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Institutional Review Board

for the Protection of Human Subjects

Touro University California Graduate School of Education
Research Proposal
Faculty: Email this form to: tuc.gsoeirb@tu.edu Students: Only your Advisor may forward this form for review. Forms
submitted directly by students will not be processed.
Click all checkboxes that apply. Form fields will expand as needed.
This proposal includes all consent forms and survey questions (if applicable) in the body of this document. Insert page/section breaks as
necessary to place these on separate pages below the proposal section.
This is a faculty proposal.
X This is a student proposal. NOTE: All student proposals must be emailed by the faculty advisor who, by submission, indicates that (1) s/he
has reviewed the proposal, (2) it has his/her full approval, and (3) affirms that the student has passed a Human Subjects course.
Principal Investigator: Mayra Cindy De la Torre Program of Study:
EdLeadership Teaching & Learning
Educational Technology Teaching Math
Email Address mayra.delatorre@tu.edu Special Ed Teaching Science
Faculty Advisor: Helen Hawley & Pamela Urban Education X Innovative Learning
Email Address: helen.hawley@tu.edu

Title of the Research

How Technology Affects Bilingual Student Engagement with Reading Comprehension

For exempt research only: Check the category of exemption (definitions below): X 1 2 3 4 5 6
EXCEPTIONS: Research involving vulnerable populations such as the mentally or cognitively impaired, prisoners, parolees,
pregnant women, and fetuses, cannot be exempt from review even though it meets the criteria of one of the categories below.

EXEMPTION CATEGORIES (45 CFR 46.101(b)): Research activities in which the only involvement of human subjects will be in one or
more of the following categories:

1. Research conducted in established or commonly accepted educational settings, involving normal educational practices, such as (i) research on regular and special
education instructional strategies, or (ii) research on the effectiveness of or the comparison among instructional techniques, curricular or classroom management
2. Research involving the use of educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), survey procedures, interview procedures or observation of public
behavior, unless: (i) information obtained is recorded in such a manner that human subjects can be identified, directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects; and
(ii) any disclosure of the human subjects responses outside the research could reasonably place the subjects at risk of criminal or civil liability or be damaging to the
subjects financial standing, employment or reputation. Research using survey procedures or interview procedures upon children cannot be exempt. Research
involving observation of childrens behavior cannot be exempt if the investigator is a participant in the behaviors observed.

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3. Research involving the use of educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), survey procedures, interview procedures, or observation of public
behavior that is not exempt under paragraph (b) (2) of this section if (i) the human subjects are elected or appointed public officials or candidates for public office; or (ii)
federal statue(s) require(s) without exception that the confidentiality of the personally identifiable information will be maintained throughout the research and thereafter.
Research which deals with sensitive aspects of the subjects own behavior such as illegal conduct, drug use, sexual behavior, or use of alcohol, cannot be exempt from
4. Research involving the collection or study of existing (in existence on the day the study is approved) data, documents, records, pathological specimens or diagnostic
specimens, if these sources are publicly available or if the information is recorded by the investigator in such a manner that subjects cannot be identified, directly, or
through identifiers linked to the subjects.
5. Research and demonstration projects which are conducted by or subject to the approval of federal department or agency heads and which are designed to study,
evaluate, or otherwise examine: (i) public benefit or service programs; (ii) procedures for obtaining benefits or services under those programs; (iii) possible changes in
or alternatives to those programs or procedures; or (iv) possible changes in methods or levels of payment for benefits or services under those programs.
6. Taste and food quality evaluation and consumer acceptance studies, (i) if wholesome foods without additives are consumed or (ii) if a food is consumed that contains a
food ingredient at or below the level and for a use found to be safe, or agricultural chemical or environmental contaminant at or below the level found to be safe, by the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration or approved by the Environmental Protection Agency or the Food and Safety and Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of


Is this a continuation of or change to an existing TUC IRB approved study? Yes X No

If yes, attach a copy of last years approved exempt study and indicate the date of submission/approval.


Type your answers in the boxes provided which will expand as needed. Describe your research study. If you are applying for
exemption, you must justify how your study qualifies for exemption by addressing the critical elements of the exemption category you
choose in item 7. To be sure you answer the issues typically examined by the reviewers, please review the IRB Review Form
available at: http://cehs.tu.edu/gsoe

1. Provide an Abstract or Summary for the proposed study. Brief - 250 words at the most. Less is OK.
The purpose of my study is to use a technology tool to engage my bilingual students with reading
comprehension. I have found numerous articles where others have also had concerns that their students were
not doing well in reading comprehension. Others have also tried different technology tools to try to engage their
students with reading. Looking at State and Nation results students seem to be making minimal progress. Even
student from my district are still below 50% of achieving the ELA standard. Having a bilingual classroom my
students struggle with both English and Spanish reading comprehension. Using a bilingual technology tool to
engage them in reading might help them increase their reading comprehension in English and Spanish.

2. Describe the specific aims/purpose. What is your research question? State your hypothesis and research
questions or project goals and objectives. (Driving question here. What are your need to knows?)

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My purpose in this study is to try a technology tool to examine whether my students do better on their weekly
reading comprehension tests. I have a Spanish dual immersion classroom and we alternate English and Spanish using a
40-60 model (40 English and 60 Spanish) . During Spanish instruction some of my EOs struggle and on English
instruction some of my ELs struggle. I want to find a way to engage them no matter which language so that they might
increase their reading comprehension scores.
My research question is how does technology affect bilingual student engagement with reading comprehension? To
implement the study this is what I need to know: current bilingual abilities and skills that my students have achieved, an
appropriate tool for bilingual elementary reading, the language subgroups in class.

3. Describe background information and rationale for conducting the study and the importance of the
knowledge to be gained. Provide references, if available.

P1: International/National, state achievement (NAEP, CAASPP): The National Assessment of Educational Progress
scores for reading shows that there has not been much growth in 4th and 8th graders in 2015 scores compared to 2013
reading scores. In fact 8th grade scores from 2015 have dropped compared to 2013. The results show that the following
group of 8th graders dropped their scores: males, females, white, black, hispanic, suburb, town, rural. It seems that
almost all 8th graders regardless what ethnicity or where they live have dropped their reading scores. Both grades have
only gained a small amount of points from the first ever scores in 1992 (6 points for 4th grade and 5 points for 8th grade).
In 23 years our 4th and 8th graders have only gained 6 points in reading comprehension scores since first implementing
this tests. According to the CAASPP English Language Arts/ Literacy reports in the sate students scores from 2017 have
slightly increased from the 2016 scores. In 3rd and 4th grade their scores combined increased 1.96%, in 5th and 6th
grade their scores combined dropped by 3.43%, and in 7th, 8th, and 11th grade their scores combined increased by
2.77% compared to 2016 scores (https://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr17/yr17rel67a.asp). Thus there was a slight 1.30%
increase in total from all grades 2017 scores compared to 2016.
Looking at the smarter balanced test results for my district, Vacaville USD, our students English Language Arts scores of
student meeting or exceeding the English standard in 2017 have increased 0.32% from the 2016 scores. My school,
Edwin Markham, has increased their number of students meeting or exceeding the standard by 0.97% from last year

P2: I have found numerous articles where others have also had concerns on their students dropping reading
comprehension scores. In the article ICANREAD (Ciampa, Katia(Fall 2012): 27-59) the researcher investigates online
reading and if it would promote positive attitudes towards reading, while improving comprehension in 1st graders. The
researcher used e-books as the online reading tool to motivate reading and listening comprehension.The researcher used
scoring rubrics to assess students oral responses to inferential, literal, and evaluative comprehension questions. Their
findings were that all participants increased their comprehension scores looking at the students pre-tests and comparing
them to their post post-tests.
In Second-Grade Urban Learners (Bennett, Jessica G; Gardner, Ralph; Ramnath, Rajiv; Council, Morris R), researchers
use different strategies for 4 weeks during intervention to help second grade students achieve benchmark for reading
fluency and comprehension. Their research included 8 students that received various technology tools to help with fluency
and comprehension. They used computer assisted instruction software such as www.readnaturally.com that had many
variables. The software had 1 minute cold read, listening to passages being read to them, read along with computer,
comprehension tests with multiple choice and short answer questions. The software also had the capability to listen to
students read and the program generated total words read. At the end of the study 5 out of the 8 second graders reached

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The Literacy Skills and Motivation to Read of Children Enrolled in Title I (Barnyak, Natalie Conrad; Mcnelly, Tracy A) the
researchers investigated if their intervention methods would increase vocabulary, comprehension, and increase reading
motivation in a summer program setting. Their interventions included breaking the student up into three groups, one
would independently read e-books, one would read non fiction trade books independently, and the last group read
nonfiction trade books with teacher assistance. After the summer program was over their findings were that students did
not significantly increase their motivation to read. However, they did find that the group that read with teacher support
gave better story retell details followed by the group reading e-books and finally by those independent readers.

P3: Local context (district, school): The current Smarter Balance Test Results shows that as a district, they have improved
their scores from 49% in 2016 to 49.32% in 2017 for students meeting or exceeding English standard. As a school our
students have also increased their SBAC scores form a 34% meeting or exceeding English standard in 2016 to 34.97% in
2017 (http://caaspp.edsource.org/). Even though our school and district is improving test scores we are still under 50% of
students meeting the English standard. As a district we have 9.5% of English learners and 40.9% students that are
eligible for free/reduced lunch (https://www.ed-data.org/district/Solano/Vacaville-Unified).
My school is composed of 893 students of which 47% are English learners and 72% receive free or reduced lunch. The
schools ethnicity enrollment is composed of 6 American Indian or Alaska Native,6 Asian, 46 African American, 19
Filipino, 672 Hispanic or Latino, 5 Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 1 not reported, 21 two or more races, and 117
White. Thus our school is composed of mostly Latino students and low income students. Edwin Markham is the only
Spanish dual immersion school in the district. This is why we have the highest number of latino students and English

P4: I have been teaching for 4 years now and it seems that every year students struggle in the same area, reading
comprehension. I have done kindergarten and third grade and even though reading comprehension looks different in 3rd
grade, they are still struggling. My current 3rd grade class is composed of 13 English Learners and 10 English Only. My
students have to pass weekly reading comprehension tests in English and in Spanish. I have been noticing that some of
my students have trouble passing theses tests and I think its because they are not interested in reading the stories. If
they are EOs and its Spanish week they dont seem as interested in the story, and if its English week then some of my
ELs struggle to make connections. Thus I need to find some way to get them engaged so that they can improve their
reading comprehension scores regardless of the language. I want to find a technology piece to use that will engage my
students in both languages.

Barnyak, Natalie Conrad; Mcnelly, Tracy A (Sep 2016). The Literacy Skills and Motivation to Read of Children Enrolled in
Title I: A Comparison of Electronic and Print Nonfiction Books:Early Childhood Education Journal; New York44.5
(Sep 2016): 527-536.
Bennett, Jessica G; Gardner, Ralph, III;Ramnath, Rajiv;Council, Morris R, III (May 2017). Second-Grade Urban Learners:
Preliminary Findings for a Computer-Assisted, Culturally Relevant, Repeated Reading Intervention: Education &
Treatment of Children; Pittsburgh40.2 (May 2017): 145-185.
Ciampa, Katia(Fall 2012). ICANREAD: The Effects of an Online Reading Program on Grade 1 Students' Engagement and
ComprehensionStrategy Use

https://www.ed-data.org/school/Solano/Vacaville-Unified/Edwin-Markham-Elementary (school demographics)

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https://www.ed-data.org/district/Solano/Vacaville-Unified (district demographics)

4. Describe the research methods and procedures.

a. How do you plan to do it? What kind of study is it? How will it answer your research question? Be specific.
Describe your sample: Who/what will be included/excluded and why? (What are recruitment/exclusion criteria?
Be sure to include women, minorities, other groups if appropriate, and how they will be recruited). Randomization
and/or controls? What data/artifacts will you collect? Is this the best, safest way to collect it? Who will perform the
collections/analyze the data? Will any tests be involved? Will any remuneration be provided? Address

This will be a pre-experimental study with a one-group pretest/posttest design. I plan to use a technology tool for
reading comprehension that I havent used yet to see how it impacts their test scores. First, I will use their first
quarter reading grade for the pretest measure. Then for the treatment, I will use I-station in English for one week and
in Spanish for another week during reading time, a total 2 week treatment. For these two weeks I will not be using
our anthology text books nor our regular comprehension tests that come with our anthology. I will completely switch
to the I-station readings and to their assessments for the two week treatment.
I will also give them a self-assessment to measure engagement in Survey Monkey. Then once I collect the data from
their I-station reading I will be able to compare their reading comprehension test scores to the scores I have of them
before I conducted the research.
My convenience sample will include my 3rd grade dual immersion classroom, which is composed of 10 English Only
and 13 English Learner students. Of the ELs one student is reclassified and one is a GATE student and out of the
EOs one student is also in GATE.No randomization and/or controls. This is the best, safest way to collect the data
because it will be part of normal education practices. I will collect and analyze all of the data. No other tests be
involved. No remuneration will offered. All student identities will be held confidential in the study.

b. What are the potential risks and benefits to your human subjects? Be sure to be as specific as possible;
include loss of time or other inconveniences to participants. Dont overstate benefits; if they are hypothetical
benefits this must be clearly stated. How will you obtain consent? Provide for translation, reading for illiterate
participants; whatever else may be necessary? (Be sure to address the risk to students ).

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The risks are none since this study fits the exempt category. No loss of time or inconvenience will be involved
because the study will be part of the regular school day. The data will be collected from work samples, assessments
and observations during regular instructional time. Benefits are unknown. There will be no need for parental consent.

c. What will you do with the data? Where and how will it be stored and for how long? Who will have access to it?
How will it be analyzed? Will there be follow-up? (Reinforce that the data will be secured and anonymous and
that no one else will have access to the data.)
I will analyze the data using descriptive and inferential statistics and inductive analysis. The data will be anonymous.
Only I will have access to the data. Data will be stored in my password protected computer for one year. I will not
publish student names connected to this action research. When I share the outcome of the action research with
staff, student names will be excluded.

d. Appendices. Paste questionnaires, focus group questions, consent forms, parental handouts at the end of this

5. List the specific location of the study (building, etc.).

This study will be located in room 16 at Edwin Markham Elementary in Vacaville California.

6. Indicate the proposed duration of the study.

Approximately 2 weeks in November 2017

7. Indicate the exemption category above and provide justification for exempt review here.
Exemption 1: Research conducted in established educational setting involving normal educational practices, such as (i) research on regular and special
education instructional strategies, or (ii) research on the effectiveness of or the comparison among instructional techniques and curricular methods.

Student investigators only: Once your IRB proposal has been approved by your advisor, email the document to them for
submission along with proof that you completed a human subjects course. The Human Subjects course may be accessed at:


Faculty PIs and Advisors: Please email original .doc file and all appendices to: gsoeirb@tu.edu A single all-inclusive file is preferred.

GSOE IRB Administration

Lander Hall Room 122, Mare Island Campus

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