Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Doctor of Education in Educational Technology


Educational Technology

Major Advisor

Ross Perkins, Ph.D.


Norm Friesen, Ph.D.


Jui-Long Hung, Ed.D.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


School districts across the country have been adopting computer adaptive instructional programs as early reading interventions. It is imperative to learn whether CAI has an effect on student reading gains and what other factors may influence its effect. This mixed methods study employed an explanatory sequential design to first evaluate the reading gains of 2nd grade students. An independent samples t test showed that 2nd grade students in 2017 who participated in the Lexia Core5 reading intervention program for at least 30 hours had significantly higher gains than their peers in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 school years. A multiple regression analysis was then used to identify what other factors may have influenced student reading gains. These factors included teacher-level factors including teacher evaluation score, teacher years of experience, and the mean percentile gain of each teacher’s class, student-at risk factors, class-level factors including class size and program implementation level, and program-level factors including hours of participation and number of levels completed. Only the teacher's mean percentile gain and hours of participation were found to be statistically significant.

In the qualitative phase of the study, extreme case sampling was used to identify teachers who had exceptionally high gains on the Star Reading assessment. These teachers were interviewed to learn whether they shared common beliefs or practices. An action-coding analysis of the interviews showed that teachers shared the following practices: (a) using Lexia Core 5 to differentiate reading intervention, (b) publicly celebrating students’ achievement in the program, (c) collaborating as grade-level teams to provide more intensive interventions when necessary, and (d) frequently monitoring students’ progress using the reports in the Lexia Core5 program.