Empirical Validation of an On-line Literacy Program using DIBELS for Title I Students, Naglieri, Jack A., and Conway, Cara, George Mason University, submitted for publication, 2009
The aim of this investigation was to examine the effect an online game based reading program called SkatekidsOnline (SKO) had on Title I students’ reading skills. The effectiveness of this cognitively based interactive learning program was compared for third-grade students who were defined as High (mean of 16.8 hours) or Low (mean of 5.7 hours) SKO users. DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) scores were nearly identical at pre-test but ANOVA results indicated that the High Use group improved significantly more than the Low Use group (Wilks’ Lambda = .77, F (1, 64) = 19.11, p < .001). The effect size for the High SKO Use group (1.16) was about twice as large as the Low Use group (.57). Additionally, while only 33% of students in the High Use met ORF benchmark at the pre-test phase, 67% met the benchmark after exposure to SKO. This first empirical examination of SKO suggest that the program appears to be an effective method for improving DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency scores for Title I students and, importantly, that the more children played the game the greater their improvement.