The efficacy of instructor-guided supplemental instruction as a strategy for helping reading-deficient college students improve testing and assessment outcomes

Audrey Bartley-Lukula, Tennessee State University


This research project examined whether the use of Instructor-guided Supplemental Instruction as a classroom scaffolding technique, might help improve testing and assessment reading outcomes for reading-deficient college students. The study was completed at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee over the 16-week Fall, 2012 semester using two intact groups of reading students (N=90). Data collection was achieved through the use of the Nelson-Denny Reading Assessment Test (Forms G & H), reading mid-term and final examinations, a case study analysis, and a research (position) paper. A Modified Survey of Reading Affect was conducted to ascertain what role, if any, affect might play in reading-deficient students' attitude towards reading. First developed at the University of Kansas-Missouri in 1973 (Martin and Arendale, 1993), traditional supplemental instruction is a peer-led support program that helps students master content in courses such as physics, chemistry, etc., that are classified as "historically difficult." Thus, supplemental instruction focuses on high-risk courses, not high-risk students. Because the United States currently faces a crisis with illiteracy particularly among the college-level population, members of the academic community that are directly involved with teaching reading now consider reading a critical subject for purposes of applying supplemental support. Proof of supplemental instruction's usefulness as a delivery modality in content reading classrooms could be a substantial break-through in improving literacy rates among reading-deficient college students because there are three important purposes of supplemental instruction that cannot be overlooked at the college level. Supplemental instruction seeks to (1) reduce attrition rates for courses targeted as "historically difficult", (2) improve performance/student grades in these same courses and (3) increase the graduation rates of students. The study employed a quasi-experimental, mixed methodology, non-equivalent, control group/pre-test/ post-test with survey design. Data analysis relied on the use of descriptive statistics with correlation analysis and t-test with Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Results from the study determined that there were significant differences in testing and assessment outcomes between experimental and control groups pursuant to the instruments used in the study. It was determined that the use of an Instructor-guided Supplemental Instructional model as a classroom delivery modality warranted further assessment.

Subject Area

Literacy|Reading instruction|Curriculum development

Recommended Citation

Audrey Bartley-Lukula, "The efficacy of instructor-guided supplemental instruction as a strategy for helping reading-deficient college students improve testing and assessment outcomes" (2013). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3612224.