Computers in the Schools (2015)

Exploration of a blended learning approach to reading instruction for low SES students in early elementary grades

Citation:
Schechter, R., Macaruso, P., Kazakoff, E.R. and Brooke, E. (2015). Exploration of a blended learning approach to reading instruction for low SES students in early elementary grades. Computers in the Schools, 32, 183–200.


Abstract

This study investigated the potential benefits of a blended learning approach on the reading skills of low socioeconomic status students in Grades 1 and 2. Treatment students received English language arts instruction that was both teacher-led and technology-based. Comparisons were made with control students who received the same English language arts instruction without the blended learning component. Results showed significantly greater pretest/posttest gains on a standardized reading assessment for the treatment students compared to the control students. The greatest discrepancy occurred in reading comprehension. A sub-analysis of lowperforming English language learner students in the treatment group revealed the largest reading gains. At posttest, these students performed at the level of non-English language learner students in the control group. Results indicated a blended learning approach can be effective in enhancing the reading skills of low socioeconomic students.

 

Key Findings

  • Students in the Core5 group showed significantly greater gains on a standardized reading assessment compared to control students who received the same classroom instruction without Core5. The greatest discrepancy between groups occurred in reading comprehension.  
  • It was found that the largest reading gains occurred for low-performing ELL students in the Core5 group. At posttest, these students performed at the level of non-ELL students in the control group.  The Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE™), Levels 1 and 2, was used as the reading measure.


 

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