Research in Action Project

Edith Erickson - CEP 822

Introduction to the problem, background, and setting

Annotated Bibliography

Literature Review

Introduction

Accelerated Reader

Literature Overview

Rationale

Body

Kinds of work reviewed

Reading Achievement

Reading Habits

How your work is informed by the work of others

Description of Intervention and Evaluation

Research questions

Intervention

Evaluation

Sample

Describe

Justify

Study design, data sources, and procedures.

Study Design

Data Sources

Procedure

Data analysis

Final Project

My Research Question

Influences of others on how I think about the question

Influences of other on how I plan to study this

My Plan

Revised Introduction & Background

Revised Literature Review

Revised Research Plan

Works Cited


Introduction to the problem, background, and setting

The Issue

Is the Accelerated Reader program by Renaissance Learning an effective tool for measuring reading comprehension? What are the effects of the program on the reader’s desire to read for enjoyment?

Personal Significance

For my action research project, I have chosen to focus my study on the Accelerated Reader program. I teach at a K-8 Catholic school that implements the program for second through eighth grade students. The students here receive a language arts grade based upon the percentage of their points goal they achieve, as well as cash prizes for overall high scores for the school year. Most students and parents seem to like the program, but as a reading teacher I wonder if it is worth the money and effort. I have questioned the usefulness and validity of the Accelerated Reader program since I started teaching six years ago when I was expected to use the program with my third grade students in South Carolina.  After moving back to Michigan three years ago, I have had increasing doubts about the program. Part of the problem that I’ve noticed is that there is too much pressure for students to meet their points goals. At my current school, students receive an actual grade on their report card based on whether or not a child reached their points in addition to vying for a cash prize at the end of the year. It seems that there should be more emphasis on understanding and enjoying the reading, rather than racing through to take a test (which many students score poorly on, but still earn points for).  I would imagine that different schools run things differently, but in both of my experiences the goal was more points driven than achievement driven. I also question the program because for many students, if a book is not part of the Accelerated Program system, they will refuse to try it. This leads me to believe that without the program and incentives, the student will discontinue reading for enjoy once they stop using the program. In addition to my primary focus, I would be interested to see what schools with proven results do differently than what my school does.

Practical Significance

Aside from myself, this question is of interest to the other reading teachers in my building, as well as our librarian who runs the program. I also think that parents would be interested to know how effective the program is. Globally, teachers who are unsure of the effectiveness may also benefit from this research.

Research

In an article from the Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, author Deborah Biggers asserts that Accelerated Reader does not adhere to “theoretically sound instructional practices” (Biggers, 2001, p. 72).

She later points out that Accelerated Reader is not intended to be an instructional tool, although that is how it is being labeled and used in many schools (Biggers, 2001, p. 73). On the flip side, a study published by What Works Clearinghouse entitled “Accelerated Reader. What Works Clearinghouse Intervention Report” asserts that there is some evidence to show the program’s effectiveness, particularly in general reading achievement, but no effectiveness in improving reading fluency, and mixed results in terms of reading comprehension (What Works Clearinghouse, 2008, p.1). There seems to be a substantial amount of research on both sides of the issue, although it seems that the overall research does not show Accelerated Reader as a favorable instructional tool.  

In a study focused upon student reading habits, it was found that Accelerated Reader did little to provide a lasting change in the reading habits of students who stopped using the program. In the study, entitled “Accelerated Reader[R]: What Are the Lasting Effects on the Reading Habits of Middle School Students Exposed to Accelerated Reader[R] in Elementary Grades?” the researchers determined that there was no discernable variation between the reading habits of students who used Accelerated Reader from those students who did not use the program (Pavonetti, Brimmer & Cipielewski, 2002, p. 9-10). Interestingly however, I did find a research article that suggests that Accelerated Reader can improve the reading habits of English-as-a-second-language (ESL) students in particular. According to an evaluative report in Reading Horizons, there is evidence to indicate that student attitudes towards reading increased due to the use the Accelerated Reader program (McGlinn & Parrish, 2002, p 175).

Overall, it seems that the research seems to validate the problems that I have noticed in my school in regards to reading comprehension. Seeing this, I will see if this rings true in my own school by conducting a case study to judge the validity of the test scores generated by the Accelerated Reader program as compared to scores on oral retellings. In addition, I will conduct a series of surveys in order to gauge the level of reading enjoyment with increased use of the program.

References

Biggers, D. (2001). The argument against accelerated reader. In Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy(Vol. 45, pp. 72-75). Retrieved from http://dianedalenberg.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/argument-against-ar.pdf.

McGlinn, J., & Parrish, A. (2002). Accelerating esl students' reading progress with accelerated reader.Reading Horizons, 42(3), 175-189. Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1186&context=reading_horizons.

Pavonetti, L., Brimmer, K., & Cipielewski, J. (2002, December). Accelerated reader[r]: What are the lasting effects on the reading habits of middle school students exposed to accelerated reader[r] in elementary grades?. Annual meeting of the national reading conference, Scottsdale, AZ. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED456423.pdf.

What Works Clearinghouse. US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. (2008).Accelerated reader. what works clearinghouse intervention report(http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED502922.pdf). Retrieved from website: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED502922.pdf


Annotated Bibliography

Biggers, D. (2001). The argument against accelerated reader. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 45, 72-75 . Retrieved from http://dianedalenberg.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/argument-against-ar.pdf.

        “The Argument Against Accelerated Reader” is an article that focuses on the ineffectiveness of the Accelerated Reader program. Biggers asserts that the program is ineffective in terms of improving reading comprehension as well as fostering a lifelong interest in reading. This, in part, is due to the fact that the Accelerated Reader program does not use theoretically sound instructional practices. Biggers is concerned that many school are more concerned with technology integration than they are about choosing an educationally relevant tool. She also argues that the program does not provide for direct instruction, meaning the differentiation touted in the program’s marketing is not truly attainable. Biggers provides quality references including  professional education associations, peer reviewed journals, and government reports.

McGlinn, J., & Parrish, A. (2002). Accelerating ESL students' reading progress with accelerated reader. Reading Horizons, 42(3), 175-189. Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1186&context=reading_horizons.

        This is a study conducted by McGlinn and Parrish in order to determine the effect of the Accelerated Reader program on upper elementary students who speak English as a second language. The study, conducted in rural North Carolina, concluded that the program did improve student attitudes towards reading, as well as the amount of time spent reading. The study also concluded that there was no evidence of an improvement in student reading levels due to use of the program.

Paul, T., VanderZee, D., Rue, T., & Swanson, T. (1996). Impact of the accelerated reader technology-based literacy program on overall academic achievement and school attendance. Paper presented at the National Reading Research Center Conference Literacy and Technology for the 21st Century, Atlanta, GA. Retrieved from http://www.readingmatrix.com/articles/johnson_howard/article.pdf

        In a study conducted for the National Reading Research Center Conference, researchers looked at students in grades three through five to determine the effectiveness of the Accelerated Reader program on reading achievement and vocabulary growth. The students chosen were from seven inner city schools and were selected because they were labeled as at-risk. In the study, the students were pre and post tested. The data is organized by groups of students based upon the number of books read by the conclusion of the study. In the end, the researchers determined that the students who read the fewest number of books made the least amount of growth, while the students who read the most made the most significant  improvement in the reading achievement and vocabulary growth. According to this study, the Accelerated Reading program can be very effective if students are willing to read at least the recommended one hour per day.  

Pavonetti, L., Brimmer, K., & Cipielewski, J. (2002). Accelerated reader[r]: What are the lasting effects on the reading habits of middle school students exposed to accelerated reader[r] in elementary grades? Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference, Scottsdale, AZ. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED456423.pdf.

        In this study, the long term effects of the Accelerated Reader program are examined. The researchers in the study compared middle school students from several different suburban schools to see whether students who used the Accelerated Reader program in elementary school benefited in terms of reading habits and attitudes towards reading as compared with their peers who did not use the program in elementary school. Surprisingly, the study showed that not only did the Accelerated Reader students not outperform the non-Accelerated Reader group, but the students who did not use the program were shown as reading more as middle school students than those who used the program. The exception to this was at schools where the Accelerated Reader program was also used in the middle school.

Stanfield, G. (2006). Incentives: The Effects on Reading Attitude and Reading Behaviors of Third-Grade Students. Georgia College and State University, Available from ERIC. (ED494453) Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED494453.pdf

        In this study, researcher Gayle Stanfield studied the effects of incentives used throughout the Accelerated Reader program upon student attitudes towards reading. In this small scale study, the author worked with 19 third grade students. Prior to beginning the study, the students were given a reading attitude survey.That was repeated at the conclusion of the study. The amount of books and quiz scores were tracked during the period of the study. Stanfield found that despite receiving a variety of prizes, the students did not improve in terms of attitudes toward reading nor did the students read more or perform better on the Accelerated Reader quizzes.

What Works Clearinghouse, US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. (2008). Accelerated reader. Retrieved from: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED502922.pdf

        In this government report published by the US Department of Education, What Works Clearinghouse examines two studies into the Accelerated Reader program. The first, consisting of students from kindergarten through third grade from 11 schools in the South, and the other including 32 students from a school in the Pacific Northwest. Based on the evidence from these studies, it is concluded that Accelerated Reader has a negligible effect of improving reading fluency. The effect of general reading achievement was ranked highest, but still showed only small improvements. Finally, improvements in reading comprehension were mixed, with some students showing positive growth and others showing negative growth.


Literature Review

Introduction 

Accelerated Reader

The Accelerated Reader program by Renaissance Learning is a widely used reading program intended to improve student reading achievement and interest, but having used the program for a number of years, I question its effectiveness. My concerns are twofold. Firstly, I doubt the validity of the scores received on the quizzes as being an accurate measure of a student’s understanding of the given text. Secondly, I question the short term and long term changes in student attitudes towards reading since much of the program is incentives based. When the incentives stop, does the reading stop?

Literature Overview

Accelerated Reader has been used for years in schools across the country but overall the research shows that the program is not effective in improving student reading achievement, nor does it improve student reading attitudes and habits. Deborah Biggers (2001), as well as Terrance Paul, Darrel VanderZee, Tom Rue, and Scott Swanson (1996) agree that while the program does not necessarily cause a decline in reading achievement, there is little evidence to show that Accelerated Reader is effective in improving reading achievement. There also seems to be a consensus between Gayle Stanfield (2006) Linda Pavonetti, Kathryn Brimmer, and James Cipielewski (2002) that the program does not achieve the touted goal of improving student attitudes or habits after disuse of the program.  

Rationale 

As a language arts teacher, it is important to choose tools that are shown to be effective in teaching reading both theoretically and in practice. In comparing the works mentioned in this study, I set out to find texts that both supported and refuted the Accelerated Reading program. It quickly became apparent that the research was overwhelmingly negative. I started by focusing on the academic merits of the program before turning my research towards the lasting effects on reading habits and attitudes. There are a few positive points mentioned throughout the research, although these were few and far between.

Body 

Kinds of work reviewed 

During my research, I came across two categories of works; those that focused on the academic merits of the Accelerated Reading program, and those that focused on the success of the program in establishing reading habits and positive attitudes towards reading in students who used the program. Most of the works in both categories disproved claims that Accelerated Reader improves reading achievement. The works reviewed were in the form of theoretical articles, case studies, government research reports, and professional organization reports.  Several of the studies looked into small groups of students, such as the students in one class or school, while others examined a larger geographic area. Some of the studies focused more on data created within the program, while others relied on student surveys and anecdotal records.  

Reading Achievement

According to many of the published works on Accelerated Reader, most claim that the program is ineffective in terms of improving reading achievement. In an article by D. Biggers entitled “The Argument Against Accelerated Reader,” the author asserted that the program is ineffective in terms of improving reading comprehension as well as fostering a lifelong interest in reading. This, in part, is due to the fact that the Accelerated Reader program does not use theoretically sound instructional practices. Biggers is concerned that many school are more concerned with technology integration than they are about choosing an educationally relevant tool. She also argues that the program does not provide for direct instruction, meaning the differentiation touted in the program’s marketing is not truly attainable. (Biggers, 2001)

A study by the National Reading Research Center Conference shows similar concerns. In this study, researchers looked at students in grades three through five to determine the effectiveness of the Accelerated Reader program on reading achievement and vocabulary growth. The students chosen were from 7 inner city schools and were selected because they were labeled as at-risk. In the study, the students were pre and post tested. The data is organized by groups of students based upon the number of books read by the conclusion of the study. In the end, the researchers determined that the students who read the fewest number of books made the least amount of growth, while the students who read the most made the most significant  improvement in the reading achievement and vocabulary growth. According to this study, the Accelerated Reading program can be very effective if students are willing to read at least the recommended one hour per day, although the students labeled as “heavy users” was limited to only 12% of the students included in the study. (Paul, VanderZee, Rue, & Swanson, 1996)

A report conducted by the What Works Clearinghouse and published by the US Department of Education evaluated two studies looking into the effectiveness of the program in terms of improvement of reading achievement. The first consisting of students from kindergarten through third grade from 11 schools in the South, and the other including 32 students from a school in the Pacific Northwest. Based on the evidence from these studies, the Accelerated Reader has a negligible effect of improving reading fluency when comparing students who used Accelerated Reader with students who were able to spend the same amount of time reading self selected books from the school library. The effect of general reading achievement was ranked highest, but still showed only small improvements over the control group. Finally, improvements in reading comprehension were mixed, with some students showing positive growth and others showing negative growth. (What Works Clearinghouse, 2008)

Reading Habits

In terms of improvements in student reading habits and attitudes towards reading, Accelerated Reader did not fare any more favorably overall. A study conducted for the annual meeting of the National Reading Conference examined the long term effects of the Accelerated Reader program. The researchers in the study compared middle school students from several different suburban schools to see whether students who used the Accelerated Reader program in elementary school benefited in terms of reading habits and attitudes towards reading as compared with their peers who did not use the program in elementary school. Surprisingly, the study showed that not only did the Accelerated Reader students not outperform the non Accelerated Reader group, but the students who did not use the program were shown as reading more as middle school students than those who used the program. (Pavonetti, Brimmer, & Cipielewski, 2002)

A case study conducted by Gayle Stanfield agreed with the findings of Pavonetti, Brimmer, and Cipielewski in that Accelerated Reader did not improve the attitudes of students towards reading . Nineteen third grade students were the focus of Stanfield’s study into the effect of incentives on student attitudes toward reading. Prior to beginning the study, the students were give a reading attitude survey; something that was repeated at the conclusion of the study. The amount of books and quiz scores were also tracked during the period of the study. Stanfield found that despite receiving a variety of prizes, the students did not improve in terms of attitudes towards reading nor did the students read more or perform better on the Accelerated Reader quizzes. (Stanfield, 2006)

One area in which Accelerated Reader showed some promise is in use with students who speak English as a second language. In a study conducted by McGlinn and Parrish it was determined that the Accelerated Reader program can be somewhat effective on upper elementary students who speak English as a second language. The study, conducted in rural North Carolina, concluded that the program did improve student attitudes towards reading, as well as the amount of time spent reading but provided no evidence of an improvement in student reading levels due to use of the program. (McGlinn & Parrish, 2002)

Conclusion 

Through the study of these articles, reports, and studies, it can be concluded that Accelerated Reader is not as effective in improving reading comprehension or attitudes towards reading as Renaissance Learning would like schools to believe. In studying these works, this quickly became evident. In both theory and practice, the program is flawed. Accelerated Reader does not accurately use theoretically sound instructional practices, such as the Zones of Proximal Development, when addressing student achievement. (Biggers, 2001) When compared with students who spent the same amount of time reading, students who used the Accelerated Reader program fared no better overall than students who selected library books to read independently without the program. (What Works Clearinghouse, 2008) There are isolated cases of effectiveness, like the instance of improving interest in ESL students, but not there is not enough evidence to show that this is the prevailing result of the program, especially when students stop using the program. (McGlinn & Parrish, 2002) Much of the Accelerated Reader program is based on the idea of expanding student motivation to read through the use of incentives. While this may cause some increase motivation while using the program, it does not guarantee a long-term internal motivation to read. Once the incentives stop, the studies show that students will not only NOT maintain their reading habits, but they will often regress in the absence of rewards. (Pavonetti, Brimmer, & Cipielewski, 2002) (Stanfield, 2006) In light of this research, it is easy to see that the emphasis placed on the Accelerated Reading program by many schools is misplaced and should be examined in order to ensure that the program is being used in a manner that takes sound instructional practices into account.


Description of Intervention and Evaluation

Research questions

Is the Accelerated Reader program by Renaissance Learning an effective tool for measuring reading comprehension? What are the effects of the program on the reader’s desire to read for enjoyment?

Intervention

In order to measure student comprehension, I will use the case study method to collect the data needed to come to a conclusion. I will measure the results of the tests the students take through the Accelerated Reader program and compare their scores over time as compared with interviews over the same books on which tests were taken. Since the program is run through the computer, I will not need to intervene directly in the testing portion. I will also use unstructured interviewing to get a second rating of a student’s understanding of their chosen text. I will rate the level of understanding using a four point rubric. This data will be compared with the test data from Accelerated Reader to see how well the tests measure a student’s comprehension of text.

Reader enjoyment will also be measured using a series of surveys administered throughout the length of the study. Since this portion of the study will focus on the personal experiences of the students, the use of phenomenology will be vital. These surveys will be posted online for the students to complete, meaning this portion of the study will also be using a direct observation method to collect data.

Evaluation 

Sample

Describe

The sample in this study will be two classes of fourth grade students. The students attend a Catholic school in a small community in Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The students, in general, come from middle to upper middle class families. The study will take place over the period of two marking periods (nine weeks each).

Justify

The sample groups chosen have used the Accelerated Reader program since they were in second grade. They are familiar with the program so they would not need to be taught anything new in order to be successful with it. These groups are well suited for this study because they are familiar with the program.

Study design, data sources, and procedures.

Study Design

This study will have two parts. In the first part, I will look at student test data provided through the Accelerated Reader program. This will give me information on student comprehension as measured by the program. I will compare these results to see if there is a correlation with the level of understanding gauged by a reading interview. I will interview the students over the most recent tests they have taken through the Accelerated Reader program. The interview will include broad questions and a retelling portion. This interview will be rated on a four point rubric and will be compared with the coordinating score from the Accelerated Reader test.

The second part of this study will include student surveys to gauge student enjoyment of learning. The students will take three surveys throughout the eighteen week period of the study, one at the beginning, one at the middle, and one at the end. The surveys will be designed in a way that allows students to rate different aspects of reading on a scale of zero to five.

Both aspects of this study will be administered to both of the sample groups. This will allow for comparison between both groups while also providing a larger sample size.

Data Sources

        Data for this study will come from a variety of sources including surveys and observations. The surveys used in this study will gauge the attitudes of students towards reading. Survey items would include rating feelings towards specific reading genres, amount of time spent reading at home, whether there is enough time spent on independent reading during school hours, and overall feeling towards reading. Data will be collected through interviews and the analysis of test data provided by the Accelerated Reader program. The interviews will determine a level of reader comprehension based on retelling and open-ended questions. These will be rated using a four point rubric and compared to the score of the coordinating test taken through Accelerated Reader.

Procedure

        This study will begin with students taking an online survey to gauge their enjoyment of and feelings towards reading. This will give me a benchmark on which I can compare the results of later surveys. The students will continue using the program as they have in the past, during which time I will randomly select students to interview. The books over which the student will be interviewed will also be selected based on their most recent test, allowing for the least amount of time to pass between the test and the interview. This will prevent the students from forgetting the book during the time between taking the test and being interviewed. Midway through the study, a second reading attitude survey will be administered, again providing another means of comparison. Use of the Accelerated Reader program, as well as student interviews, will continue until the conclusion of the eighteenth week, at which time the students will take their final reading attitude survey.

Data analysis

        The data collected will be reviewed in several different ways. The results of the student tests taken in the Accelerated Reader program will be compared to the results of the student interviews. This will show whether the Accelerated Reader program does an accurate job of measuring the level to which students are comprehending a text.I will be looking for a moderate to strong correlation between the Accelerated Reader test score and the results of the reading interview in order to conclude that the program does indeed accurately measure reading comprehension. The information will be analyzed question by question as well as in terms of an overall score.  The results of the reading attitudes survey will be compared over time to see if students enjoy reading more as they continue use of the program.

 


Final Project

My Research Question

Is the Accelerated Reader program by Renaissance Learning an effective tool for measuring reading comprehension? What are the effects of the program on the reader’s desire to read for enjoyment? As a classroom teacher who is required to use this program in m y classroom, I question the effectiveness of this expensive and popular program.

Influences on Thinking

 According to many of the published works on Accelerated Reader, most claim that the program is ineffective in terms of improving reading achievement. How can such a popular program be so ineffective? One article in particular helped me to understand why the program does not typically achieve its intended purpose. In an article by D. Biggers entitled “The Argument Against Accelerated Reader,” Biggers explained that Accelerated Reader is ineffective due to the lack of theoretically sound instructional practices. Having used the program for a number of years, this rang true and helped to explain why the program is not more successful. There are no instructional methods included in the program; it relies on incentives to improve achievement rather than direct instruction. (Biggers, 2001)

Influences on Study

In order to determine the effectiveness of the program in my school in regards to comprehension and reading enjoyment, I will use the case study approach for my research. The first portion of the case study will involve analyzing test data obtained using the Accelerated Reading program. Scores from these tests will be compared with oral student retellings to gauge the level of understanding measured by the online tests. The second portion of the study will be focused on using surveys to measure student enjoyment, similar to the study conducted by Gayle Standfield, in which she measured student enjoyment after the introduction of prizes into the Accelerated Reading system. Students will take three surveys throughout the duration of the study, including a survey at the beginning, middle, and end of the study. The results will be compared to determine whether the attitudes of students towards reading improved with increased use of the Accelerated Reader program. (Stanfield, 2006)

My Plan

In order to further study the effectiveness of the Accelerated Reader program in terms of both comprehension and enjoyment, I will conduct a case study. In the study, I will examine student scores on reading comprehension tests taken through the Accelerated Reader program and compare the scores to student retellings as scored on a rubric. This will tell the depth of understanding of the chosen text. The students will also complete a series of surveys throughout the duration of the study gauging their level of reading enjoyment. By combining analysis of test data with the outcome of the surveys, I will be provided with an understanding of not only whether Accelerated Reader accurately assesses reading comprehension, but also whether it is effective in improving student attitudes towards reading.

Appendices

Revised Introduction & Background

Revised Literature Review

Revised Research Plan

Works Cited

Biggers, D. (2001). The argument against accelerated reader. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 45, 72-75 . Retrieved from http://dianedalenberg.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/argument-against-ar.pdf.

McGlinn, J., & Parrish, A. (2002). Accelerating ESL students' reading progress with accelerated reader. Reading Horizons, 42(3), 175-189. Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1186&context=reading_horizons.

Paul, T., VanderZee, D., Rue, T., & Swanson, T. (1996). Impact of the accelerated reader technology-based literacy program on overall academic achievement and school attendance. Paper presented at the National Reading Research Center Conference Literacy and Technology for the 21st Century, Atlanta, GA. Retrieved from http://www.readingmatrix.com/articles/johnson_howard/article.pdf

Pavonetti, L., Brimmer, K., & Cipielewski, J. (2002). Accelerated reader[r]: What are the lasting effects on the reading habits of middle school students exposed to accelerated reader[r] in elementary grades? Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference, Scottsdale, AZ. Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED456423.pdf.

Stanfield, G. (2006). Incentives: The Effects on Reading Attitude and Reading Behaviors of Third-Grade Students. Georgia College and State University, Available from ERIC. (ED494453) Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED494453.pdf

What Works Clearinghouse, US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. (2008). Accelerated reader. Retrieved from: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED502922.pdf


Edith

1 point

2-3 points

4 points

TOTAL/Comments

Introducing the Idea: Problem statement

Neither implicit nor explicit reference is made to the topic or purpose of the research

Readers are aware of the overall problem, challenge, or topic of the research.

 

The topic is introduced, and groundwork is laid as to the direction of the research.

 

Good problem statement. For future lit reviews, your hypothesis should tie into larger educational research “issues.” Do other teachers, ed researchers, question the validity of Accelerated Reader?

4/4

                

Body: Flow of the report

 

The summary appears to have no direction, with subtopics appearing disjointed.

 

There is a basic flow from one section to the next, but not all sections or paragraphs follow in a natural or logical order.

 

The summary goes from general ideas to specific conclusions. Transitions tie sections together, as well as adjacent paragraphs.

 

Well organized, and clear throughout. Nicely done. 4/4

Coverage of content

Major sections of pertinent content have been omitted or greatly run-on. The topic is of little significance to the course.

 

All major sections of the pertinent content are included, but not covered in as much depth, or as explicit, as expected. Significance to the course is evident.

                 

The appropriate content in consideration is covered in depth without being redundant. Sources are cited when specific statements are made. Significance to the course is unquestionable.

 

Content is explained, and coverage of the challenges of AR program are explored thoroughly. 4/4

Clarity of writing and writing technique

                                        

                                

                        

                

         

It is hard to know what the writer is trying to express. Writing is convoluted. Misspelled words, incorrect grammar, and improper punctuation are evident. Citation for the articles did not follow APA format and was missing essential information.

Writing is generally clear, but unnecessary words are occasionally used. Meaning is sometimes hidden. Paragraph or sentence structure is too repetitive. Few spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors are made. Citation for the articles did follow APA format; however; a few errors in essential information were evident.

        

         

Writing is crisp, clear, and succinct. The writer incorporates the active voice when appropriate and supports ideas with examples. No spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors are made. Citation for the article did follow APA format. Essential information was accurate and complete.

Writing is crisp and clear. There are instances of passive voice that may benefit from active voice (it’s readable as is, but could be strengthened). 3/4

Conclusion: A synthesis of ideas and hypothesis or research question

                         

There is no indication the author tried to synthesize the information or make a conclusion based on the literature under review.        

The author provides concluding remarks that show an analysis and synthesis of ideas occurred. Some of the conclusions, however, were not supported in the body of the report 

The author was able to make succinct and precise conclusions based on the review. Insights into the problem are appropriate. Conclusions are strongly supported in the review. 

Conclusion is pretty good. Consider adding 1 more sentence to really bring it home. 4/4

TOTAL

19/20

Lab 4 Feedback

As a teacher, I would like to address the issue of the Accelerated Reader program. Accelerated Reader is a program that tests students over books that they have read and awards points for high scores. Many schools offer incentives or even grades for students that meet point goals. The idea behind the program seems great, but the problem is, students are not actually benefiting from the program. According to a report by the US Department of Education, the average rate of improvement in reading comprehension based on usage of the program is zero points. (What Works Clearinghouse, 2008) The program does not actually provide any instruction to the students, thus it does not actually help students to become better readers (Biggers, 2001). Additionally, in my own experience as a teacher, I have noticed that students tend to rush through books so that they can take a large number of tests, rather than reading carefully and thoughtfully as good readers should. Students are awarded a percentage of the possible points even when scoring poorly on the tests. This means that a student can achieve their points goal while still scoring poorly on their tests, meaning that they are being rewarded for mediocre to poor work. In addition, the program also turns students away from quality books that do not have quizzes; students do not want to "waste" their time reading a book if there is not something in it for them. With the the average annual cost of full implementation, ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 per school year, it is an expensive program that data has shown is not effective (Paul & Paul, 2010). As educators, we need to find better, research based approaches to instructing our students.

Biggers, D. (2001). The argument against accelerated reader. In Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy(Vol. 45, pp. 72-75). Retrieved from http://dianedalenberg.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/argument-against-ar.pdf.

Paul, J., & Paul, T. (2010, August). Intervention: Accelerated Reader. Retrieved from http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/reports/adolescent_literacy/accel_read/info.asp.

What Works Clearinghouse. US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. (2008).Accelerated reader. what works clearinghouse intervention report(http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED502922.pdf). Retrieved from website: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED502922.pdf

Edith, Pt 3

1 point

2-3 points

4 points

TOTAL/Comments

Introducing the Idea: Restating the problem

Neither implicit nor explicit reference is made to the topic or purpose of the research

Readers are aware of the overall problem, challenge, or topic of the research.

 

The topic is introduced, and groundwork is laid as to the direction of the research.

 

Topic introduced nicely. 4/4

                

Body: Flow of the report

Methods, Evaluation, Design and Analysis

 

The body appears to have no direction, with subtopics appearing disjointed.

 

There is a basic flow from one section to the next, but not all sections or paragraphs follow in a natural or logical order.

 

The body goes from general ideas to specific conclusions. Transitions tie sections together, as well as adjacent paragraphs.

 

Great flow in this report. 4/4

Coverage of content

Major sections of pertinent content have been omitted or greatly run-on. The topic is of little significance to the course.

 

All major sections of the pertinent content are included, but not covered in as much depth, or as explicit, as expected. Significance to the course is evident.

                 

The appropriate content in consideration is covered in depth without being redundant. Sources are cited when specific statements are made. Significance to the course is unquestionable.

 

Content coverage is appropriate, without going overboard. 4/4

Clarity of writing and writing technique

                                        

                                

                        

                

         

It is hard to know what the writer is trying to express. Writing is convoluted. Misspelled words, incorrect grammar, and improper punctuation are evident. Citations did not follow APA format and was missing essential information.

Writing is generally clear, but unnecessary words are occasionally used. Meaning is sometimes hidden. Paragraph or sentence structure is too repetitive. Few spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors are made. Citations did follow APA format; however; a few errors in essential information were evident.

        

         

Writing is crisp, clear, and succinct. The writer incorporates the active voice when appropriate and supports ideas with examples. No spelling, grammar, or punctuation errors are made. Citations did follow APA format. Essential information was accurate and complete.

Crisp, strong, expressive writing that is clear to readers. 4/4

Data Analysis

                         

There is no indication the author understands plans for analysis of the data

The author shows an analysis and synthesis plan, however, not all details are clearly evident.  

The author was able to make succinct and precise plans for data analysis. Insights into the problem are appropriate and speculation is strongly supported in the writing. 

Data collection and analysis plan is comprehensive. Nice. 4/4

TOTAL

20/20