A comparison of the effects of reading interventions on the word identification and oral reading fluency of 5th grade students with learning disabilities
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The purpose of this study was to examine and compare the effectiveness of teacher-directed instruction (i.e., teacher-directed instruction without using an iPad, TDI) and iPad-assisted instruction (IAI) on the word identification and oral reading fluency of elementary school students with reading learning disabilities (RLD), who have reading goals on their individual education plans (IEPs). Four 5th grade students with RLD participated in the study. An alternating treatments design combined with a multiple baseline design across the participants was applied. Visual analysis indicated that a moderate experimental effect from TDI and IAI on word identification and oral reading fluency was present for all four students when the baseline and intervention phases were compared. Specifically, regarding word identification, the percentage of non-overlapping data (PND) and non-overlap of all pairs (NAP) indicated that TDI and IAI are effective reading instructional procedures according to single-case research design standards. The finding was also supported by a Tau-U analysis that suggests both TDI and IAI demonstrated a large effect on improving word identification. Regarding oral reading fluency, however, the results were mixed; Tau-U indicates there was a large and significant effect from TDI and IAI for three of the four students in terms of increasing their oral reading fluency. Although data analysis indicates that TDI and IAI demonstrate moderate evidence in improving word identification and oral reading fluency, there was no clear differentiation found between the two treatments. A social validity questionnaire that examined student perspectives about intervention showed the students' positive views on their intervention experience and revealed their perspectives that intervention was helpful in building their reading skills. The second social validity questionnaire that asked the students about their reading perspectives indicated that the intervention increased their positive attitudes toward their reading (e.g., reading is a source of excitement and interest, reading is fun).