Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)


Education Specialties

First Advisor

Clare Waterman Irwin

Second Advisor

Kyle Cook


The purpose of this research is to investigate the relationship between participating in an online software application focused on phonological processing and working memory and outcomes on foundational reading assessment measures. The online software application utilized was the Sound Reading Program. Students began the intervention working in Sound Reading’s Hop, Skip, and Jump program, with a few progressing to the Boost program over the course of the nine-week intervention. A control group at each grade level read or listened to online leveled texts. There were 175 kindergarten and first-grade students included in the study. These students were enrolled in a rural, public elementary school in Central New York State. Student scores on Acadience Reading measures were compared with participation in the intervention. All kindergarten and first grade students at this school with scores available at the beginning of the year and the middle of the year were included in the study. Students were assigned to treatment groups based on the school’s predetermined cohort model. This model was utilized at the beginning of the school year to assign students to one of two cohorts or a virtual model in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. The scores for each cohort were further analyzed to examine the relationship of the number of activities completed in the intervention and scores on the reading measures. While the data didn’t show significant increases in growth based on assignment to the intervention, significant results were documented based on the number of activities completed by students at the kindergarten level and performance on the following measures: Letter Naming Fluency, Nonsense Word Fluency - Correct Letter Sounds, and overall Reading Composite scores. The results indicate promise in the use of online applications to increase phonological processing and working memory skills, as well as the need for further research regarding such approaches.