ABRACADABRA aids Indigenous and non-Indigenous early literacy in Australia: Evidence from a multisite randomized controlled trial

J.R. Wolgemuth, R.S. Savage, J. Helmer, H. Harper, T. Lea, P.C. Abrami, A. Kirby, K. Chalkiti, P. Morris, J.R. Carapetis, Bill Louden

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Abstract

In many western countries, identifiable populations of children read below age-expectations, and the need for effective interventions remains pressing. Indigenous populations across the globe tend to have reading outcomes lower than comparative general populations. This is a critical issue in Australia's Northern Territory where Indigenous students are far less likely to meet minimum reading standards. There is some evidence to suggest that computer-based instruction may be of particular benefit to struggling readers. To redress reading disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, a multisite single-blind randomized controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of the ABRACADABRA web-based reading tool, http://abralite.concordia.ca, on reading, letter knowledge, and phonological awareness was conducted in Northern Territory, Australian primary schools with 164 intervention and 148 control (regular instruction) children. The total sample was 28% Indigenous. Results revealed that all intervention group students made significant gains in phonological awareness (d =.37) and phoneme-grapheme knowledge over control group peers (d =.37). Indigenous students gained significantly more per hour of instruction than non-Indigenous students in phonological awareness and early literacy skills. Results suggest that ABRACADABRA prevents lags in foundational literacy experienced by poor readers including Indigenous students. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-264
JournalComputers & Education
Volume67
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Wolgemuth, J.R. ; Savage, R.S. ; Helmer, J. ; Harper, H. ; Lea, T. ; Abrami, P.C. ; Kirby, A. ; Chalkiti, K. ; Morris, P. ; Carapetis, J.R. ; Louden, Bill. / ABRACADABRA aids Indigenous and non-Indigenous early literacy in Australia: Evidence from a multisite randomized controlled trial. In: Computers & Education. 2013 ; Vol. 67. pp. 250-264.
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author = "J.R. Wolgemuth and R.S. Savage and J. Helmer and H. Harper and T. Lea and P.C. Abrami and A. Kirby and K. Chalkiti and P. Morris and J.R. Carapetis and Bill Louden",
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Wolgemuth, JR, Savage, RS, Helmer, J, Harper, H, Lea, T, Abrami, PC, Kirby, A, Chalkiti, K, Morris, P, Carapetis, JR & Louden, B 2013, 'ABRACADABRA aids Indigenous and non-Indigenous early literacy in Australia: Evidence from a multisite randomized controlled trial' Computers & Education, vol. 67, pp. 250-264. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2013.04.002

ABRACADABRA aids Indigenous and non-Indigenous early literacy in Australia: Evidence from a multisite randomized controlled trial. / Wolgemuth, J.R.; Savage, R.S.; Helmer, J.; Harper, H.; Lea, T.; Abrami, P.C.; Kirby, A.; Chalkiti, K.; Morris, P.; Carapetis, J.R.; Louden, Bill.

In: Computers & Education, Vol. 67, 2013, p. 250-264.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Wolgemuth, J.R.

AU - Savage, R.S.

AU - Helmer, J.

AU - Harper, H.

AU - Lea, T.

AU - Abrami, P.C.

AU - Kirby, A.

AU - Chalkiti, K.

AU - Morris, P.

AU - Carapetis, J.R.

AU - Louden, Bill

PY - 2013

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N2 - In many western countries, identifiable populations of children read below age-expectations, and the need for effective interventions remains pressing. Indigenous populations across the globe tend to have reading outcomes lower than comparative general populations. This is a critical issue in Australia's Northern Territory where Indigenous students are far less likely to meet minimum reading standards. There is some evidence to suggest that computer-based instruction may be of particular benefit to struggling readers. To redress reading disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, a multisite single-blind randomized controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of the ABRACADABRA web-based reading tool, http://abralite.concordia.ca, on reading, letter knowledge, and phonological awareness was conducted in Northern Territory, Australian primary schools with 164 intervention and 148 control (regular instruction) children. The total sample was 28% Indigenous. Results revealed that all intervention group students made significant gains in phonological awareness (d =.37) and phoneme-grapheme knowledge over control group peers (d =.37). Indigenous students gained significantly more per hour of instruction than non-Indigenous students in phonological awareness and early literacy skills. Results suggest that ABRACADABRA prevents lags in foundational literacy experienced by poor readers including Indigenous students. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

AB - In many western countries, identifiable populations of children read below age-expectations, and the need for effective interventions remains pressing. Indigenous populations across the globe tend to have reading outcomes lower than comparative general populations. This is a critical issue in Australia's Northern Territory where Indigenous students are far less likely to meet minimum reading standards. There is some evidence to suggest that computer-based instruction may be of particular benefit to struggling readers. To redress reading disparities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, a multisite single-blind randomized controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of the ABRACADABRA web-based reading tool, http://abralite.concordia.ca, on reading, letter knowledge, and phonological awareness was conducted in Northern Territory, Australian primary schools with 164 intervention and 148 control (regular instruction) children. The total sample was 28% Indigenous. Results revealed that all intervention group students made significant gains in phonological awareness (d =.37) and phoneme-grapheme knowledge over control group peers (d =.37). Indigenous students gained significantly more per hour of instruction than non-Indigenous students in phonological awareness and early literacy skills. Results suggest that ABRACADABRA prevents lags in foundational literacy experienced by poor readers including Indigenous students. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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VL - 67

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