Computers in the Schools: Lexia Core 5 Fosters Significant Gains in Reading Comprehension

Study: Lexia Core 5 integration increases reading comprehension more than teacher instruction alone.

Small scale, controlled, pre-post study suggests blended learning approach that integrates Lexia Core 5 with LEAD21 teacher-led instruction leads to significantly greater gains among early elementary learners, compared to LEAD21 only instruction without Lexia Core 5, especially in Reading Comprehension.

Schecter, R.; Macaruso, P., Kazakoff, E., Brooke, E. (2015). Exploration of a Blended Learning Approach to Reading Instruction for Low SES Students in Early Elementary Grades. Computers in the Schools 32(3-4): 183-200.

What’d the Authors Have to Say about Blended Learning with Lexia Core 5 versus Stand-alone Teacher-Led Instruction?

(from the published abstract). This study investigated the potential benefits of a blended learning approach on the reading skills of low socioeconomic status students in Grades 1 and 2. Treatment students received English language arts instruction that was both teacher-led and technology-based. Comparisons were made with control students who received the same English language arts instruction without the blended learning component. Results showed significantly greater pretest/posttest gains on a standardized reading assessment for the treatment students compared to the control students. The greatest discrepancy occurred in reading comprehension. A sub-analysis of low-performing English language learner students in the treatment group revealed the largest reading gains. At posttest, these students performed at the level of non-English language learner students in the control group. Results indicated a blended learning approach can be effective in enhancing the reading skills of low socioeconomic students.

This was a longitudinal study, appearing to occur over a full school year. The measures included the Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE) instrument available from Pearson. Learners in the treatment group did indeed appear to improve their scores incrementally, and statistically significantly, over their peers in the non-Lexia Core 5 (“control”) group for the Reading Comprehension aspects of the GRADE; however, no differences were detected on the vocabulary sub scales between control and treatment.

lexia core5 blended study ELL comparisonThe reading comp dimension includes sentence (read sentence, pick best word) and paragraph comprehension (read the paragraph, answer 3 or 4 questions about what it was about) comprehension. Differences on the Reading Comprehension variable were moderate using Cohen’s d, meaning that the differences on reading comp were not only statistically significant but also likely yield a meaningful, real world difference in observable learner performance. This isn’t a life changing result, but it would indicate you should see notably better improvement in reading comprehension when you integrate Lexia Core5 into your classroom, versus not doing so.

However, these difference and the effect size, that is the real world impact, is even higher among those identified as ELL in the study. Cohen’s d for the differences between gains in treatment and control groups was quite high for ELL, again primarily attributable to gains in reading comprehension.

What’s it all mean?

The study is not without limitations. Its small, which arguably works against the stats of observing differences, so in larger studies you might see even greater gains for the blended learning group (or you might not, of course). The study was conducted by primarily by individuals employed by Lexia Learning, which might suggest opportunities for bias, however, it has been peer reviewed and appears to be well conceived, conducted, and written.

My take is that the study results strongly suggest Lexia Core5 can improve early elementary literacy outcomes over teacher-led instruction alone. These difference aren’t just stats. There’s meaningful, real world, differences in gains (as measured by Cohen’s effect sizes), for reading comprehension among the groups as a whole and especially for ELL students.–Rick Goldsworthy, PhD, Director, R&D, Academic Edge.

If you are not already using Lexia Core5, the study provides yet more evidence that it can make a difference in our students’ reading outcomes. If you are using Lexia Core5, the study reinforces your decision and may provide ideas for how you use it.

Either way, contact the Academic Edge and we’d be happy to help you get start with Core5 or improve your current Lexia Core5 implementation. That’s what we are here for!

Read the study (free) for yourself. Let us know what you think.

front page of lexia core5 study from computers in the schools link to pdf

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