Rethink Reading

The Impact of Reading Plus on Student Achievement

Posted by Alexandra Spichtig, Ph.D. on Oct 20, 2016 6:00:00 AM
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We've always relied on research to guide us toward the best ways to help students become better readers.  In fact, the museum in our office displays equipment used in our research and reading clinics that dates back to 1933.

Follow our more than 80-year trail of research and resulting innovations, and a clear path emerges. We began by examining the physical domain of reading—how students see and interact with words on a page. This work was coupled with research into the interactions between the physical and cognitive domains of reading, and the role reading efficiency plays in regard to the ease and the effectiveness with which students read and comprehend text. From there, our research grew to encompass interest and confidence, which are aspects of the emotional domain of reading. Today, we’re focused on the integration of all three domains: physical, cognitive, and emotional.

The physical domain should never be considered in isolation. At the end of the day it doesn't matter if students are reading faster if they aren't comprehending what they are reading, or if they have such poor perceptions of themselves as readers that they have little interest in reading and  avoid it whenever possible. Our efforts serve all three domains by providing an authentic practice environment that engages and strengthens all aspects responsible for successful and effective reading. To become a proficient reader, students need to develop physical reading skills to the point that they become second nature, thereby enabling students to focus more attention on the meaning and appreciation of what they read, and thus become more motivated readers who read with confidence and purpose.

The impact of the integration of the three domains of reading on student performance is the focus of our most recent research. We’re pleased to offer a free copy of the research brief. The comprehensive study measured the progress of 142,223 students in grades 2 through 12, from 1,346 schools in 574 districts.

Results: Key Highlights

Reading Plus students achieved significant gains, including

  •      Physical: Up to 2.5 times larger gains in comprehension-based reading rate
  •      Cognitive: Nearly 3 times the gain in comprehension
  •      Emotional: Twice the gains in self-reported interest and confidence in reading
  •      Proficiency: Overall these gains resulted in growth of 1.6 to nearly 2 grade levels

Strong Correlations with Leading Standards

Reading_PLus_INsight_Correlations.pngTo provide the most useful data, this study utilized the Reading Plus InSight adaptive assessment to measure growth. InSight provides a unique “real-world” assessment, it provides measures related to all three domains of reading - rate, comprehension, vocabulary, and motivation, as well as an overall proficiency score.

As a result of this unique approach, Reading Plus InSight assessment results can be readily compared with nationally normed standardized test results, and show strong correlations with these other tests.

We’re excited to share the latest results of the impact of Reading Plus and hope you’ll have an opportunity to read the brief and share it with your colleagues.

We would love to hear your thoughts and comments about this and any of the work of the Research Team.  Thanks for reading.   

Topics: Research