There is a new study I found via Best Evidence in Brief on a tool called the Accelerated Reader, a kind of basic learning analytics for reading books as it is software for primary and secondary schools used for monitoring the practice of reading.
Accelerated Reader has three functions:
- Assessment of a student’s reading level
- Suggesting titles of books at that level
- Assessing whether a student has completed reading a book
An Education Endowment Foundation (EEF)-funded study into the use of Accelerated Reader in England found that students who used the program recorded higher literacy scores than those who did not.
From the report:
The evaluation of Accelerated Reader involved 349 pupils in Year 7 who had not achieved secure National Curriculum Level 4 in their primary Key Stage 2 (KS2) results for English (across four secondary schools). 166 pupils were randomly allocated to receive the intervention for 22 weeks in phase one during their first year at secondary school, with the other 183 acting as a control and then receiving the intervention in phase two. 10 pupils left their existing schools and were unable to provide post-test data despite follow-up. The intervention was organised either by taking pupils out of regular classes or making pupils stay after regular school time. The pattern varied between schools.
Statistical analysis revealed an overall effect size of +0.24 in favor of the Accelerated Reader program. This effect is equivalent to around three months’ extra progress in reading ages during the 22-week study. The effect size was larger (+0.38) for students who receive of free school meals, but the smaller number of students (n=115) made this finding less secure. Overall, the trial involved 349 students across four secondary schools. The EEF rated the evidence from the study as moderate (3 out of 5) on their scale of evidence security.
Key Conclusions from the report:
- Accelerated Reader appears to be effective for weaker readers as a catch-up intervention at the start of secondary school.
- A well-stocked library with a wide collection of books banded according to the Accelerated Reader readability formula, and easy access to computers with internet connection, are the main requirements for successful implementation.
- Pupils at very low levels of reading may not be independent readers and would need initial support from teacher to start reading books.
- Schools can lead robust evaluations of their own planned interventions, under favourable circumstances, and with some advice and oversight from expert evaluator