Targeted Reading Intervention (TRI) is a program that uses webcam technology to allow kindergarten and first grade teachers to help struggling readers while being observed by a coach who gives them real-time feedback as they work with a student. TRI trains teachers in their strategies during a 3-day workshop in the summer, with webcam observations and feedback during the school year.
Researchers at the University of Delaware and the University of North Carolina evaluated the effect of TRI in a two-year randomized evaluation to examine its one-year effects on struggling readers, and to examine if having a teacher teach the program for two years affected student achievement.
The study took place in kindergarten and first grade classrooms in ten schools in high-poverty southeastern rural counties in the U.S. Subjects were equivalent at baseline on standardized testing in the fall, and randomization occurred at the classroom level. During the two years of the study, a total of 50 kindergarten classrooms (26 treatment, 24 control) and 50 first grade classrooms (29 treatment, 21 control) at each school were randomized, and then three struggling readers from each classroom were selected to either the treatment or control condition in each year of the study. In total, 305 students were assigned to receive TRI training, and 251 students served in the untreated control group. Treatment students worked with teachers 1-1, 15 minutes a day every day for 6-8 weeks.
Spring post-tests showed that:
- Struggling readers who received TRI showed greater gains than struggling readers in the control condition (ES=+0.26).
- Longevity of teaching the program did not show any significant effect on student achievement.
Researchers also report on the results for the subset of English language learners experiencing the program, which may be found here.
Source: Vernon-Feagans, L., Bratsch-Hines, M., Varghese, C., Cutrer, E. A., & Garwood, J. D. (2018). Improving struggling readers’ early literacy skills through a tier 2 professional development program for rural classroom teachers: The Targeted Reading Intervention. The Elementary School Journal, 118(4), 525–548.