Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Henington, Carlen

Committee Member

Coffey, Kenneth

Committee Member

Reisener, Carmen D.

Committee Member

McCleon, Tawny E.

Committee Member

Justice, Cheryl A.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


School Psychology

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations


An important reading skill that is often overlooked by educators is reading fluency. There is a paucity of studies that have investigated computer programs that address this and other critical reading skills. Reading Assistant™ is a form of computer-assisted instruction that uses speech recognition technology and research supported strategies to target reading fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of Reading Assistant™ on the oral reading fluency and comprehension skills of second through third grade students considered at-risk for reading failure. A total of eight participants were involved in this study across a 6- to 8-week intervention period. In order to evaluate the impact of Reading Assistant™, a multiple baseline across participants design was used. Multiple sources of data were collected to determine the overall effectiveness of the Reading Assistant™ computer program. Data for reading fluency was collected using AIMSweb reading curriculum based measurement (CBM) probes while data for reading comprehension was collected using AIMSweb maze CBM probes. The effect of the Reading Assistant™ computer program was also evaluated by determining the rate of improvement (ROI) as well as by calculating the percentage of non-overlapping data points (PND). The results of this study suggest that Reading Assistant™ may have been somewhat effective for improving the oral reading fluency and reading comprehension skills, but only for some of the participants. The effect size data do not provide a convincing demonstration that Reading Assistant™ had a substantial impact on the majority of struggling readers involved in this study. Further research is needed to establish the effectiveness of Reading Assistant™ as an intervention for reading fluency.