Tutoring Buddy

Study: DuBois, Volpe, & Hemphill (2014)

DuBois, M. R., Volpe, R. J., & Hemphill, E. M. (2014). A randomized trial of a computer-assisted tutoring program targeting letter sound expression via incremental rehearsal. School Psychology Review, 43, 210-221.
Descriptive Information Usage Acquisition and Cost Program Specifications and Requirements Training

This evidence-based intervention aims to improve early literacy skills.

Tutoring Buddy is intended for use in grades preK-1. The program is intended for use with any student at risk of academic failure. The academic area of focus is early literacy, including print knowledge/awareness, alphabet knowledge, and phonological awareness. 

Where to obtain:
Twin Lights Education, LLC. 

6 Oakland Ave., Rockport, MA 01966
Phone: 617-602-5626

Website: http://www.tutoringbuddyk12.com/  

Cost: Approximately $20 per student for unlimited use for one academic year.

Use of the system including the iOS app, web app, and online training materials and support is $399 per year per grade-level in the school. An entire school can use the program for $499 per year- the number of students and number of sessions is unlimited.

It is recommended Tutoring Buddy is used with individual students.

Tutoring Buddy takes on average 5 minutes per session with a recommended 3-4 sessions per week for results after 6 weeks.

The program includes a highly specified teacher’s manual.

Tutoring Buddy runs native on the iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), but also runs as a mobile enabled web-app that can be run on any computer or tablet.

A minimum of 1-4 hours of training is required for instructors. Training can be accomplished via a web-based or in app training materials. It involves reading the procedures, and practicing the pronunciation of each letter sound. Correct pronunciation is modeled by the software.

Tutoring Buddy was designed to be completed by anyone. The program does not assume that the instructor has expertise in any given area.

Updated training manuals and materials are available, that have been used with both graduate research assistants and parents.

Practitioners receive an email address and calls are answered within 24 hours by one of the two developers.

 

Participants: Unconvincing Evidence

Sample size: 30 (15 program, 15 control)

Risk Status: Teacher nomination.

Demographics:

 

Program

Control

Cox Index

Number

Percentage

Number

Percentage

Grade level

  Age 5

5

33%

4

27%

 

  Age 6

10

67%

8

53%

 

  Age 7

0

0%

3

20%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Kindergarten

6

40%

6

40%

 

  Grade 1

9

60%

9

60%

 

  Grade 2

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 3

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 4

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 5

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 6

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 7

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 8

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 9

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 10

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 11

 

 

 

 

 

  Grade 12

 

 

 

 

 

Race-ethnicity

  African-American

5

33%

2

13%

 

  American Indian

 

 

 

 

 

  Asian/Pacific Islander

 

 

 

 

 

  Hispanic

10

67%

13

87%

 

  White

 

 

 

 

 

  Other

 

 

 

 

 

Socioeconomic status

  Subsidized lunch

 

 

 

 

 

  No subsidized lunch

 

 

 

 

 

Disability status

  Speech-language impairments

 

 

 

 

 

  Learning disabilities

 

 

 

 

 

  Behavior disorders

 

 

 

 

 

  Intellectual disabilities

 

 

 

 

 

  Other

 

 

 

 

 

  Not identified with a disability

 

 

 

 

 

ELL status

  English language learner

10

67%

8

53%

 

  Not English language learner

5

33%

7

47%

 

Gender

Female

4

27%

10

67%

 

Male

11

73%

5

33%

 

Training of Instructors: Graduate school psychology students were trained by the first author during a 1-hour training session. All achieved the criterion of reaching 100% on a fidelity checklist prior to implementation of the IV. Treatment integrity was high throughout the study.

Design: Partially Convincing Evidence

Does the study include three data points or sufficient number to document a stable performance within that phase?: Yes

Is there opportunity for at least three demonstrations of experimental control?: Yes

If the study is an alternating treatment design, are there five repetitions of the alternating sequence?: NA

If the study is a multiple baseline, is it concurrent?: No

Fidelity of Implementation: Partially Convincing Evidence

Describe when and how fidelity of treatment information was obtained: Treatment integrity data were gathered using a 22-item procedural checklist that was completed by a graduate student observing the interventionist. These data were collected during 42% of intervention sessions. Treatment integrity was calculated by dividing the number of components observed by the total number of steps.

Provide documentation (i.e., in terms of numbers) of fidelity of treatment implementation: The average integrity score across all intervention components was 99%.

Measures Targeted: Convincing Evidence

Measures Broader: Convincing Evidence

Targeted Measure Reliability Statistics Relevance to Program Instructional Content Exposure to Related Content Among Control Group

Letter Sound Expression (LSE; Twin Lights Education, 2009)

Test retest based on ICC over 4 consecutive days (.97). Criterion-related validity coefficients with Letter Sound Fluency and Nonsense Word Fluency were .80 and .74 respectively (DuBois & Volpe, 2016). Each Tutoring Buddy session begins with the LSE assessment. Data from the assessment is used to identify the known and unknown facts to be targeted by Tutoring Buddy. It also serves as a progress monitoring measure. Students in the control group were administered the LSE portion of Tutoring Buddy during the study. The received no feedback on their responses.
Letter Sound Fluency (NCS, Pearson, 2012)  Test retest = .85 (2 week latency); Alternate form = .82); Predictive validity (3 Year latency) = .61 with CBM-R; between .33 and .52 with comprehensive state tests.      Tutoring Buddy uses incremental rehearsal, but presents known and unknown letters in a string. It impacts both acquisition and fluency. All students received core instruction in reading during the study. This instruction focused on decoding, which is relevant to this and other measures used in the study.   
Broader Measure Reliability Statistics Relevance to Program Instructional Content Exposure to Related Content Among Control Group

Nonsense Word Fluency (Dynamic Measurement Group, 2008)

Alternate form reliability between .71 and .78; Predictive validity (3-year latency) with comprehensive state assessment measures (rs between.42 and .61); and with CBM-R (also 3 Years later, rs between .68 and .72; NCS Pearson, 2012) NWF is a phonics measure assessing student’s ability to sound out nonsense words (e.g., NAB). It relates to Tutoring Buddy in that Tutoring Buddy targets letter sound correspondence.      All students (experimental and control) received core instruction in reading during the study. This instruction focused on decoding, which is relevant to this and other measures used in the study.

 

Number of Outcome Measures: 3 Prereading

Mean ES - Targeted: 0.74*

Mean ES - Broader: 0.87*

Effect Size:

Targeted Measures

Construct Measure Effect Size
Prereading Letter Sound Expression 0.67
Prereading Letter Sound Fluency 0.81*

Broader Measures

Construct Measure Effect Size
Prereading Nonsense Word Fluency 0.87*

 

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: Yes

Targeted Measures

Construct Measure Effect Size
Prereading Letter Sound Expression - ELLs 0.80
Prereading Letter Sound Fluency - ELLs

Broader Measures

Construct Measure Effect Size
Prereading Nonsense Word Fluency - ELLs 0.90

 

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

Duration of Intervention: 5 minutes, 3-4 times a week, 6+ weeks

Minimum Interventionist Requirements: No minimum qualification for instructor, 1-4 hours of training required

Reviewed by WWC or E-ESSA: E-ESSA

What Works Clearinghouse Review

This program was not reivewed by What Works Clearinghouse.

 

Evidence for ESSA

No studies considered met Evidence for ESSA's inclusion requirements.

Other Research: Potentially Eligible for NCII Review: 0 studies