Technology Supported Literacy Programs
HB513 Early Intervention Software Program Evaluation
The Utah State Legislature funded HB 513 Early Intervention Software Program (HB 513) to encourage literacy growth and achievement in Utah students in grades K-3. HB 513 offered Local Education Agencies (LEAs) throughout the state the option to select from five interactive computer software program providers with programs on reading instruction. To ensure that HB 513 was implemented as it was intended and that the program had the desired impact on students, the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) hired the Evaluation and Training Institute (ETI) to conduct a multi-year evaluation study. The primary goal of the HB 513 evaluation study was to describe the implementation of the early intervention software programs and to document the outcomes associated with school, teacher and individual student participation. ETI used a mixed-method evaluation design, which included surveys and interviews (primary source data) and analyses of secondary sources of data. Secondary sources of data included records of software usage and proprietary outcome data recorded by each of the five software vendors. In addition, ETI compared the literacy achievement of students in the early intervention program to a matched comparison group of students not in the programs (known as a “control group”) using student-testing results from school-based Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) Next data. ETI presented the evaluation findings to the Utah State Office of Education.
Utah UPSTART Program Evaluation
ETI was contracted by the state of Utah to evaluate the UPSTART program, a computer-based preschool program which teaches children literacy skills. The evaluation consisted of: (1) evaluating the program’s effectiveness preparing children academically for success in school; and (2) testing the feasibility of scaling such a program to all preschool children in Utah. Using a posttest-only research design with repeated measures on nonequivalent groups, we compared outcomes for a group of children that experienced the UPSTART program with a group of children that had not experienced the early intervention program. To determine the feasibility of scaling the program, we converted descriptions of labor effort for achieving implementation to dollars per household unit costs and then extrapolated that to the population of preschool families estimated to have a future demand for home preschool using a computer assisted approach. A final report was written and submitted to the state of Utah including findings and recommendations.