MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach: MindPlay Fluency

Study: Serido & Wilhelm (2008)

Serido, J. & Wilhelm (2008). Evaluation and research study: My Reading Coach & FLRT - A Fluent Reading Trainer. Tuscon: University of Arizona.
Descriptive Information Usage Acquisition and Cost

 

Program Specifications and Requirements

Training

Fluent Reading Trainer (FLRT™) is an online program designed to systematically increase reading speed while ensuring proficient reading comprehension. FLRT™ provides individualized fluency practice to foster efficient eye movement, eye teaming convergence, and efficient left-to-right eye-tracking. Once students have completed the pre-reading activities, they practice reading passages to increase silent reading speed and comprehension. Students are presented with a series of questions after reading passages to assess comprehension. Once the student’s initial reading speed and comprehension grade level is determined by the program, FLRT selects passages that are challenging and doable for each student.  Student performance is continually monitored by FLRT™ and subsequent passages are selected enabling every student to complete 3 – 5 passages in a 30 minute time block. FLRT’s selection of passages is dependent on grade level, the text length, and the number of words in the passage. This algorithm enables each student to read an entire passage in 3 – 5 minutes. A student reading 100 words per minute would get a 300-350 word passage. A student reading at 250 words per minute would get a 750 – 850 word passage. Reading passages are presented to the student based on his/her current reading grade level and rate and advance to more complex passages as the student’s reading skills improve.

My Reading Coach with Fluent Reading Trainer is intended for use in grades 2 through high school. It is designed for use with students with disabilities (including those with learning and behavioral disabilities), English language learners, and any student at risk of academic failure. The academic area of focus is reading (including phonological awareness, phonics/word study, comprehension, fluency, and spelling) and grammar.

Where to Obtain:
MindPlay®, Division of Methods and Solutions, Inc.
440 S. William Blvd. Suite 206 Tucson, AZ 85711
Phone #: 520-888-1800
Website: www.mindplay.com
 
Cost: The cost per student varies by implementation type, but can be as low as $299 per student.

  • Implementations in most schools are by concurrent connection (the number of students who can use the program at the same time), not by the total number of students entered in to the program.
  • There is a home-user product designed for families. This is limited to one specific student for one year. That is the only version available direct from MindPlay itself.
  • Technical support is free within the active lifecycle of a product.
  • Cost varies on implementation type. MindPlay develops the software, sales and independent representatives handle pricing.

Price includes complete program software and teacher guide. The teacher guides offer a comprehensive description of the lessons and activities, and report details. MRC™ also provides a poster of key lessons and teacher manual with over 300 blackline masters for Phonics, Grammar and Comprehension - “Read-Like-You-Talk®” supplemental lessons. Blacklines are also printable directly from the program.

My Reading Coach with Fluent Reading Trainer is designed for use with individuals and small groups of 2-4 students. Session length ranges from 20-30 minutes, and it is recommended that 4 sessions are delivered per week for 10-20 weeks.

The program includes a highly specified teacher’s manual.

The program requires PC or Macintosh computers with at least 500 megabytes of free hard drive space and a bandwidth of 256kbps (both up and down) for every 20 concurrent connections. There are also CPU, RAM, and operating system requirements, which vary depending on use of Windows or Macintosh. 

MindPlay requires instructors attend a minimum of a 4-hour training for My Reading Coach and an additional 2-hour training for a Fluent Reading Trainer, which is designed to provide the site coordinator and targeted teachers with the skills to effectively implement and integrate the technology programs into the school’s existing curriculum. This includes using the management and reporting features of the programs. The training includes hands-on interaction with the software programs, strategies for using technology in the school effectively, report and data tracking, goal setting, and individual school needs.

Follow-up training is available per individual site as requested.

The training materials were not initially field tested; however, the materials have been used with thousands of teachers and students, and their feedback is the basis for revisions to the manual and program.

Educators may obtain professional and technical support through several methods, all of which are free of cost. These include an in-house technical support staff available by calling 800-221-7911 or through email. In addition, the Website offers downloadable updates, answers to frequently asked questions, and a support knowledge base.

The minimum qualifications of the instructor is paraprofessional, and the program does not assume that the instructor has expertise in any given area.

 

Participants: Unconvincing Evidence

Sample size: 418 students from 5 public schools in (4) Arizona and (1) Texas (478 students were pre-tested; 213 in the treatment group and 205 in the control group).

Risk Status: Teachers assigned students to one of three reading levels, based on district testing scores and previous year reading performance: Below grade level (62.9%); Approaching/at grade level (20.6%); Above grade level (16.6%).

Demographics:

  Program Control p of chi square
Number Percentage Number Percentage

Grade level

  Kindergarten

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 1

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 2

115

50.2%

114

49.8%

.732

  Grade 3

45

51.7%

42

48.3%

.874

  Grade 4

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 5

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 6

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 7

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 8

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 9

50

52.1%

46

47.9%

.803

  Grade 10

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 11

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 12

 

 

 

 

 

Mean Age

         

Race-ethnicity

  African-American

 

 

 

 

 

  American Indian

         

  Asian/Pacific Islander

         

  Hispanic

 

 

 

 

 

  White

 

 

 

 

 

  Other

         

Socioeconomic status

  Subsidized lunch

 

 

 

 

 

  No subsidized lunch

 

 

 

 

 

Disability status

  Speech-language impairments

9

47.4%

10

52.6%

.788

  Learning disabilities

27

61.4%

17

38.6%

.145

  Behavior disorders

 

 

 

 

 

  Intellectual disabilities

 

 

 

 

 

  Other

1

100.0%

0

0.0%

.326

  Not identified with a disability

 

 

 

 

 

ELL status

  English language learner

95

52.2%

87

47.8%

.658

  Not English language learner

115

50.0%

115

50.0%

.658

Gender

Female

101

52.6%

91

47.4%

.536

Male

109

49.5%

111

50.9%

.536

           

Training of InstructorsTen teachers received the training and administered the intervention: three were identified as reading specialists, two were identified as a Reading and ELL specialist, three were third grade classroom teachers, and two were second grade classroom teachers. Both High School teachers were identified as reading specialists.

Design: Partially Convincing Evidence

Did the study use random assignment?: Yes.

If not, was it a tenable quasi-experiment?: Not applicable.

If the study used random assignment, at pretreatment, were the program and control groups not statistically significantly different and had a mean standardized difference that fell within 0.25 SD on measures used as covariates or on pretest measures also used as outcomes?: No.

If not, at pretreatment, were the program and control groups not statistically significantly different and had a mean standardized difference that fell within 0.25 SD on measures central to the study (i.e., pretest measures also used as outcomes), and outcomes were analyzed to adjust for pretreatment differences? Not applicable.

Were the program and control groups demographically comparable at pretreatment?: Yes.

Was there attrition bias1? No.

Did the unit of analysis match the unit for random assignment (for randomized studies) or the assignment strategy (for quasi-experiments)?: Yes.

1 NCII follows guidance from the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) in determining attrition bias. The WWC model for determining bias based on a combination of differential and overall attrition rates can be found on pages 13-14 of this document: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/pdf/reference_resources/wwc_procedures_v2_1_standards_handbook.pdf

 

Fidelity of Implementation: Unconvincing Evidence

Describe when and how fidelity of treatment information was obtained: The trainer visited each site approximately every three weeks throughout the fall semester to observe the teachers/students, to assess how closely teachers were using the program as intended, and to answer questions and provide direction about using the software. The trainer provided a follow-up written report to the schools and to the research team.

In addition to the trainer’s summary reports, the research team received a report (.txt file) of the students’ total time spent on the My Reading Coach program and the number of lessons mastered.

Provide documentation (i.e., in terms of numbers) of fidelity of treatment implementation:  Examination of the time reports provided by the program suggests that students who spent more time on the program completed more lessons and had higher gain scores than students who spent less time on the program and completed fewer lessons:

Grade 2: 113 students completed the study (took both the pre- and post-test). Sixty percent began FLRT; 13% completed both My Reading Coach and FLRT.

Grade 3: 31 students completed the study (took both the pre- and post-test).  Ninety percent began FLRT; 13% completed both My Reading Coach and FLRT.

Grade 9: 67 students completed the study (took both the pre- and post-test).  Ninety-six percent began FLRT; 13% completed both My Reading Coach and FLRT.

Measures Targeted: Unconvincing Evidence

Measures Broader: Convincing Evidence

Targeted Measure Score type and range of measure Reliability statistics Relevance to program instructional content

Reading Analysis & Prescription (RAPS)

Short Vowel Sounds;
Long Vowels And Diphthongs; Consonants And Digraphs; Consonant Blends; Word Structure (e.g., every syllable has at least one vowel); and Rules (e.g., when to use “c”, “k”, and “ck”)

 

 

 

Broader Measure Score type and range of measure Reliability statistics Relevance to program instructional content

Metropolitan Achievement Tests®, Eighth Edition (MAT 8, Harcourt, 2000). 

Sounds and Print
Language
Vocabulary
Comprehension
Total reading achievement (combined vocabulary and comprehension)
Spelling

Percentile change score (post-test grade equivalent score minus pre-test grade equivalent score) for each of the three skills.

Kuder-Richardson formulas (KR20, KR21) in the 0.80 to 0.90 range
Test/retest reliability: 0.80-0.94

Concurrent validity with Otis-Lennon School Ability Test and the MAT-7 reported in the 0.60 to 0.85 range (Spies & Plake, 2005).

Assesses ability of discrete reading and pre-reading skills

 

Number of Outcome Measures: 6 Reading

Mean ES - Targeted: Data Unavailable

Mean ES - Broader: 0.04

Effect Size:

Targeted Measures

Construct Measure Effect Size
Reading RAPS -

 Broader Measures

Construct Measure Effect Size
Reading Post-test Grade Equivalent Sounds 0.05
Reading Post-test Grade Equivalent Language -0.03
Reading Post-test Grade Equivalent Vocabulary 0.03
Reading Post-test Grade Equivalent Comprehension 0.02
Reading Post-test Grade Equivalent Total Reading Achievement 0.04
Reading Post-test Grade Equivalent Spelling 0.13

 

Key
*      p ≤ 0.05
**    p ≤ 0.01
***  p ≤ 0.001
–      Developer was unable to provide necessary data for NCII to calculate effect sizes
u      Effect size is based on unadjusted means
†      Effect size based on unadjusted means not reported due to lack of pretest group equivalency, and effect size based on adjusted means is not available

 

Visual Analysis (Single Subject Design): N/A

Disaggregated Data for Demographic Subgroups: No

Targeted Measures

Construct Measure Effect Size
  Not Applicable  

 Broader Measures

Construct Measure Effect Size
Reading Post-test Grade Equivalent Sounds 1.00***
Reading Post-test Grade Equivalent Language 0.39
Reading Post-test Grade Equivalent Vocabulary 0.22
Reading Post-test Grade Equivalent Comprehension 0.29
Reading Post-test Grade Equivalent Total Reading Achievement 0.46*
Reading Post-test Grade Equivalent Spelling 1.09***

 

Key
*      p ≤ 0.05
**    p ≤ 0.01
***  p ≤ 0.001
–      Developer was unable to provide necessary data for NCII to calculate effect sizes
u      Effect size is based on unadjusted means
†      Effect size based on unadjusted means not reported due to lack of pretest group equivalency, and effect size based on adjusted means is not available

 

Disaggregated Data for <20th Percentile: No

Administration Group Size: Individual, Small Groups, (n=2-4)

Duration of Intervention: 25-30 minutes, 3 times a week, 14-24 weeks

Minimum Interventionist Requirements: Paraprofessional, 4-8 hours of training

Reviewed by WWC or E-ESSA: E-ESSA

What Works Clearinghouse Review

This program was not reviewed by What Works Clearinghouse.

 

Evidence for ESSA

None of the studies considered met Evidence for ESSA's inclusion requirements.

Other Research: Potentially Eligible for NCII Review: 0 studies