Concordia University

http://www.concordia.ca/content/concordia/en/research/learning-performance/tools/learning-toolkit/abracadabra/researchers.html

Researchers

More than a dozen validation studies, both in Canada and internationally, have been conducted to explore the impact of ABRA on various facets of children’s reading. Some of these are modest studies while others are large-scale and longitudinal investigations complete with random assignment of classes to ABRA and control groups. 

The table below summarizes the findings of the best nine studies including quasi-experiments and true experiments (Abrami, Borokhovski & Lysenko, 2015).


Reading Skill

k (# of
comparisons)

Average
Effect Size
Percentile
Advantage

Phonemic Awareness

20

+0.32

13

Phonics

19

+0.19

8

Fluency

6

+0.08

3

Vocabulary Knowledge

15

+0.14

6

Reading Comprehension

6

+0.07

3

Listening Comprehension

6

+0.38

15

Overall (random effects model non-independent weighted overall average effect)

73

+0.17

7

Average effect sizes are used as a simple way to quantify the difference between ABRA and control groups on the six reading-related skills. The effect sizes show that on average students’ reading improvement in ABRA classes exceeded that of students from non-ABRA control classes. As well, all the average effects were stable, meaning they were consistent across age groups and the geographic locations where studies took place.

Studies on ABRA and ePEARL

We are also interested in exploring how literacy skills can be improved through the use of both ABRA and ePEARL, a digital portfolio that supports students’ self-regulated learning (SRL). Evidence shows that for reading instruction to be effective, it should emphasize the use of cognitive and metacognitive strategies (part of SRL) by young readers.

Between 2010 and 2012, we undertook a quasi-experimental study of the combined use of ABRA and ePEARL with cycle one students studying English Language Arts (Lysenko & Abrami, 2014). About six hundred students and their 26 teachers from six English school boards in Quebec participated either in an experimental or control condition.

Students in classes where both ABRA and ePEARL were used outperformed their control peers on a standardized reading test measuring vocabulary and comprehension skills. In addition, students in the ABRA-ePEARL group showed significant improvements on a standardized test of written expression, including measures of conventions, linguistics and content.

We currently have research projects on the impact of ABRA unfolding in Hong Kong and Kenya.

Learning Toolkit Software: Authorship and Acknowledgement Guidelines

Download the Authorship and Acknowledgement Guidelines.
 


Abrami, P.C., Savage, R.S., Deleveaux, G., Wade, A., Meyer, E. & Lebel, C. (2010). The Learning Toolkit: The design, development, testing and dissemination of evidence-based educational software. In P. Zemliansky & D.M. Wilcox (Eds.), Design and implementation of educational games: Theoretical and practical perspectives (pp. 168-187). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi: 10.4018/978-1-61520-781-7.ch012

Abrami, P. C., Savage, R., Wade, A., Hipps, G. & Lopez, M. (2008). Using technology to assist children learning to read and write. In T. Willoughby & E. Wood (Eds.), Children's learning in a digital world. ( pp.129-172). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing. doi: 10.1002/9780470696682.ch6

Brodeur, M., Ouellet, C., Perreault, M., & Desrochers, A. (2011). L'analphabétisme crée l'obligation d'agir. In M. Fahmy (Ed.), L'état du Québec 2011 (pp. 373-380). Montreal, QC: Les éditions Boréal.

Hipps, G., Abrami, P. C., & Savage, R. (2005). ABRACADARA: The research, design and development of web-based early literacy software. In S. Pierre (Ed.), Développement, intégration et évaluation des technologies de formation et d'apprentissage (DIVA): Innovations et tendances en technologies de formation et d'apprentissage (pp. 89-112). Montreal, QC: Presses Internationales Polytechnique.

Savage, R. & Abrami, P. C. (2007). ABRACADABRA: Progress in the development, implementation and effectiveness of a web-based literacy resource. In Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), E-Learn 2007: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, & Higher Education [Compact disc]. Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Savage, R. & Abrami, P. C. (2007). ABRACADABRA: Progress in the development, implementation and effectiveness of a web-based literacy resource. In R. Bastiaens & S. Carliner (Eds.), Proceedings of E-Learn 2007: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, & Higher Education. Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

Abrami, P. C. (2011). A toolkit for learning:  Using technology to close the gap. Education Canada, 51(2), 54-57. Available: http://www.cea-ace.ca/education-canada/article/toolkit-learning-using-technology-close-gap

Abrami, P. C., Borokhovski, E., & Lysenko, L. (2015). The effects of ABRACADABRA on reading outcomes: A meta-analysis of applied field research data. Journal of Interactive Learning Research 26(4), 337-367. Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). http://learntechlib.org/d/147396

Abrami, P. C., Wade, A., Lysenko, L. V., Marsh, J., & Gioko, A. (2014). Using educational technology to develop early literacy skills in Sub-Saharan Africa. Education and Information Technologies, Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10639-014-9362-4

Anderson, A., Wood, E., Piquette-Tomei, N., Savage, R., & Mueller, J. (2011). Evaluating teachers' support requests when just-in-time instructional support is provided to introduce a primary level web-based reading program. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 19(4), 499-525. Chesapeake, VA:AACE. Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/34599

Bailey, B., Arciuli, J., & Stancliffe, R. J. (2016). Effects of ABRACADABRA literacy instruction on children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Educational Psychology, Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/edu0000138 PDF

Bailey, B., Arciuli, J., & Stancliffe, R. J. (2017). Effects of ABRACADABRA instruction on spelling in children with autism spectrum disorder. Scientific Studies of Reading, 21(2) 146-164. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10888438.2016.1276183  

Cheung, A., Mak, B., Abrami, P. C., & Wade, A. (in press). The effectiveness of the ABRACADABRA (ABRA) web-based literacy program on primary school students in Hong Kong. Journal of Interactive Learning Research.

Comaskey, E. M., Savage, R. S., & Abrami, P. (2007). The impact of the ABRACADABRA web-based literacy program on kindergarten children with English as an additional language. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Comaskey, E., Savage, R., & Abrami, P. C. (2009). A randomized efficacy study of web-based synthetic and analytic programmes among disadvantaged urban kindergarten children. Journal of Research in Reading, 32(1), 92-108. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9817.2008.01383.x

Deault, L. Savage, R., & Abrami, P. C. (2009). Inattention and response to the ABRACADABRA web-based literacy intervention. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness 2(3), 250-286. doi: 10.1080/19345740902979371

Di Stasio, M. & Savage R. S. (2009). Response to the ABRACADABRA web-based literacy intervention in kindergarten predicts literacy in grade 1. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Di Stasio, M., Savage, R., & Abrami, P. C. (2012). A follow-up study of the ABRACADABRA web-based literacy intervention in grade 1. Journal of Research In Reading. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9817.2010.01469.x

Harper, H., Helmer, J., Lea, T., Chalkiti, K., Emmett, S., & Wolgemuth, J. (2012). ABRACADABRA for magic under which conditions? Case studies of a web-based literacy intervention in the Northern Territory. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 35(1), 33-50. Retrieved from Link

Kendou, P., Savage, R.S. & Van den Broek, P. (2009). Revisiting the simple view of reading. British Journal of Educational Pysychology, 79(2), 353-370. doi: 10.1348/978185408X369020

Long, M.-J., & Brodeur, M. (2016,). ABRACADABRA : apprendre à lire et à écrire en jouant! Canada Education, 56(4). Retrieved from http://www.cea-ace.ca/fr/education-canada/article/abracadabra-apprendre-%C3%A0-lire-et-%C3%A0-%C3%A9crire-en-jouant

Lysenko, L. V., & Abrami, P. C. (2014). Promoting reading comprehension with the use of technology. Computers & Education, 75, 162-172. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2014.01.010

Lysenko, L., Borokhovski, E., Abrami, P. C., & Wade, A. (2014). Improving literacy skills with ABRACADABRA. Perspectives on Language and Literacy, Summer 2014, 11-15. PDF

Piquette, N., Savage, R., & Abrami, P. C. (2014). A cluster randomized control field trial of the ABRACADABRA web-based reading technology: Replication and extension of basic findings. Frontiers in Psychology, 5(1413). http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01413

Savage, R. S., Abrami, P., Hipps, G., & Deault, L. (2009). A randomized controlled trial study of the ABRACADABRA reading intervention program in grade 1. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101(3), 590-604. doi: 10.1037/a0014700

Savage, R., Abrami, P. C., Piquette-Tomei, N., Wood, E., Deleveaux, G., Sanghera-Sidhu, Bindy, & Burgos, G. (2012). A (pan-Canadian) cluster randomised control effectiveness trial of the ABRACADABRA web-based literacy program. Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0031025

Savage, R. S., Erten, O., Abrami, P. C., Hipps, G., Comaskey, E., & van Lierop, D. (2010). ABRACADABRA in the hands of teachers: The effectiveness of a web-based literacy intervention in grade 1 language arts programs. Computers in Education, 55(2), 911-922. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2010.04.002

Wood, E., Anderson, A., Piquette-Tomei, N., Savage, R., & Mueller, J. (2011). Evaluating teachers' support requests when just-in-time instructional support is provided to introduce a primary level web-based reading program. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 19(4), 499-525. Chesapeake, VA:AACE. Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/34599

Wood, E. Grant, A. Gottardo, A. & Savage, R. Evaluating Online and Offline Reading Software for Young Learners AWERProcedia Information Technology & Computer Science. [Online]. 2013, 00, pp 000-000. Available from: www.awer-center.org/pitcs

Wolgemuth, J., Abrami, P. C., Helmer, J., Savage, R., Harper, H., & Lea, T. (in press). Examining the impact of ABRACADABRA on early literacy in Northern Australia: An implementation fidelity analysis. Journal of Educational Research.

Wolgemuth, J., Savage, R., Helmer, Lea, T., Harper, H., Chalkiti, K., Bottrell, C. & Abrami, P.C. (2011). Using computer-based instruction to improve indigenous early literacy in Northern Australia: A quasi-experimental study. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology (AJET), 27(4), 727-750. http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet27/wolgemuth.html

Wolgemuth, J., Savage, R., Helmer, J., Harper, H., Lea, T., Abrami, P. C., Kirby, A., Chalkiti, K., Morris, P., Carapetis, J., Louden, W. (2013). ABRACADABRA aids indigenous and non-indigenous early literacy in Australia: Evidence from a multisite randomized controlled trial Computers & Education, 67(2013), 250-264. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2013.04.002

Abrami, P.C., Deleveaux, G., & Savage R. (2009, March). ABRACADABRA: A literacy resource for Aboriginal learning. Paper presented at the 2009 Aboriginal Policy Research Conference, Ottawa, ON.

Abrami, P. C., Gioko, A., Wade, A., & Marsh, J. (2015, February). The Role of ICT in literacy development. Paper presented at the Digital Learning Day, Annual Research Institute, Aga Khan University, Tanzania.

Abrami, P. C., Savage, R., Wade, A., Deleveaux, G., & Lebel, C. (2010, March). ABRACADABRA: An evidence based tool for early literacy. Seminar presented at the 35th Learning Disabilities Association of Quebec (LDAQ) annual conference, Montreal, QC.

Abrami, P. C., Wade, A., Lysenko, L., Marsh, J., Gioko, A., & Angondi, E. K. (2014, May). A study of ABRACADABRA early literacy software in Mombasa, Kenya. Paper presented at the eLearning Africa, 9th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education, & Training, Kampala, Uganda.

Ang’ondi, E. K., Gioko, A. M., Waga, R. (2014, July).  How does the implementation of a literacy learning tool kit influence Early Literacy Skill acquisition?” In Key Competencies in Informatics and ICT (KEYCIT 2014) Conference, Potsdam University, Berlin Germany.

Brodeur, M., Dion, É., Laplante, L., & Desrochers, A. (2011, April). Effects of a three-tier reading intervention program on underprivileged kindergarten and first-grade students. Paper presented at the Program Chair Invited Sessions: Intervening to prevent reading problems in low- performing schools, Council for Exceptional Children, Washington, DC.

Brodeur, M., St-Pierre, L., & Charland, M. (2013, November). ABRACADABRA : une ressource pour les parents qui accompagnent leur enfant dans l’apprentissage de la lecture. Paper presented at the Grandes rencontres sur la persévérance scolaire (GRPS), 3e édition, Montrea, QC.

Chapleau, N., Godin, M.-P., Brodeur, M., Laplante, L., et Turcotte, C. (2017, soumis). ABRACADABRA : une technologie éducative pour apprendre à lire et à écrire. Communication proposée dans le cadre du 30e congrès de l’Association québécoise des enseignantes et des enseignants du primaire. Montréal, Canada.

Deleveaux, G., & Wade, A. (2010, May). ABRACADABRA: 21st century evidenced-based software designed to assist children develop literacy skills and to provide support for teachers and parents who guide them. Paper presented at the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Quebec, Montreal, QC.

Lebel, C. (2009, September). ABRACADABRA. Workshop presented at the Commission Scolaire de Montréal, Montreal, QC.

Lysenko, L., & Abrami, P. C. (2014, April). Promoting reading comprehension with the use of technology. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual meeting, Philadelphia, PA.

Sanghera-Sidhu, B., Deleveaux, G., Abrami, P. C., & Savage, R. (2009, June). Measuring treatment integrity of an evidence-based intervention study: Practical implications examined for the 2007-2009 Pan-Canadian, ABRACADABRA web-based literacy study. Poster presented at the annual convention of the Canadian Psychological Association, Montreal, QC.

Sanghera-Sidhu, B., Rocchi, J., Di Stasio, M., & Savage, R. S. (2009, March). Exploration of ABRACADABRA a web-based literacy tool & an examination of the practical implications of conducting a Pan-Canadian study. Paper presented at the Education for a Diverse World: Addressing Equity & Human Rights Eighth Annual Education Graduate Students' Society (EGSS) Conference, Montreal, Quebec.

Savage, R. & Abrami, P. C. (2008, March). ABRACADABRA: A Web-based literacy program. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, New York, NY.

Savage, R., Abrami, P. C., Comaskey, E., Hipps, G., & Wade, A., (2007, June). ABRACADABRA: An evidence-based approach to early literacy instruction through web software. Workshop presented at the 6th Annual Canadian Language and Literacy Network (CLLRNet) Conference, Calgary, AB.

Savage, R., Abrami, P. C., Piquette-Tomei, N., Wood, E., & Deleveax, G. (2009, June). ABRACADABRA: An effective web-based literacy resource: Evidence from a randomized control trial with classroom teachers. Paper presented at the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading (SSSR), Boston, MA.

Savage, R., Abrami, P. C., Piquette-Tomei, N., Wood, E., Deleveaux, G., & Sanghera-Sidhu, B. (2011, April). A cluster randomized control trial of the ABRACADABRA web-based literacy program. Invited presentation presented at the Council for Exceptional Children Convention & Expo, National Harbor, MD.

Savage, R. S., Ozlem, E., Abrami, P. C., Hipps, G., Comaskey, E., & Van Lierop, D. (2010, May). ABRACADABRA in the hands of teachers: The effectiveness of a web-based literacy intervention in Grade 1 language arts programs. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE) and the Canadian Association of Educational Psychology (CAEP) Annual Conference , , Montreal, QC.

Savage, R., Piquette-Tomei, N., & Wesley, D. (2011, April). School-based effectiveness of the ABRACADABRA web-based literacy program: A randomized control trial with school professionals. Paper presented at the British Dyslexia Association.

Wolgemuth, J., Abrami, P. C., Helmer, J., Savage, R., Harper, H., Lea, T., et al. (2012, April). A multisite randomized control trial to examine the impact of ABRACADABRA on early literacy in Northern Australia: An analysis of implementation fidelity. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meeting, Vancouver, BC.

Wolgemuth, J., Ehrich, J., Helmer, J., Emmett, S., Lea, T., Savage, R., et al. (2010, May). Using computer-based instruction to improve indigenous early literacy in northern Australia. Poster presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Denver, Colorado.

Wolgemuth, J., Helmer, J., Emmett, S., Ehrich, J., Lea, T., Savage, R., et al. (2009, December). ABRACADABRA: Improving literacy through computer-based instruction in regional and remote schools. Paper presented at the Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE), Canberra, Australia.

Wolgemuth, J., Helmer, J., Harper, H., Lea, T., Halkitis, K., Bottrell, C., et al. (2011, April). A multisite randomised controlled trial to examine the impact of ABRACADABRA on indigenous early literacy in Australia. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA), New Orleans, LA.

Zhou, M. Muzard, R., Therrien, M., Hipps, G., & Abrami, P. C. (2005, July). ABRACADABRA: A rich Internet literacy application. Paper presented at the EDMedia Conference, Montreal, QC.

Zhou, M., Muzard, R., Therrien, M., Hipps, G., & Abrami, P. C. (2005, May). ABRACADABRA: A rich Internet literacy application. Paper presented at the 4e Colloque annuel Développement, intégration et évaluation des technologies de formation et d'apprentissage (DIVA), Montreal, QC.

Zhou, M., Muzard, R., Therrien, M., Hipps, G., & Abrami, P. C. (2005, April). ABRACADABRA: A rich Internet literacy application. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association, Montreal, QC.

Abrami, P. C., Savage, R., Comaskey, E., Silverstone, D., & Hipps, G. (2006). ABRACADABRA: Evaluation of a balanced text and word-level reading intervention - Winter 2006. Preliminary findings, June 2006. Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance: Montreal, QC. Web site: http://doe.concordia.ca/cslp/ICT-ABRACADABRA.php

Abrami, P. C., Wade, A., Lysenko, L., Marsh, J., & Gioko, A. (2014, February). A study of ABRACADABRA early literacy software in Mombasa, Kenya: Phases one and two (Final Report). Montreal, QC: Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance.

Abrami, P. C., Wade, A., Lysenko, L., Marsh, J., & Gioko, A. (2013, May). A study of ABRACADABRA early literacy software in Mombasa, Kenya: Phase one report. Montreal, QC: Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance.

Hipps, G., Wade, A., & Abrami, P. C. (2004, March). Abracadabra: A literacy resource Schoolnet final report. Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance: Montreal, QC.

McNally, S., Ruiz-Valenzuela, J., & Rolfe, H. (2016, October). ABRA: Online Reading Support (Evalutation report and executive summary). London, UK: Education Endowment Foundation. Retrieved from https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/our-work/projects/online-reading-support/

Savage, R., Abrami, P.C., Piquette-Tomei, N., Wood, E., Deleveaux, G. (2008). ABRACADABRA: A study in the development, implementation and effectiveness of a web-based literacy resource. A Research Report submitted to the Canadian Council on Learning. Interim Report.

Savage, R. S., Abrami, P., Piquette-Tomei, N., Wood, E., & Delevaux, G. (2008, August). ABRACADABRA: A study in the development, implementation and effectiveness of a web-based literacy resource. A research progress report. Report of pan-Canadian research data analysis submitted to the Canadian Council for Learning and the Canadian Language and Literacy Research Network.

University of Nairobi, Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance, Unicif, & University of York: IEE. (2015). Using cross-age peer tutoring in the teaching of reading in Kenyan primary schools (National study).

Wolgemuth, J., Ehrich, J., Emmett, S., Helmer, J., Bartlett, C., Smith, H., Lea, T., Abrami, P., Savage, R., & Deleveaux, G. (2009). ABRACADABRA! (ABRA) Early Childhood Literacy Project Annual Report No. 1: A Pilot Study of the Feasibility of the ABRA Literacy Software in Northern Territory Indigenous Classrooms. Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT.

Wolgemuth, J., Helmer, J., Emmett, S., Bottrell, C., Lea, T., Bartlett, C., et al. (2009). ABRACADABRA! (ABRA) Early Childhood Literacy Project Annual Report No. 2: A Quasi-Experimental Study of the ABRA Literacy Software in Northern Territory Indigenous Classrooms. Darwin, NT.: Charles Darwin University.

Wolgemuth, J., Helmer, J., Harper, H., Chalkiti, K., Lea, T., Kirby, A., et al. (2011). ABRACADABRA (ABRA) Early childhood literacy project: A multi-site randomised controlled trial and case study of the ABRA literacy software in Northern Territory schools (Annual Report No. 3). Darwin, NT: Menzies School of Health Research.

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