Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Kelli R. Paquette, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Sue A. Rieg, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Anne Creany, Ed.D.


The purpose of this study was to see if students made gains in reading achievement in the area of reading comprehension by having used a computerized reading instructional program entitled "READ 180®." The researcher included a qualitative component to gather teacher and parent perceptions of the use of this program. The theoretical framework used for this study was Lev Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development. Specifically, this study examined two elementary schools' fifth-grade students who scored basic or borderline proficient (a score of 1384 or lower) on the Pennsylvania Systems of School Assessment (PSSA). Both elementary schools received two hours of language arts instruction daily using the Harcourt Brace basal reading series and novels. One elementary school provided an hour of reading instruction for their basic and borderline proficient students using the READ 180® instructional program as part of their two hour language arts instructional time. The other elementary school, using a similar group of students, received the Harcourt Brace basal language arts instruction for the same amount of time. This study utilized an explanatory mixed-methods approach to determine if the READ 180® program supported student reading comprehension growth. The researcher used quantitative data. This data were the scores collected from the STAR® and PSSA reports for each fifth-grade student in the study to see if there had been individual growth in reading comprehension for them. The researcher used qualitative data. These data consisted of interviews that the researcher conducted with the teachers involved with this study and the parents of the READ 180® fifth-grade students. The fifth-grade students involved with the READ 180® program did not make statistically significant reading comprehension growth compared to the fifth-grade students who did not use this program. The STAR® test and PSSA reading test scores do reveal that individual students did make reading comprehension growth on both tests while included in the READ 180® program. The data do not confirm that this growth is due to using the READ 180® program. Teachers and parents do support the use of the READ 180® program and believe that the fifth-grade students benefited from that instruction.