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Live Webcam Coaching to Help Early Elementary Classroom Teachers Provide Effective Literacy Instruction for Struggling Readers: The Targeted Reading Intervention

Vernon-Feagans, Lynne; Kainz, Kirsten; Ginsberg, Marnie; Hedrick, Amy; Amendum, Steve.
Journal of Educational Psychology, 105 (4): 1175-1187 (2013)

DOI: 10.1037/a0032143 Information about DOI

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This study evaluated whether the Targeted Reading Intervention (TRI), a classroom teacher professional development program delivered through webcam technology literacy coaching, could provide rural classroom teachers with the instructional skills to help struggling readers progress rapidly in early reading. Fifteen rural schools were randomly assigned to the experimental or control condition. Five struggling readers and 5 non-struggling readers were randomly selected from eligible children in each classroom. There were 75 classrooms and 631 children in the study. Teachers in experimental schools used the TRI in one-on-one sessions with 1 struggling reader in the regular classroom for 15 min a day until that struggler made rapid reading progress. Teachers then moved on to another struggling reader until all 5 struggling readers in the class received the TRI during the year. Biweekly webcam coaching sessions between the coach and teacher allowed the coach to see and hear the teacher as she instructed a struggling reader in a TRI session, and the teacher and child could see and hear the coach. In this way the classroom teacher was able to receive real-time feedback from the coach. Three-level hierarchical linear models suggested that struggling readers in the intervention schools significantly outperformed the struggling readers in the control schools, with effect sizes from .36 to .63 on 4 individualized achievement tests. Results suggested that struggling readers were gaining at the same rate as the non-struggling readers, but they were not catching up with their non-struggling peers.

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