Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


32nd Annual Convention; Atlanta, GA; 2006

Event Details

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Symposium #364
Teaching Young Children to Read: Formative and Summative Evaluation of Headsprout Early Reading in School Settings
Monday, May 29, 2006
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Melinda Sota (Florida State University)
Discussant: Greg Stikeleather (Headsprout)
Abstract: Headsprout Early Reading is an engaging, Internet-based supplemental early reading program specifically designed to teach young learners the fundamental skills and strategies necessary for reading, including phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Headsprout has spent the last 3 years bringing this highly effective program into public and private school settings. This symposium will present both formative and summative data collected from students using Headsprout Early Reading and describe implementation variables from educators using Headsprout in schools.
Research-Based Instruction: Formative and Summative Data Collected From Students Using Headsprout Early Reading.
MELINDA SOTA (Florida State University), Janet S. Twyman (Headsprout), T. V. Joe Layng (Headsprout), Greg Stikeleather (Headsprout)
Abstract: All Headsprout programs are the outcome of an extremely rigorous, scientific, research and development process. They are based on scientific research and data on what works in education, and have been scientifically designed and thoroughly tested during development and dissemination. An extensive formative research model is the key to the development process that enables Headsprout to make certain that students who finish the program acquire the fundamental reading skills and strategies deemed critical by the National Reading Panel and No Child Left Behind. Headsprout’s patented adaptive instructional technology generates results that are reliable and predictable across a wide variety of learners and learning needs. Since initial development, over 400 million learner interactions have been recorded across more than 100,000 learners. This presentation will introduce Headsprout and provide formative and summative data collected on learners from schools across the nation.
The Effects of an Internet-Based Program on the Early Reading and Oral Language Skills of At-Risk Preschool Students and Their Teachers' Perceptions of the Program.
MARY HUFFSTETTER (University of South Florida)
Abstract: This investigation examined the effects of instruction, within the context of the Headsprout Reading Basics program, on the oral language and early reading skills of at-risk preschool students, and their teachers’ perceptions of the program. Random assignment was used in a pretest-posttest, comparison group design to assess the effects of this study. Thirty-one students, across two preschool settings, participated in the experimental group, and 31 students participated in the comparison group. The experimental group received instruction through Headsprout. The comparison group received instruction through Millie’s Math House. Thirty minutes of daily instruction was provided for a period of eight weeks. Oral language skills were measured using the Test of Language Development-Primary: 3rd edition, and early reading skills were measured using the Test of Early Reading Ability- 3rd edition. Results indicated that students who received instruction through Headsprout exhibited gains in oral language and early reading skills that were statistically higher than did the students who did not receive this instruction. Effect sizes were found to be large. Analysis of interview data indicated that the teachers viewed Headsprout as a desirable way to increase the oral language and early reading skills of their students. Implications for future research are discussed.
Meeting the Federal Mandates: Feasibility and Effectiveness of Parent Implemented Computer-based Reading Programs.
SEKHAR PINDIPROLU (University of Toledo), David E. Forbush (Utah State University), Lori J. Marks (East Tennessee State University)
Abstract: Recent evidence suggests that an estimated 10 million school age children in the nations schools fail to become proficient readers. One potential way to overcome some of the existing barriers in meeting student reading needs is to supplement classroom instruction with computer based reading programs (CBRP) that provide systematic, comprehensive, and explicit instruction that reflect the five evidenced-based reading components advocated by the National Reading Panel (NRP). In this presentation, outcomes of a study, supported by the U.S. Department of Education, examining the feasibility and effectiveness of parents as trainers in employing computer-based reading programs for teaching reading skills to young children with reading difficulties will be presented. The project evaluated a parent implemented computer-based DI program (Funnix) and a comparative parent implemented computer based non-DI program (Plato & Headsprout). Descriptive information of the participants, procedures, treatment fidelity, statistically significant results, and effect sizes will be presented. The results of the study will be discussed in the context of recent federal mandates. Further, the potential implications of the results for teachers and parents of students with reading difficulties will be discussed.



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