Summary: Measuring effect of WriteReader


By Thomas Roed Heiden, assistant Professor at University College Lillebaelt

This study seeks to verify the hypothesis that teaching with the WriteReader-app promotes first graders’ ability to learn to write. It was focused on the students use of phonetic strategies and on the development of quantity in the texts as measured by the number of words and syllables.

The research was conducted as a controlled study:


Study participants were first graders from five schools in the third largest school district in Denmark. Each school provided two classes, one for control and one for testing. The classes that participated in the study worked with the WriteReader-app for 30-45 minutes four out of five days per week as part of their daily language lesson and for the duration of the project period. The control classes carried out the standard curriculum. All classes had the same amount of weekly language lessons. The study contained 183 pairs of data.

Results show that the test classes after working with the Writereader-app for six weeks performed significantly better than the control classes for the same time period in the digital post-test. The scores for the test classes showed that the students has developed their digital writing stilles 11,8% more than the control classes. This data applies to the first graders’ use of phonetical strategies. The participating classes seem to develop these strategies faster when using a digital platform. This means that the results of the study are not coincidental. The p-values, which show the statistical significance, are so low that we can verify our hypothesis: the app promotes first graders’ use of phonological strategies.

Development in phases of writing:

All schoolsPre-testPost-testDifference
Digital test (control classes)1.771.910.14
Digital test (test classes)1.842.200.36

Converted to index 100:

All schoolsPre-testPost-testDifference
Digital test (control classes)1001088
Digital test (test classes)10012020

All participating students benefitted from the study and achieved a faster acquisition of phonological strategies in their writing. Students form HUN and HPS, which are the schools with the highest socio-economical factor, seemed to benefit most from working with the digital platform. But overall, all students showed a significant progress in their writing acquisition following the study.

Furthermore, students from the two schools with the lowest socio-economic background seemed to benefit as well from the app as a teaching aid. This could be connected to the motivational use of the Writereader-app: Writing with the Writereader-app makes it possible to work with the content of the text to a better extent in contrast to having to write letters by hand for students.

Development in phases of writing:

Low social-economic background schoolsPre-testPost-testDifference
Digital test (control classes)1.471.570.10
Digital test (test classes)1.371.900.53

Converted to index 100:

Low social-economic background schoolsPre-testPost-testDifference
Digital test (control classes)1001077
Digital test (test classes)10013939

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