|Grade Levels||Group Size||Tutor Type||Qualifying Studies||Average Effect Size|
|K-2||1:1||Paid, External Staff||1||+0.18|
|Free and Reduced Lunch|
Innovations for Learning’s (IFL) High Impact Tutoring program provides specially trained interventionists who work with students 1:1 in the classroom or at home, 2-5 times per week, building a solid phonics foundation, sight word acquisition, fluency and comprehension. The interventionists use IFL software during 1:1 conferences with students, and students also use the software independently each day to reinforce exactly what the interventionist worked on with them during the day. The interventionists help students build phonics knowledge and word attack skills in a sequenced progression that builds upon student prior knowledge. The primary goal is to have all students reading at grade level by the end of first grade.
IFL tutors are called Early Learning Interventionists (ELIs). ELIs are paid staff who are hired and trained by IFL. While a teaching certificate is not a prerequisite to be hired as an interventionist, about half of the interventionists have teaching certificates and all have a 4-year college degree. Each student works with the same interventionist for all of kindergarten and first grade.
IFL’s model of high dosage tutoring is tailored to the needs of each child. Struggling students may receive 1:1 tutoring every day, while students who are not struggling receive tutoring 1-2 times per week. The length of the tutoring session is determined by the amount of time each student can maintain focused concentration. It is up to the interventionist to determine this for each child.
IFL provides software that works on all laptop and tablet platforms.
IFL has been developing software for beginning reading for more than 28 years. At the core of IFL’s programs are the IFL Reading Foundation Stages (RFS) that represent sequenced skills that dictate students’ literacy practice. Designed to improve reading outcomes of students in high-needs schools, IFL provides digital applications and paraprofessional tutors to support teachers and students who are struggling to read. Early Learning Interventionists use a 5 RFS Model, developed by IFL, to help students build phonics knowledge (correlations between letter symbols and sounds) and word attack skills (decoding skills used to make sense of printed words) in a sequenced progression that builds upon student prior knowledge. The 5 RFS’s are: (a) Stage 1 – Letter Names; (b) Stage 2 – Initial Consonant Sounds; (c) Stage 3 – Short Vowel Sounds; (d) Stage 4 – Consonant Vowel Consonant (CVC) words; (e) Stage 5 – Consonant Vowel Consonant Silent e (CVCe) words and Onset Blends.
Tasks for beginning readers are guided by Ehri’s research on Systematic Phonics Instruction and Vygotsky’s Theory of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), and the interrelated practical concept of scaffolding within sociocultural theory.
Early Learning Interventionists use IFL’s literacy learning tools to identify a child’s reading stage zone of proximal development. IFL assessment measures include the RFS (see above) and the Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) assessment, a measure of the percentage of reading accuracy and fluency.
In IFL, every child gets tutored. Session amounts vary based on individual student needs. After assessing a child’s reading capability, the ELI plans and implements instruction that targets the area lying just beyond the child’s skills. The ELI conducts one-to-one 5-6-minute conferences 2-3 times per week with students who need the most tutoring. The instruction is focused on a foundational phonics sequence and fluency instruction. Each conference consists of a check for understanding, introducing new content if the content assigned in the previous conference is mastered, and setting a goal. New content is introduced and reinforced with 5 different reinforcement activities in the teacher portal as well as activities provided by the tutor using a variety of manipulatives like magnetic letters. If mastery is not achieved the tutor reteaches the content using alternate strategies and reinforcement activities.
Following the conference, the child returns to the classroom and engages in 10-15 minutes of daily independent student practice. The immediate reinforcement of tutor assigned content using IFL provided handheld computer tablets during the small group rotation time is designed to promote transfer of learning to long term memory. Each tablet features 13 different interactive learning activities to provide the student with maximum choice. Regardless of the activity chosen, the content practiced is what the tutor assigned to the student and set as the learning goal. Students graduate from the program when they master RFS level 5 (see Table 2), demonstrating ability to word attack Consonant Vowel Consonant (CVC) and Consonant Vowel Consonant Silent e (CVCe) words while reading in connected text and they are reading at or above grade level expectations for the time of year.
Professional Development, Progress Monitoring, and Follow-up
Interventionists must be college graduates and successfully complete 8 training courses.
Typical cost is $6300 per classroom per year, which includes tutor, materials, and professional development.
Research on Program Outcomes
The impact of the Innovations for Learning High Impact Tutoring was examined in a randomized study that took place in one Title I school in Ohio. The study was intended to last two years and include kindergarten and first grade students but a move to remote learning and issues surrounding attrition necessitated focusing on the one-year results from the kindergarten students. The impact on reading achievement was collected from 13 classrooms and 273 students who were randomly assigned to either the one-to-one high-dosage tutoring group or the teacher-instruction-only group. Treatment students received tutoring support 2-3 times per week across the school year from specially trained tutors using a digital literacy platform. Tutoring focused on sequenced skills beginning with letter identification and sounds and moved to reading stories. Students in IFL’s program significantly outperformed non-tutored students on the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment (effect size = +0.18).
- Kortecamp, K. & Peters, M. (2022). The Impact of a High-Dosage Tutoring Program on Reading Achievement of Beginning Readers: A Multi-Level Analysis. Unpublished Manuscript