A Quasi-Experimental Study on the Effects of Accelerated Reader at Middle School

NA (site), NA (city), Oregon (OR)


From the abstract: "The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Accelerated Reader (AR) program when used as a supplement to teacher-directed instruction. A pretest-posttest, quasi-experimental design was used to determine the reading practice and comprehension gains of 6th-grade students over the course of one trimester. The study investigated three research questions: (a) does the Accelerated Reader program lead to statistically significant gains in reading practice, (b) does AR lead to statistically significant gains in reading comprehension scores, and (c) is there a statistically significant correlation between reading practice and reading comprehension? Two 6th-grade teams, consisting of 121 students from two suburban middle schools in Oregon, participated in the study. Groups were selected with respect to demographic and achievement similarities, teacher qualification and experience, and access to program components and materials. Both groups received direct instruction and were provided time for silent, sustained reading. The treatment group was also provided access to AR program components, including novels, software, and quizzes. Student Daily Reading Logs were used to record weekly reading times and provided pretest and posttest reading practice scores. The Test of Reading Comprehension, 3rd edition (TORC-3), was used as the pretest and posttest for reading comprehension. A repeated measures, mixed design ANOVA was used for analysis with questions one and two. Interaction scores by group and time showed a statistically significant difference (p < .05) for the treatment group in Question 1, suggesting that AR may be an effective supplement for increasing reading practice. An ANOVA analysis for reading comprehension demonstrated similar results with significant differences (p < .05) for the treatment group's posttest scores on the TORC-3. These findings suggest that AR may be an effective supplement for increasing reading comprehension. Question 3 utilized three, Pearson r correlations. These results yielded weak, non-significant correlations between gain scores in reading practice times and comprehension for control, treatment, and combined groups. These findings suggest that implementation levels may not be a significant factor in program efficacy. Continued research is needed to substantiate these results and further isolate specific program effects with middle school students of differing abilities and demographics."

Reference: Hagerman, T. E. (2003). A quasi-experimental study on the effects of Accelerated Reader at middle school (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Oregon, Eugene.

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