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Research on the Effectiveness of Direct Instruction Programs: An Updated Meta-Analysis

Coughlin, C.
This paper reports the results of a meta-analysis of studies of DI programs that included a comparison group, randomly assigned students to groups, and reported statistical information that could be used to calculate effect sizes. Twenty studies with 95 separate comparisons were identified. Slightly more than half of the studies (n=11) dealt with reading, 5 involved mathematics, 2 regarded language, and 2 regarded other areas. Slightly over half of the studies (n=11) involved general education students, while the rest involved students with disabilities. The ES index, Hedges’s g, was used. The average effect size over all 95 comparisons was .66, exceeding Fashola and Slavin’s level of “educationally importance” (.25) and Cohen’s “moderate” levels (.50). Effect sizes were slightly smaller, on average, for reading and the other programs (.56 and .54, respectively) than for language (.81) and mathematics (1.03. Effect sizes were very similar for studies involving general education (.69) and special education students (.71). Effect sizes were also regressed on methodological characteristics of the studies, including sample size, whether or not fidelity was monitored, the length of the intervention, the type of test used to measure achievement, and the year the study was conducted. The only statistically significant relationship was with sample size, with smaller effects for larger samples. (Copyright © 2011, National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). All rights reserved).
Research areas:
Main publication type:
Program Effectiveness
Reading; math; language; general education students; students with learning disabilities
Presented at the Annual Meetings of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, May
Design type:
Fidelity monitored:
Other tags:
Reading, math, language, general education students, students with learning disabilities
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