Date of Award

Spring 3-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Learning


Curriculum and Instruction

Committee Director

Thomas Bean

Committee Director

Jori Beck

Committee Member

Abha Gupta

Committee Member

Peter Baker


Since elementary school student performance on the end-of-year summative Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Standards of Learning (SOL) reading test is vital in impacting school accreditation, computer-assisted instruction has become popular. Online reading programs have existed in many elementary schools in Norfolk Public School district since 1996, such as Breakthrough to Literacy (McGraw-Hill Companies, 2002), Istation in 2014 (Mathes, Torgesen, & Herron, 2015), and the i-Ready program from 2015 to 2017 (Curriculum Associates, 2014). The problem is that there is insufficient empirical research supporting the use of the ReadWorks program at several Norfolk, Virginia’s elementary schools.

The purpose of this sequential, explanatory mixed methods study is to investigate the effects of teacher’s implementation of the ReadWorks online reading program on second-graders’ reading fluency and comprehension test scores in one Norfolk elementary school. The teacher’s choices of ReadWorks tests and the teacher’s design of reading lessons can impact students’ reading test scores on the STAR reading test (Renaissance Learning, Inc., 2018).