Small-group Computer-assisted Tutoring to Improve Reading Outcomes for Struggling First and Second Graders

Bette Chambers, Robert Slavin, Nancy Madden, P.C. Abrami, M Karanzalis, R. Gifford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study evaluated the relative effects of Tier II computer-assisted tutoring in small groups (Team Alphie) and one-to-one tutoring provided to struggling readers in 33 high-poverty Success for All (SFA) schools. In this year-long study, struggling readers in the Team Alphie schools were tutored in groups of 6. In the control schools, students were tutored using the standard one-to-one tutoring process used in SFA. Analyses of covariance of students' standardized reading scores indicated that the first-grade treatment group significantly outperformed the control group on all 3 reading measures, with no significant differences for second graders. Schools using Team Alphie were able to tutor many more students than the control schools. This study shows that a computer-assisted, small-group tutoring program may be at least as effective as one-to-one tutoring and serve more struggling readers. It may serve as a good example of Tier II instruction in a response to intervention (RTI) model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-640
Number of pages16
JournalThe Elementary School Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011

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