DALLAS, November 19, 2015 — The Morgridge International Reading Center (MIRC) at the University of Central Florida (UCF) today released its Florida Report detailing findings for its 2014-2015 statewide reading performance study.
As part of the research project, MIRC at UCF examined the effects of the Istation Reading and Istation Home programs on elementary school students' reading comprehension, text fluency, vocabulary, phonemic awareness and phonics performance. The report indicates that elementary students in “every research category: grade level, academic level, geographical location, and Title I status exhibited reading growth.”
According to the report's summary of findings:
- Students who used Istation Home exhibited greater growth than students who exclusively used Istation at school.
- Students in 4th and 5th grade in academic level 3 who needed the most academic intervention and demonstrated the greatest need of intervention exhibited a greater amount of growth than those students in academic level 2.
- On average, pre-K through third grade students experienced growth in reading.
- Of the participating schools, 79 percent were classified as Title I schools, which traditionally serve underserved students.
Participating students were first sorted into one of three tiers through an assessment in the Istation Reading program. Based on this initial assessment, 58 percent of students were classified as “At Risk” and needing “intensive intervention.” These assessments generated by the Istation program may “help teachers make informed data-based decisions to support students' continuous learning,” according to the Florida Report. The Istation Reading program adapts to meet students' needs as they engage with the program, resulting in individualized learning and assessment for every student. The program also generates useful data for teachers and parents. Additionally, the report notes that average scores for both Istation's Early Reading and Advanced Reading programs show “statistically significant” growth over the course of the school year.
In addition to supporting student learning, Istation supports teachers too. With over 20 face-to-face seminars and numerous online webinars provided by Istation to Florida educators, teachers “overwhelmingly indicated that they found the professional development sessions beneficial and of immediate use in their classrooms,” according to the report.
In response to UCF's report, Sandra Thomas, President and COO of Istation, remarked, “This report confirms our core beliefs: Istation supports educators, empowers kids, and changes lives. We are so proud of the students and teachers of Florida and look forward to our continued relationship. Together, we're making a difference.”
In the coming year, the MIRC at UCF research project will continue. Plans for future research include a longitudinal examination of the use of the Istation Reading program and of the establishment of best practices.
Founded in 1998 and based in Dallas, Texas, Istation (Imagination Station) has become one of the nation's leading providers of richly animated, game-like educational technology. Winner of several national educational technology awards, the Istation program puts more instructional time in the classroom through small-group and collaborative instruction. Istation's innovative reading, math and Spanish programs immerse students in an engaging and interactive environment and inspire them to learn. Additionally, administrators and educators can use Istation to easily track the progress of their students, schools and classrooms. Istation now serves over 4 million students throughout the United States and in several other countries.