The Journal of Educational Research (2017)

The Journal of Educational Research publishes manuscripts that synthesize research of direct relevance to educational practice in elementary and secondary schools, and is a respected periodical that reaches an international audience of educators and others concerned with cutting-edge theories and proposals. For more than 100 years, the journal has contributed to the advancement of educational practice in schools by judicious study of the latest trends, examination of new procedures, evaluation of traditional practices, and replication of previous research for validation.  

Elementary school–wide implementation of a blended learning program for reading intervention

Prescott, J.E., Bundschuh, K., Kazakoff, E. & Macaruso, P.


The authors examined the implementation of a blended learning program for literacy instruction across kindergarten through Grade 5 in a Title I urban elementary school, including a population of students (18%) who are English learners. Student progress in the online component of the blended learning program was a significant predictor of growth in reading performance on a standardized reading assessment (Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation, Pearson Assessment, Boulder, CO) when controlling for student grade level, initial student skill level, and English learner status; however, students in kindergarten through Grade 2 showed more substantial gains than students in later grades. These results suggest there is a benefit of a blended learning approach to literacy instruction for a diverse cross-section of students, particularly when beginning instruction in the early grades.

Key Findings

  • Statistically taking into account grade level, initial skill level, and English Learner status, advances in Core5 were predictive of gains on the GRADE.  Students who made greater advances in Core5 showed larger gains on the GRADE independent of other factors.

  • Across all grades, an additional level completed in the online component of Core5 predicted a .398 standard score growth in Total Test standard scores on the GRADE.  On average, students complete four levels in Core5 over the course of one school year.

  • Significant gains on the GRADE were most pronounced in earlier grades.  Students also  met their Core5 usage recommendations more consistently in earlier grades.  These outcomes highlight the importance of strong implementation to achieve the anticipated benefits of a blended learning program.  

  • Students who are English Learners showed gains on the GRADE equal to or slightly greater than students who are not English Learners.  These results point to benefits of Core5 for students with a diverse range of English language skills.