KU Center for Research on Learning

KU Center for Research on Learning

High school student sitting at a desk, reading 'Lord of the Flies'.

Investigating Sound Effects

Study 1
The first study examined the importance of color as a cue for correctly identifying vowel sounds, using a small-scale approach (single-case design) with three high school students. Each of the three males in this project were nominated by their school’s special education staff as having the most significant decoding difficulties across the student body.

The study involved three phases: (1) baseline (no treatment), (2) practice reading word parts (rime cards) without color (e.g., -ame, -eed), (3) practice reading word parts with color cues (e.g., -ame, -eed). At the close of every session, the students were asked to read a series of color-coded rime cards for one minute. During phases two and three, students practiced reading 30 random rime cards. As exhibited in Figure 1, students’ vowel pronunciations were most accurate in the color-cued portion of the intervention, increasing 13 percent to 32 percent over their baseline levels of word-part reading accuracy.

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Examine the effects of Sound Effects on adolescent reading and study skills.

Carrie Mark, KUCRL doctoral fellow
Donald D. Deshler, KUCRL director


Study 1
Single-Case Design

Study 2
Group Design—Random Assignment

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