Not so fast for Accelerated Reader and early reading

Accelerated Reader is a computerised supplementary reading programme that provides guided reading instruction from ages 4-18. It aims to improve reading skills through reading practice and by frequent feedback on students’ progress to teachers. Students select and read a book based on their area of interest and reading level. When they have finished reading the book they take a computerised quiz based on the book’s content and vocabulary. Results on the quiz allow teachers to monitor student progress and identify students who need additional help.

An intervention report from the US What Works Clearinghouse considers the impact of Accelerated Reader on beginning reading (ages 4-9). The review identified two studies that fell within the scope of beginning reading and the WWC group design standards. The studies included a total of 265 beginning readers in grades 1-3 (age 5-9) in four schools. Accelerated Reader was found to have mixed effects for comprehension and no discernible effects on reading fluency for beginning readers.

Source: Accelerated Reader™ (2016), What Works Clearinghouse.

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