Additional Studies

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Additional Studies

In addition to our major studies, various investigators, staff members and graduate assistants are conducting more minor studies. Please see below for general descriptions of some of the additional studies being conducted.

Assessment

Comparisons Across Different Samples: We will compare our adults’ performance on Phase 1 tests to other samples in other studies, such as middle school students and university students. We will also analyze the role of non-native speaking across studies of adults. We hope that by engaging in these comparison studies, we will help provide insight into the value of commonly used reading and reading-related assessment with adult literacy students. We also hope that the results from these studies will illuminate either the gaps where more validation work may be necessary or areas where new assessment tools need to be developed.

Interest

The Role of Interest in Promoting Persistence in Reading: We will explore the effects of matching adults’ interests with texts to see if doing so affects their reading behavior. We will deliver texts that match learner interests and track time spent reading these texts (a measure of persistence) using a tablet-based e-reading app. During enrollment in the study, adult learners will complete an interest survey that will be used to assign texts based on their interests. Texts will be extracted from Simple English Wikipedia (simple.wikipedia.org), a version of Wikipedia that contains thousands of texts within the target grade levels of the Center (3rd-8th). These texts will be loaded on individualized tablets. The tablets will track the amount of time each adult learner spends on each text. This exploratory study will examine whether matching reader interest to texts (enhancing interest) leads to greater persistence in reading (measured by time spent in reading practice).

Adult Literacy Practitioner Survey

Adult Literacy Survey: Based on Purcell-Gates’ work, a 35-item survey using “skip logic’ was designed to measure instructor demographics, training, preferred texts, and instructional practices. This online survey was administered using Qualtrics Survey software and was distributed to adult literacy practitioners in the United States and Canada.

Affect

Identification of Affective Themes and Attributions in Adult Literacy Students using a modified Motivational Interviewing Intervention: The purpose this study is obtain personal narratives about reading using an evidence based semi-structured interviewing approach called Motivational Interviewing (MI). MI is a collaborative, goal-oriented method of communication with particular attention to the language of change. It is designed to strengthen an individual's motivation for and movement toward a specific goal by eliciting and exploring a person's own arguments for change. Earlier themes and nomenclature from our Phase 1 motivational related surveys and affective interviews will be used  to help anchor an analysis of the more in-depth MI interviews.