EdMedia Published Proceedings (2016)

EdMedia + Innovate Learning, the premier international conference in the field since 1987, spans all disciplines and levels of education attracting researchers and practitioners in the field from 70+ countries. This annual conference offers a forum for the discussion and exchange of research, development, and applications on all topics related to Innovation and Education. EdMedia + Innovate Learning is an international conference organized by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).


Exploration of a Blended Learning Approach to Reading Instruction in Second Grade

Wilkes, S., Macaruso, P., Kazakoff, E., Albert, J.


This study explores a blended learning approach, utilizing both online and offline materials, for reading instruction within general education second grade classes in a California elementary school receiving Title 1 funds. The blended learning program was implemented in two classes, with an additional class in the same school serving as a control. The study was carried out during the second half of the school year from February through May 2015. There were no significant differences between groups on the DIBELS® Next reading assessment at the start of the study, however, the intervention group significantly outperformed the control group on DIBELS Next at the end of the school year. These results support the use of a blended learning approach to reading instruction in general education, Title I second grade classes. 

This study was conducted with second graders in a Title I California school from February - May 2015. The school principal organized the study to explore the benefits of a blended learning approach to reading instruction within the school. Title I supports elementary and secondary schools with a high percentage of students from low socioeconomic households by providing federal financial assistance for academic programming targeted to support students’ educational growth. If a school has over 40% of the student population from low socioeconomic households, Title I funds may be used for school-wide programs that impact the entire student body.

An independent sample t-test revealed no significant difference between students in the intervention group and the control group on DIBELS Next DORF mean scores at pretest (see Table 1). A comparison of gain scores (posttest -- pretest) showed a greater mean gain on DIBELS Next DORF for the intervention group (12.1) than the control group (3.3). An analysis of covariance revealed a significant group difference at posttest, using retest scores as covariates, F(1,71) = 4.7, p < .04.

A similar outcome was obtained when comparing mean percent growth for the two groups. The mean percent growth for the intervention group was 24.9% compared to 6.4% for the control group. This difference in mean percent growth was significant, t(72) = 2.0, p < .04.

Further analyses were performed to examine changes from pretest to posttest in Instructional Categories on DIBELS Next based on DORF scores. Students could be categorized as needing Core Instruction, Strategic Instruction, or Intensive Instruction. As shown in Table 2 and Figure 1, 27% of students in the intervention group demonstrated an improvement in Instructional Categories (i.e., moved from Strategic to Core or moved from Intensive to Strategic/Core). In contrast, none of the control students improved in Instructional Categories. This difference in percent improvement is significant, X2(1) = 4.3, p < .04.

Regarding performance in Core5, 84% of the intervention students began the study one or more grade levels behind in the program. By the end of the study, 29% of the intervention students reached end-of-year benchmark in Core5 by completing all grade level material, and an additional 41% were working in their grade level material. These findings indicate that, in general, intervention students made substantial progress in Core5.

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