Review methods

Technology and reading

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A literature search of articles written between 1980 and 2010 was carried out to find studies that met the following inclusion criteria:

  • Pupils taught in classes using a given technology-assisted reading programme had to be compared to randomly-assigned or well-matched control groups.
  • Pretest data had to be provided, unless studies used random assignment of at least 30 units (individuals, classes, or schools) and there were no indications of initial inequality. Studies with pretest differences of more than 50% of a standard deviation were excluded.
  • Dependent measures needed to be quantitative measures of reading performance, such as standardised reading measures and informal reading assessments.
  • Study duration had to be at least 12 weeks.
  • Studies had to have at least two teachers in each condition to avoid possible teacher effect.
  • Studied programmes needed to be replicable in realistic school settings. Studies providing experimental classes with extraordinary amounts of assistance that could not be provided in ordinary applications were excluded.