MiniLit Learning Impact Fund evaluation report

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Information
Authors Jon Quach, Sharon Goldfeld, Janet Clinton, Tanya Serry, Libby Smith and Anneke Grobler
Evaluator company Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the University of Melbourne for Evidence for Learning
Year 2019
Classification Other evidence
Study type Randomised controlled trial
Evaluation type Both process and outcome

Summary

This report examines the effectiveness of the MiniLit intervention in improving reading skills among Year 1 students who were struggling to learn to read. MiniLit is a prescriptive, synthetic phonics intervention program led by tutors that focus on improving children's word reading. A total of 237 students from nine schools participated in the study, with 119 students randomly allocated to the MiniLit group and 118 students allocated to the control group.

While this study found no statistical evidence that the MiniLit intervention resulted in increased improvement on the primary outcomes of reading accuracy, reading rate, or reading comprehension over that of the control group receiving usual learning support after 12 months, the authors noted that the primary outcome measure demonstrated poor sensitivity for both the intervention and control groups and that the primary results should be considered with caution. On the secondary outcome measures, the study found evidence of significantly improved outcomes for some aspects of reading skills for students who received the MiniLit intervention, with broader positive effects for those who attended MiniLit lessons regularly. The evaluation also identified costs associated with delivering MiniLit and implementation factors influencing program outcomes.

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