

 
 
14
 
More Outcomes

Preschool Early Literacy Indicators (PELI) Composite Score

Utah Preparing Students Today for a Rewarding Tomorrow (UPSTART) Reading Program vs. Other intervention

0 Days

Full sample;
497 students

70.35

65.93

Yes

 
 
10
 
Show Supplemental Findings

Brigance Inventory of Early Development - Identifies Uppercase Letters Subtest

Utah Preparing Students Today for a Rewarding Tomorrow (UPSTART) Reading Program vs. Intervention

0 Days

Full sample;
497 students

19.73

16.13

Yes

 
 
17

Brigance Inventory of Early Development - Word Recognition Subtest

Utah Preparing Students Today for a Rewarding Tomorrow (UPSTART) Reading Program vs. Other intervention

0 Days

Full sample;
497 students

3.15

1.49

Yes

 
 
17

Brigance Inventory of Early Development - Phoneme Manipulation Subtest

Utah Preparing Students Today for a Rewarding Tomorrow (UPSTART) Reading Program vs. Other intervention

0 Days

Full sample;
497 students

3.99

3.55

Yes

 
 
11

Brigance Inventory of Early Development - Reads Common Signs Subtest

Utah Preparing Students Today for a Rewarding Tomorrow (UPSTART) Reading Program vs. Other intervention

0 Days

Full sample;
497 students

2.16

1.74

Yes

 
 
9

Brigance Inventory of Eary Development - Recites Alphabet Subtest

Utah Preparing Students Today for a Rewarding Tomorrow (UPSTART) Reading Program vs. Intervention

0 Days

Full sample;
497 students

18.91

16.86

Yes

 
 
8

Brigance Inventory of Early Development - Phonological Awareness Subtest

Utah Preparing Students Today for a Rewarding Tomorrow (UPSTART) Reading Program vs. Intervention

0 Days

Full sample;
497 students

6.20

6.04

No

--

Brigance Inventory of Early Development - Visual Discrimination Subtest

Utah Preparing Students Today for a Rewarding Tomorrow (UPSTART) Reading Program vs. Intervention

0 Days

Full sample;
497 students

16.15

16.26

No

--

Brigance Inventory of Early Development - Auditory Discrimination Subtest

Utah Preparing Students Today for a Rewarding Tomorrow (UPSTART) Reading Program vs. Other intervention

0 Days

Full sample;
497 students

7.48

7.67

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 50%
    Male: 50%
  • Race
    Asian
    1%
    Black
    1%
    Native American
    3%
    Not specified
    0%
    Pacific Islander
    1%
    White
    95%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    5%
    Not Hispanic
    95%

  • Rural
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    Utah

Setting

UPSTART is a home-based, computer-based preschool program for preschoolers and families in rural communities in Utah. The intervention occurs in the home. This study occurred in rural communities in Utah.

Study sample

The sample was 50% male, over 90% white, and over 80% was at or under 185% of the poverty level. Over 90% of students had parents that were still married. Over 95% of students had parents that had graduated highschool, while 38% of students had parents with a bachelor's degree.

Intervention Group

The primary component is the Waterford Early Learning (WEL) software program, an in-home preschool computer-based program that uses software to provide reading, math, and science curriculum with an emphasis on reading instruction. Content is delivered through adaptive lessons, digital books, songs, and activities and is designed to enhance reading skills such as phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, language concepts, and phonological awareness. The recommended use for the program is 20 minutes per day for 5 days per week, though children were required to sue the program at home for 15 minutes per day, 5 days per week. However, not all students received the full dosage for various reasons, so researchers treat the study as 'intent-to-treat' and considers any students receiving any dosage as program participants.

Comparison Group

Children in the comparison condition participated in the Waterford Math/Science curriculum. The delivery, format, and requirements of the Math/Science software program were identical between the Reading only intervention group and the Math/Science comparison group. The only difference was the curriculum content.

Support for implementation

The UPSTART program had several resources available to parents to assist them, including: access to a manager portal to view children's usage, weekly newsletters about usage, and direct telephone support with Personal Care Representatives (PCRs). PCRs monitored children's usage and reached out to parent's if the usage dropped below the minimum requirement. They also served as a contact for technical difficulties or challenges with the program. District liaisons from UPSTART were assigned for the 18 districts and serve as a bridge for connecting participating families, Waterford, and school districts in order to encourage program use. Technology was provided in some circumstances where families do not possess and cannot afford required technology (e.g. computers, modems, internet).

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.

  • Shamir, H., Miner, C., Izzo, A., Feehan, K., Yoder, E., & Pocklington, D. (2018). improving early literacy skills using technology at home. Manuscript submitted for publication. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/ publication/325206043_Improving_Early_Literacy_Skills_Using_Technology_at_Home.

 

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