ReadToMe – a Study of Impact of Multi-Sensory Reading and Comprehension on Learning Outcomes – a Consolidated Analysis
In the academic year 2017-18, the Government of Telangana State, the Government of Uttar Pradesh and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) piloted ReadToMe in schools in their respective regions. EnglishHelper conducted randomized sample assessments in these schools, designed as Baseline – End line studies. This would allow measurement of learning outcomes achieved in ONE academic year among schools using ReadToMe.
EnglishHelper recommends at least 75 class sessions of ReadToMe in an academic year. In all three regions, due to various constraints, fewer than the recommended number of sessions were conducted.
The key question that this analysis will seek to answer is:
- • Does the extent of ReadToMe usage (measured by number of sessions) influence the improvement of reading and comprehension skill of students?
The RightToRead program was launched by EnglishHelper in 2013. Under this program EnglishHelper deploys its multi-sensory technology platform for reading and comprehension, ReadToMe, in government and government – aided schools. The goal of RightToRead is to demonstrate that reading and comprehension technology when integrated with the given school curriculum can make a material difference in literacy. Working on the tenets of Minimum Change and Sustainability, the following operating model is implemented:
- • The class text book and prescribed syllabus is digitized and made available on the reading and comprehension software, ReadToMe.
- • ReadToMe is integrated into the school time-table with the regular English class period. Teachers and students are not required to devote additional time for ReadToMe enabled English classes.
- • The existing teachers are empowered to use ReadToMe in class.
In Uttar Pradesh and Telangana, assessments were conducted among students from Grades 6 to 8. In Delhi – SDMC, assessments were conducted among students from Grades 3 to 5.
Assessments were carried out using ‘tablets’ at all schools to ensure unbiased delivery of the tests. On completion of the assessments at each school, the learner submissions were available on the assessment app as a ‘read only – protected file’ which were uploaded to the cloud data-warehouse of the assessment partner, STAMP (Skill Training Assessment Management Partners Ltd). Each file was uniquely identified by school name and school code. Subsequently, STAMP extracted the data from these files, processed it on their proprietary assessment engine and shared outcomes with EnglishHelper. The delivery of the assessments in schools, processing of outcomes and reporting is the combined effort of STAMP and EnglishHelper.
The assessment instruments were designed to test the constructs of Word Structure, Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension. In addition, learners of Grade 3 were also tested on Alphabet recognition. The instruments encompassed single-response, close – ended items presented as multiple – choice responses with a single correct option. The instrument for each grade has a high internal consistency with high reliability measures (Cronbach’s alpha > 0.7).
The test instruments were composed of dichotomous items. Learners’ responses to every question was scored as 1 or 0, depending upon whether the learner answered the question correctly or not. No partial credits were allowed. The sum of the learners’ responses to all questions in the test was scaled to 100; providing the learners’ score. Scores from the entire sample were aggregated and the averages analyzed. The metric “Improvement” is measured as the difference of the End line score from the Baseline score, as a percentage of the Baseline score. The average Improvement and Mean Score for every region, across the grades tested has been used for the analysis.
It is important to note that despite the different grades and regions, on instruments with high reliabilities, the mean Baseline scores were nearly at par. Hence, comparisons of improvement remain meaningful.
The graph here plots the average improvement in every region against the average percentage of recommended ReadToMe sessions that were conducted in the region in the academic year.
We observe that with higher ReadToMe usage (bars), significantly higher gains in improvement (line) can be achieved in the Learning Outcome. Therefore, we can conclusively state that there exists a positive relationship between ReadToMe usage and improvement in learning outcomes, across grades and geographies.