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ERIC Number: ED528908
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 55
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 80
A Contextualized Intervention for Community College Developmental Reading and Writing Students. CCRC Working Paper No. 38
Perin, Dolores; Bork, Rachel Hare; Peverly, Stephen T.; Mason, Linda H.; Vaselewski, Megan
Community College Research Center, Columbia University
Instructors in community college developmental education programs are constantly seeking new ways to improve outcomes for their students, but, to date, there has been a shortage of empirical studies on the effectiveness of such efforts. The current study provides evidence on the potential efficacy of an approach to helping students develop an important academic skill, written summarization. In two experiments, a contextualized intervention was administered to developmental reading and writing students in two community colleges. The intervention was a 10-week curricular supplement that emphasized written summarization, as well as vocabulary knowledge, question generation, reading comprehension, and persuasive writing. The intervention was based on reading passages from science textbooks, with generic text from developmental education textbooks added in the second experiment. In Experiment 1 (n = 322), greater gain was found for intervention than for comparison participants along three dimensions of written summarization: the proportion of main ideas from the source text included in the summary, accuracy, and word count (ES = 0.26-0.42). Experiment 2 (n = 246) set out to replicate and extend Experiment 1. Results were replicated for three of five summarization measures (ES = 0.36-0.70), but it was also found that intervention participants showed higher amounts of copying from the source text at posttest than the comparison group. In extending the intervention to a different text condition, it was found that students receiving science text outperformed students receiving generic text on the inclusion of main ideas, as well as on accuracy (ES = 0.32-0.33), providing moderate support for contextualization. Although summarization gains did not transfer to a standardized reading comprehension test in either experiment, the findings of this study suggest that the intervention had utility for academically underprepared postsecondary students. Appended are: (1) Scoring Criteria for Science Summarization Test, Accuracy, Conventions, and Paraphrasing Measures; and (2) Science Interest Items. (Contains 8 tables.)
Community College Research Center. Available from: CCRC Publications. Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 West 120th Street Box 174, New York, NY 10027. Tel: 212-678-3091; Fax: 212-678-3699; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: Columbia University, Community College Research Center
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Nelson Denny Reading Tests