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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

School Psychology

Year Degree Awarded

2017

Month Degree Awarded

May

First Advisor

Amanda M. Marcotte

Second Advisor

John M. Hintze

Third Advisor

Jill Hoover

Subject Categories

School Psychology

Abstract

The importance of reading fluency has been established. Requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act include increased expectations to utilize evidence based interventions and the expectation of accountability for all students and schools to improve. Teachers are facing challenges trying to incorporate researching findings into their classroom practice while meeting the needs of their students and dealing with limited resources. Advances in computer, literacy and communication technology have resulted in the development of new possibilities for intervention. With districts facing these pressures, it is important to explore the relationship between method of delivery of interventions and outcomes so schools can make informed decisions. This study examined whether the delivery method of a multi-component reading fluency intervention (traditional vs. computer-led) made a difference in helping to effectively increase oral reading fluency (ORF) of third grade students who were identified as at risk. Read Naturally was chosen as the intervention system for this study as it is supported in the research, is a package often utilized by schools, and offers several methods of delivery. Among their products, they offer both a traditional package (led by teacher and/or audio CD), and a web-based cloud product that is a computer facilitated version of the same intervention. These products have not been compared. A randomized experimental repeated measures design was used to test whether method of delivery of the intervention effected rate of improvement (ROI) in ORF for students. Results indicate that while there was no difference in ROI for students based on group, students in the computerized intervention group had significantly higher gain scores than students in the traditional format group. The computer-facilitated intervention also resulted in greater ease of implementation. There were no differences among generalized outcome measures and measures of student engagement.

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