Oakland, Calif. — Aug. 23, 2007 — Meeting students´ instructional needs in an average 6.6 hour school day is no easy feat. It´s even more challenging when dealing with struggling readers and other students who require supplemental instruction. Today that job is much easier thanks to new streamlined protocols announced by Scientific Learning Corp. (NASDAQ:SCIL), makers of educational software that accelerates learning by developing the student brain to process more efficiently.
"Customers were requesting more flexibility in the way they integrate our Fast ForWord® products into their daily classroom schedules. Our research and development teams worked for months to streamline the daily protocols," said Robert C. Bowen, CEO of Scientific Learning Corp. "We conducted field tests in several schools, and today we´re happy to announce that customers now have the option of delivering the same Fast ForWord exercises to students in 30 or 40-minute daily sessions, as well as the already available 50- or 90-minute protocols, with the same significant levels of student improvement."
The Fast ForWord family of products consists of scientifically proven, reading intervention software that applies neuroscience principles to build the fundamental cognitive skills required to read and learn. The products work by improving the brain´s processing efficiency — how the brain functions to support learning and intellectual activity, including memory, attention, processing rate, and sequencing — with intensive exercises that adapt to each student´s level. Over a million students across the globe have used Fast ForWord products.
In keeping with its dedication to researching effectiveness, Scientific Learning conducted field studies on the new protocols before announcing their availability. In Lancaster County School District in Lancaster, S.C., a randomized control study was conducted comparing the 30-minute with the 48-minute protocol. The Test of Phonological Awareness (TOPA) was used to evaluate the reading skills of the 50 students in the study, both before and after the students used the Fast ForWord to Reading 1 product. After Fast ForWord participation both groups of students showed improvements on both subtests of the TOPA. Further, a multivariate analysis of variance showed no significant difference by time by group or by test by group, showing that the 30-minute and 48-minute protocol groups achieved statistically similar gains on both subtests.
"The new 30-minute version of Fast ForWord is more consistent with our class schedules. This made it much easier for our teachers to plan and schedule students´ time," said Mary Margaret Waldrop, Fast ForWord lab manager at McDonald Green Elementary School in Lancaster. "But while convenience is important, it was absolutely essential that we be able to maintain the same high level of results we´ve come to expect from Fast ForWord. At the end of the study, there was no doubt in our minds. Our students will be able to achieve excellent results with the new 30-minute protocols."