The Peel Adult Learning Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, conducted a research evaluation on the Reading Horizons computer courseware between August 2002-June 2003. The National Assessment tool was the Slossen Oral Reading Test (SORT).
Many of the students involved came from countries in which English was not their primary language. Many students had observable learning disabilities that had never been formally diagnosed. The average yearly gain of reading ability was 2.7, with most achieving over 3.3.
"One of the mindsets that we went into this study with - that we later found was incorrect - was the proof of the effectiveness of the program would simply come from the gains made in the post-test. While we were very pleased with the gains made in the post-test, we were most excited about how the program helped our students continue to learn. Completing this program laid the essential groundwork for tremendous future gains. The Reading Horizonsprogram filled in the gaps that adult learners often have in a controlled, sequential manner and in a way that gives the students a feeling of being successful from the very start. Another byproduct of the program is the marked improvement in reading comprehension. As the word attack skills were mastered, fluency automatically improved.
"Our experience with this program has led us to the conclusion that it is a very versatile, flexible tool in the adult education setting. If a student needs the complete program, that is what will be done. Students struggling with English pronunciation can benefit from the ESL component. Some students learned valuable word attack skills just by completing the lessons independently, while those with considerable gaps benefited greatly from the follow-up activities in the classroom.
"Both teachers and students feel that it gave us the structure to work from that opened the door to success that would not have been possible without it, especially in such a short amount of time. We are thrilled every day with the successes we see in our students!"