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					Accelerated Reader and Information Policy, Information Literacy, and Knowledge Management: U.S. and International Implications
Dr. Nancy Everhart everhart@ci.fsu.edu Dr. Eliza T. Dresang dresang@ci.fsu.edu Dr. Bowie Kotrla kotrla@ci.fsu.edu

Florida State University - College of Information

Accelerated Reader (AR)
Computerized reading management program
• Assesses & assigns students’ reading levels • Quizzes students on comprehension • Assigns points according to book characteristics • Provides reports for teachers

Florida State University - College of Information

Accelerated Reader (AR)
• 1986 - introduced into U.S. • 2005 – used in 60,000 schools in Australia, Canada, U.K., and U.S.

Florida State University - College of Information

Research on Accelerated Reader
• Considerable research exists on whether AR is effective – results inconclusive. • Little research on interactions of information policy with AR and how these affect reader motivation and reaction to the program.

Florida State University - College of Information

Research Questions
1. Information Policy (U.S.) • How does U.S. national policy regarding reading achievement affect local school policy decisions on Accelerated Reader? • What other factors affect local policy on AR?

Florida State University - College of Information

Research Questions
2. Information Literacy (U.S. & U.K.) How is Accelerated Reader related to reading motivation, breadth of reading, and collection development? 3. Knowledge Management (U.K.) How does the implementation of Accelerated Reader affect students reading practices?

Florida State University - College of Information

Data Collection – U.S.
Data on factors affecting information policy, collection development, and AR • Simple random sample of 100 schools obtained from 632 applications for funding submitted to a private foundation targeting schools serving the poorest students in the country • School variables: region, setting, educational level, number of students, student body ethnicity, presence of migrant students, AR use • School library variables: number of books, book budget, number of books/student, number of budget dollars/student, title of supervising person

Florida State University - College of Information

Data Collection – U.K.
Data on the relationship of AR to reading motivation, breadth of reading, and reading practices • Obtained from 3 schools with low, medium and high levels of AR implementation using observation, focus groups, interviews, self-reported reading survey and the Motivation for Reading Questionnaire (MRQ) (Wigfield & Guthrie, 1997) • Variables: AR implementation level, score on each of the 11 MRQ dimensions, student sex, student age, student opinion of AR, AR points earned, number of books read/week

Florida State University - College of Information

Data Analyses
SPSS For differences between groups: Student’s T-test, ANOVA Mann-Whitney U test, Kruskal-Wallis H test For relationships between variables: Pearson correlation, Spearman correlation Chi-square N6 for Qualitative Analysis

Florida State University - College of Information

Information Policy
Research Question 1: How does national U.S. policy regarding reading achievement affect local school policy decisions regarding Accelerated Reader?

Florida State University - College of Information

U.S. National Information Policy and Reading

• National Reading Panel • No Child Left Behind Act

Florida State University - College of Information

The National Reading Panel
• Panel of experts set up in 1997. • Issued report in 2000. • Charged with identifying most important elements in successful reading programs. • Determined that they would consider only scientific research.
Florida State University - College of Information

The National Reading Panel
• Considered only studies in peer reviewed journals. • Defined scientific research as research with experimental and control groups. • Eliminated reading research using only qualitative measures (focus groups, interviews, observations, etc).
Florida State University - College of Information

The National Reading Panel
The following were found to be associated with reading success: • Phonemic awareness & phonics. • Fluency in reading aloud. • Comprehension, including vocabulary.
Florida State University - College of Information

No Child Left Behind Act
• Signed into law January 8, 2002. • Brought sweeping changes that quickly permeated all fifty states. • Endorsed by President Bush as a cornerstone of his administration.

Florida State University - College of Information

No Child Left Behind Act
• Emphasis on reading K-3. • Teachers well qualified and using reading methods based on scientific research. • Nationwide testing in grades 3 - 8 (not previously required or tied to funding).

Florida State University - College of Information

No Child Left Behind Act
It is not the purview of this paper to examine whether or not NCLB is achieving its stated purposes but rather to note its impact on reading policy in U.S. schools.

Florida State University - College of Information

NCLB & School Media Centers
• American Association of School Librarians pamphlet “Your School Library and No Child Left Behind.” • Grant applicants’ references to NCLB in establishing their need for library books. • Impact of NCLB on local collection development policies.
Florida State University - College of Information

NCLB & Accelerated Reader

“Renaissance Solutions Meets the Requirements Of No Child Left Behind”
(From AR website)

Florida State University - College of Information

NCLB, School Media Centers & AR

27% of grant applicants linked requirements of NCLB with a request for AR books.

Florida State University - College of Information

Local Demographics & AR
• AR applicant schools are less ethnically diverse. • AR applicant schools have lower book budgets. • Schools with higher % of poor students were more likely to ask for AR funding.

Florida State University - College of Information

Local Demographics & AR

What does this suggest?

Florida State University - College of Information

Information Literacy: Collection Development
• Where AR is adopted, it substantially impacts collection development. • Although some applicants note plans to use other resources, the more typical applicant focuses directly on the purchase of AR books and quizzes.

Florida State University - College of Information

Information Literacy: Collection Development
Dr. Everhart’s Evaluating the School Library Media Center: Analysis Techniques and Research Practices (1998).

Florida State University - College of Information

Information Literacy
Research Question 2: How is AR related to motivation and breadth of reading?

Florida State University - College of Information

The use of extrinsic rewards is not an essential part of Accelerated Readers use. AR provides learning information which teachers can use in a variety of ways, including reading incentive programs. Such programs, while not the only way to motivate student reading, can also serve as important, tangible feedback that helps students discover an intrinsic love of reading and learning within themselves.
Renaissance Learning. (1997). Toward a balanced approach to reading motivation: Resolving the intrinsic - extrinsic rewards debate. Madison, WI: The Institution for Academic Excellence.

Florida State University - College of Information

Florida State University - College of Information

Florida State University - College of Information

Motivation to Read Questionnaire (MRQ) Motivation to Read Questionnaire (MRQ)
Motivational styles & volume of reading -- Spearman's correlation coefficient
Motivational style Efficacy Challenge Curiosity Aesthetic enjoyment Importance Recognition Social Intrinsic Composite Extrinsic Composite Correlation coefficient 0.18 0.18 0.25 0.22 0.24 0.23 0.17 0.31 0.19 P p<0.05 p<0.05 p<0.01 p<0.01 p<0.01 p<0.01 p<0.05 p<0.01 p<0.05

Florida State University - College of Information

Student Likes and Dislikes Concerning AR
45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% Reading Selection of books Computer/s oftware/test format Competition/achievement 8% 10% 18% 14% Like Dis like 33% 30% 37%

Florida State University - College of Information

Gender
•

GIRLS Like AR more than boys.
Scored higher on the social scale of the MRQ.

BOYS • More feel pressured by AR.
• Scored higher on the competition scale of the MRQ.

•

Florida State University - College of Information

Breadth of Reading
No correlation with AR points - possible reasons:
– Large number of books with low point levels. – Reading books that aren’t AR. – Reading a fewer number of books but with a higher difficulty. – Failing AR tests.
Florida State University - College of Information

Knowledge Management
Research Question 3: How does the implementation of Accelerated Reader affect student reading practices?

Florida State University - College of Information

Implementation
• Differences between number of books read and levels of implementation. • Aesthetic enjoyment, recognition, and social motivation higher for high and mid-level of implementation.
• No relationship with student opinion.

Florida State University - College of Information

Conclusions
There is a strong relationship between national information policy regarding achievement as embodied in the No Child Left Behind Act and some local policy decisions to use Accelerated Reader in U.S. schools with the poorest students. Schools with the most homogeneous minority populations and lowest book budgets are the most likely to adopt the AR program. Motivational style interacts with gender in relation to the competitive and social aspects of AR. Teachers do not use the data available in the AR program for knowledge management.

Florida State University - College of Information

Related Readings
Everhart, N., E. T. Dresang, and B. Kotrla. 2005. Accelerated Reader and information policy, information literacy, and knowledge management: U.S. and international implications. In Information leadership in a culture of change: Conference proceedings 2005, July 8–12, 2005, Hong Kong. Hong Kong: International Association of School Librarianship. Everhart, N. 2005. A crosscultural inquiry into the levels of implementation of Accelerated Reader and its effect on motivation and extent of reading: Perspectives from Scotland and England. School Library Media Research, (8) 1. www.ala.org/ala/aasl/aaslpubsandjournals/slmrb/slmrcontents/volu me82005/reader.htm

Florida State University - College of Information


				
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