Annals of Dyslexia

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 54–79 | Cite as

Expert reading coaching via technology: Investigating the reading, writing, and spelling outcomes of students in grades K–8 experiencing significant reading learning disabilities

  • Beverly WeiserEmail author
  • Carolyn Buss
  • Ashley Parker Sheils
  • Elisa Gallegos
  • L. Robin Murray


While qualitative research has shown great benefits for teachers who receive coaching, there is a paucity of experimental research examining students’ academic outcomes after their teachers received ongoing support from a knowledgeable and experienced coach. Thus, a quasi-experimental design investigated the literacy outcomes of 452 students experiencing reading learning disabilities in grades K–8th whose special education and/or resource room teachers (n = 44) received student data-focused coaching support through on-site coaching, on-demand coaching (teachers could request support if needed), or through technology-based coaching. Specifically, researchers wanted to investigate if technology-based coaching was as effective as in-classroom support for increasing teachers’ knowledge and implementation of research-based reading instructional routines and ultimately, improving the reading, writing, and spelling outcomes of students with reading learning disabilities. Results yielded positive student academic growth for all three methods of coaching; however, coaching via technology, a more efficient, less time-consuming method of giving teachers ongoing professional development, produced larger statistically significant Cohen’s d effect sizes than the other two forms of coaching ranging from 0.22 to 1.01 in areas of phonemic awareness, decoding, comprehension, fluency, writing, and spelling. Other findings as well as the educational implications of implementing coaching via technology are also included.


Coaching teachers Dyslexia Evidence-based practices Reading learning disabilities Teacher knowledge Technology 



This Technology and Media Services for Individuals with Disabilities project (no. H327S120018) was grant-funded by the Office of Special Education (OSEP) under the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) in Washington, D.C. While OSEP funded this project, the statements in this manuscript do not necessarily represent the views or beliefs of OSEP or USDE. The authors do not have any ownership in the Hoot Education Platform or Istation’s Indicators of Progress and are not profiting in any form from the sales of subscriptions or writing this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© The International Dyslexia Association 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beverly Weiser
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carolyn Buss
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ashley Parker Sheils
    • 1
    • 3
  • Elisa Gallegos
    • 1
    • 4
  • L. Robin Murray
    • 1
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute for Evidence-Based Education, Department of Teaching and Learning, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human DevelopmentSouthern Methodist UniversityDallasUSA
  2. 2.TylerUSA
  3. 3.Ft. WorthUSA
  4. 4.LewisvilleUSA
  5. 5.IrvingUSA

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