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Using Eye Training to Improve Struggling Adult Readers
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Word reading posttest results indicated that these 94 participants in the developmental reading collegiate course improved 123 words read per minute on average (as measured by AceReader Online). Students experienced significant gains in all four sections of the course regardless of factors such as instructor of record, course time, or module completion time. The transition from reading 176 words (sixth grade level) to 289 words per minute (twelfth grade level) varied between participants, according to Carver’s (1990) reading rate equivalency scale. The highest pretest score was on par with the lowest posttest score; therefore, all students participating in this study increased their word reading speed. Some improved quickly through eye training exercises while others continued to grow throughout the duration of the 122 modules.

Further analysis resulted in a low correlation between those who made gains in word reading speed and those who achieved comprehension increases. Online sessions emphasized eye training to bolster reading word speed and comprehension. These exercises had variable positive gains depending on the learner. However, it was apparent that students enrolled in a developmental reading course have diverse needs for improvement as this topic deserves continued exploration and investigation into collegiate remedial reading development.

Some students stated that they enjoyed the out-of-class opportunities to develop their reading skills in an environment free of judgments and intimidation, while others preferred the learning context in class. As eye training programs continue to develop, student interest, engagement, and previous experiences should be integrated into the modules so that students are not only becoming more proficient readers but also enjoying the learning process. The extent of transferability of reading skills learned while reading rapidly presented words in isolation to improving reading of connected texts would also require additional study. The varied text structures of today’s multiliteracies demand that research uncover how students become proficient across multiple modes of text. It is also highly recommended that additional research and trials be conducted to determine the effects of eye training programs on readers of various age groups as well as on more advanced readers. After all, most people have experienced some form of difficulty when reading. Finding mechanisms that improve reading abilities allow for the ultimate goal of education- independent, lifelong learning.


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