About This Research
This peer-reviewed publication describes a study in which elementary school students diagnosed with learning disabilities and living in rural communities participated in a tutoring program to improve reading fluency. The study used a regression discontinuity design, which helps ensure that the groups being compared are similar and that differences in the outcomes are the result of the program.
Students who received the tutoring programs* achieved greater growth in reading fluency than students who did not receive tutoring services. This difference was statistically significant.
Participants were 246 second-, third-, and fourth-grade students diagnosed with specific learning disabilities from 11 schools across nine rural districts in a Midwestern state.
Study Design and Procedures
This study used a regression discontinuity design. Tutoring services were delivered by volunteers three times per week for 26 weeks for approximately 30 minutes per session in a one-on-one setting. Reading fluency was measured using the oral reading fluency subtest of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS).
Hampton, D. D., Morrison, W. F., Rizza, M., & Osborn, J. (2015). A volunteer tutoring program in reading: Examining the growth in reading achievement of elementary grade students with SLD in a tutoring based intervention. Ohio Journal of Teacher Education, 29(2), 5-23.
*Reading Tutors, which is now part of Reading A-Z and Raz-Plus, was one of the tutoring programs used in this study.