Evaluation Report: Booktrack Enabled School Text

The University of Auckland

Uniservices & The University of AucklandMarch 2014

Executive Summary

The Faculties of Medical and Health Sciences in collaboration with the Faculty of Education from The University of Auckland were commissioned by Booktrack to assess the impact of Booktrack enabled text with school children, both at standard reading level and below standard reading level. Two groups were investigated: the first involved ten students aged 10 to 13 from a South East Auckland low to mid decile school who were all identified as having reading difficulties and the second involved 238 students aged 10 to 14 from three low to mid decile schools in Central and South Auckland.

Students within the reading difficulty group (Group I) were randomised to either Booktrack or Control and read pre-developed text from the PROBE assessment on an iPad and were asked to answer a series of questions relating to the text as well as answering a satisfaction survey. The Booktrack text included synchronised soundtrack (music and ambient sounds), whereas the control group simply had the text. Two schoolteachers administered the test. The second group of 238 schoolchildren were again randomised to either Booktrack or Control and students accessed a history text online through the Booktrack website. Control group students simply read the text and answered 15 questions relating to the history text as well as five questions pertaining to relative satisfaction, whilst the Booktrack group read the text with the synchronised soundtrack and then answered all the questions.

Results indicate that in comparison to the Control, students with reading difficulties using the Booktrack system demonstrated up to 18 percent higher levels of comprehension than the Control (mean score of 3.5 for control vs. 3.8 for Booktrack for fiction and 4.5 for control and 5.3 for Booktrack for non-­fiction) and reported 35 percent higher satisfaction (mean score 2.7 vs. 2.0). Students accessing the web based Booktrack system spent 30 percent more time reading the text, with the synchronised soundtrack (a mean 10.7 minutes in the control and 13.8 minutes for Booktrack students). Students using Booktrack also scored 17 percent higher mean comprehension scores in comparison to the control (mean 6.9 for control vs. 8.1 for Booktrack).

In conclusion, the study had sufficient power and robustness to adequately assess the Booktrack software and the results indicate that it had a positive impact on student comprehension in relation to a history text. Moreover, with students who have a recognised learning difficulty, there appears to be similarly positive comprehension results and satisfaction levels were high for the Booktrack text. 

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