11.1 How Do We Determine What is Effective?

Learning Intentions

After viewing this module session participants will be able to: 

  • Identify five ways to determine intervention effectiveness and why four of them are inadequate
  • Provide examples of inadequate attempts to determine intervention effectiveness
  • Identify a valid way to determine effectiveness of interventions for word-level reading difficulties


Watch the session below. 

*Please see the Transcripts resource folder located in Module 0 for a text copy of the transcript from this video. 


  • There are five ways of estimating the effectiveness of interventions: informal assessments, raw score gains, statistical significance, effect sizes, and standard score gains from nationally normed tests
  • The first four of those five approaches are inherently incapable of telling us if an intervention is effective
  • Only standard score point gains on nationally normed tests can tell us if an intervention approach is allowing struggling readers to catch up with their peers

Reflect & Connect

How have you typically gauged reading improvements? How might this change as a result of this session?