A Delayed Treatment Control Group Design Study of an After-School Online Tutoring Program in Reading

A Delayed Treatment Control Group Design Study of an After-School Online Tutoring Program in Reading

S. Marshall Perry (Dowling College, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5832-5.ch013
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Abstract

This chapter concerns a year-long, United States federally-funded evaluation of Educate Online, an online, at home, 1:1 tutoring program aimed at improving reading performance for middle school students who are below grade level. Participating students receive after-school instruction from teachers in real-time over Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) connections. The researcher discusses study findings, the methodological challenges of conducting research on online tutoring, the multiple perspectives for understanding the effectiveness of a tutoring program, and areas for additional research. The chapter examines a key aspect of the evaluation, a delayed treatment control group design study to determine the effect that involvement in the tutoring program has upon student academic achievement in reading.
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Introduction

The chapter concerns a year-long, national evaluation of Educate Online (EO), an online, at home, 1:1 online tutoring program aimed at improving reading performance for middle school students who are below grade level. The research was conducted by Rockman et al., a research, evaluation, and consulting company located in the United States. Participating students in the study received after-school instruction from teachers in real-time over Internet connections. A researcher discusses study findings, the methodological challenges of conducting research on online tutoring, the multiple perspectives for understanding the effectiveness of a supplemental education services program, and areas for additional research. The chapter discusses a key aspect of the evaluation, a delayed treatment control group design study to determine if involvement in the tutoring program has an effect upon student academic achievement in reading. The chapter explores two main research questions:

  • As indicated by standardized test scores, what is the effect of the online tutoring program on reading performance for students in middle school who are significantly below grade level in reading?

  • How, if at all, do differences in participants and amount of treatment mediate the effect?

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Background

In this section, a literature review of student achievement in after-school programs (both face-to-face and online) is provided. This is followed by a discussion of the political and research context within which the research was conducted; this provides a rationale for the study.

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