Reading Psychology (2008, 2011, 2017)

Lexia Learning has three peer-reviewed studies published in Reading Psychology—2017, 2011, and 2008. Prepared exclusively by professionals, this refereed journal publishes original manuscripts in the fields of literacy, reading, and related psychology disciplines. Articles appear in the form of completed research; practitioner-based "experiential" methods or philosophical statements; teacher and counselor preparation services for guiding all levels of reading skill development, attitudes, and interests; programs or materials; and literary or humorous contributions.
 

2017

Exploring the Impact of Engaged Teachers on Implementation Fidelity and Reading Skill Gains in a Blended Learning Reading Program

Rachel L. Schechter, Elizabeth R. Kazakoff, Kristine Bundschuh, Jen Elise Prescott & Paul Macaruso


Abstract

The number of K–12 classrooms adopting blended learning models is rapidly increasing and represents a cultural shift in teaching and learning; however, fidelity of implementation of these new blended learning programs varies widely. This study aimed to examine the role of teacher engagement in student motivation and achievement in a blended learning environment. Reading skill data were analyzed from 19,366 students across 624 schools led by teachers defined as engaged users of a blended learning reading program (Lexia Reading Core5 [Core5]). Results showed significant improvements in reading skills during the analyzed period for the students of the engaged teachers in comparison to neighboring classrooms (171,850 students in the same 624 schools) of less engaged teachers. For this study, teacher engagement was defined in terms of voluntary participation in the Lexia Usage Contest.  Teachers  who chose to participate in the usage contest were considered more engaged with Core5 than teachers in the same school who did not participate.   


Key Findings and Implications

  • Students of participating teachers began the study with significantly higher Core5 online usage fidelity and units completed than students of teachers not participating in the usage contest.  Results of this pre-contest comparison indicated teachers who participated in the contest, on average, were more engaged with the blended learning program and monitoring fidelity of use prior to the contest than non-participating teachers.
     

  • Students in classrooms that participated in the contest had higher fidelity of use during the contest and, consequently, more time to complete reading units in Core5 compared to students in neighboring non-participating classrooms.
     

  • A post-contest comparison showed that students in participating classrooms had significantly more units gained in Core5 than students in non-participating classrooms.  This study demonstrated with a large national sample that teacher engagement had a significant impact on student progress in reading. This study confirmed prior research on the importance of engaged teachers for positive student outcomes.
     

  • Professional development that fosters an environment where teachers believe they can successfully implement innovative programs (e.g., Core5) in their classrooms are particularly valuable (Abrami, Poulsen, & Chambers, 2004). Lexia’s Implementation Support Packages offerings can help empower teachers to be more engaged with their students, leading to better student outcomes.


The full 2017 study in Reading Psychology can be accessed below.

read the full 2017 study
 

2011

Efficacy of Computer-Assisted Instruction for the Development of Early Literacy Skills in Young Children

Paul Macaruso  & Alyson Rodman
 

Abstract

Two studies examined the efficacy of using computer-assisted instruction (CAI) to supplement a phonics-based reading curriculum for preschoolers and kindergartners in an urban public school system. The CAI programs provided exercises in phonological awareness and basic phonics skills. We compared treatment classes using CAI with control classes receiving the same classroom instruction without CAI. For preschoolers, the treatment group made significantly greater gains than controls in phonological awareness. For kindergartners, treatment students with low pretest scores made significantly greater gains than controls, particularly in word reading. Overall, preschoolers and low-performing kindergartners benefited from intensive practice provided by CAI programs.


Key Findings and Implications

  • In a subsequent Kindergarten study, focusing on low performers, students using Lexia Reading made significantly greater gains than a control group on the Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE™), Level K. The test measures phonological awareness, early literacy skills, letter-sound correspondence, listening comprehension, and word reading. Group differences were notable for the word reading subtest. [Macaruso, P., & Rodman, A. (2011). Efficacy of computer-assisted instruction for the development of early literacy skills in young children. Reading Psychology, 32, 172–196.]
     
  

 
  • Preschool students using Lexia Reading made significantly greater gains than the control group on the Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE) Level P, used to assess phonological awareness, visual skills, conceptual knowledge, and listening comprehension.  The greatest gains were made in phonological awareness. [Macaruso, P., & Rodman, A. (2011). Efficacy of computer-assisted instruction for the development of early literacy skills in young children. Reading Psychology, 32, 172–196.]
     
  
 

2008

The Efficacy of Computer-Assisted Instruction for Advancing Literacy Skills in Kindergarten Children

Paul Macaruso  & Adelaide Walker


Abstract

This study examined the benefits of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) as a supplement to a phonics-based reading curriculum for kindergartners in an urban public school system. The CAI program provides systematic exercises in phonological awareness and letter–sound correspondences. Comparisons were made between children in classes receiving a sufficient amount of CAI support and children in matched classes taught by the same teacher but without CAI. The treatment and control groups did not differ on pretest measures of preliteracy skills. There were, however, significant differences between groups on posttest measures of phonological awareness skills particularly for students with the lowest pretest scores.


Key Findings and Implications

  • Kindergartners using Lexia Reading significantly outperformed students in the control group on the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test®, Level PR (Pre-Reading), which measures phonological awareness, letter-sound correspondence, and listening comprehension. Group differences were more pronounced for low performers. [Macaruso, P., & Walker, A. (2008). The efficacy of computer-assisted instruction for advancing literacy skills in kindergarten children. Reading Psychology, 29, 266–287.]