Abstract—Research has suggested that computer-adaptive curriculum may be an effective means of closing demographic achievement gaps. The current study reports findings for young learners in kindergarten and first grade using a computer-adaptive instruction (CAI) literacy curriculum called the Waterford Early Learning Program (WEL) in three geographically diverse school districts. The aim of the study was to determine how an adaptive, educational technology program targeting early reading skills impacts literacy scores of early elementary school students when used in a traditional classroom setting for just fifteen minutes (for kindergarten students) or thirty minutes (for first and second grade students) per day, five days per week. Experimental students in all three districts used the Waterford Early Learning Program; control students either did not use the Waterford Early Learning Program or had low usage of the program. In all districts, experimental group students benefited from significantly higher gains, percent gains, or end of year scores than control group students. Students in the experimental group from traditionally disadvantaged backgrounds benefited from higher scores. This study shows promise of the efficacy of computer-assisted instruction when utilized in a traditional classroom setting.
Index Terms—Blended learning, computer-assisted instruction, literacy, technology.
The authors are with the Waterford Research Institute, Sandy, UT 84093 USA (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com).
Cite: Haya Shamir, Erik Yoder, David Pocklington, and Kathryn Feehan, "Technology Improving Literacy Skills for All Students: Findings from Three Districts," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 280-285, 2019.