Program

Aug 31, 2007

OVERVIEW

DaisyQuest is a software package
that that provides training on phonological awareness. Skills taught include
recognizing words that rhyme, words that have the same beginning, middle, and
ending sounds, and how to combine phonemes to create words. DaisyQuest
also teaches children how to count the number of sounds in a word. The program
uses a storyline to teach children skills. Several evaluations of DaisyQuest have been conducted and found mixed results.
Some studies have shown that DaisyQuest participants
gained a phonological awareness; however other studies have found that these
differences only hold for some tests of phonological awareness and not others.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: The program is designed for
children ages 3 through 7 (preschool to second grade).

Developed in 1992, the DaisyQuest
program provides training on phonological awareness. Skills taught include
recognizing words that rhyme, words that have the same beginning, middle, and
ending sounds, and how to combine phonemes to create words. DaisyQuest
also teaches children how to count the number of sounds in a word. Material in
the program is presented using digitized and synthetic speech.The
software program can be run independently and does not require additional
curricular materials. The program is structured on a story line and includes three
software programs: DaisyQuest and Daisy’s
Castle are the original and follow-up programs. Undersea Challenge is a
computer adaptive test allowing for assessment of children. The DaisyQuest program teaches skills to children and then
tests their mastery of skills using multiple choice questions and keeps track
of children’s responses throughout for the purposes
of generating statistical reports on children’s
performance.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Barker, T., & Torgensen,
J.K. (1995).
An evaluation of computer-assisted
instruction in phonological awareness with below average readers. Journal
of Educational Computing Research, 13
(1), 89-103.

Evaluated population: 54 at-risk first graders
(approximately 6 – 7 years old) from 2 elementary schools. Participants were
considered eligible if they scored below the 40th percentile on the
Woodcock-Johnson Word Identification Subtest and below the 50th
percentile on a sound categorization measure.

Approach: Participants’ were randomly assigned to
either the DaisyQuest program, or one of two control
groups. Because of attrition, 49 students were in the final sample. The first
control group used an alphabetic decoding program that focused on vowel sounds
(Hint and Hunt) while the other control group used computer based math
programs. All three groups used computers for the same amount of time. DaisyQuest students used the program in a school psychologist’s office in groups of 3 – 4 students.
Participants used the software 4 times a week for 25 minutes over 8 weeks.
Children were given measures of phonological awareness and phonics at pre- and
post-test including the Woodcock-Johnson Reading Mastery Word Identification
subtest, a sound categorization measure, Undersea Challenge, Woodcock-Johnson
Reading Mastery Word Analysis subtest, a phenome ellison task, a production test of segmentation, a production
test of blending, experimental non-word reading, and an analog reading test.

Results: At post-test, DaisyQuest
participants scored higher than the Hint and Hunt comparison group on two
measures of phonological awareness: the Undersea Challenge, and the production
test of segmenting. However, DaisyQuest participants
did not differ from the Hint and Hunt Group overall on phonological awareness
nor did they differ on any of the phonics measures. Similarly, when compared
with the math program comparison group, participants in DaisyQuest
scored higher on the production test of segmenting and on overall phonological
awareness but did not differ on phonics measures.

Foster, K.C., Erickson, G.C., Foster, D.F., Brinkman, D.,
& Torgesen, J.K. (1994). Computer administered
instruction in phonological awareness: Evaluation of the DaisyQuest
program. Journal of Research and Development in Education, 27(2),
126-137.

Experiment 1: Preschool

Evaluated population: 27 five year old children
attending the Kinderland
Center, a child-care facility in Orem, UT.
Participants were excluded from the evaluation if they had standard scores
lower than 75 on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised or greater than 20
on a phonological awareness test.

Approach: Participants were randomly assigned to
either an experimental group (n=12) or a control group (n=15). Participants in
the experimental group received up to 20 DaisyQuest
computer sessions lasting 20-25 minutes. Once participants mastered three
levels of DaisyQuest, use of the software was
discontinued. Participants in the control group received their regular
preschool classroom instruction. After one month, all participants were
administered a phonological awareness test and the Screening Test of
Phonological Awareness-Experimental Version.

Results: At post-test,participants in the
experimental group scored higher on a phonological awareness test and the
Screening Test of Phonological Awareness-Experimental Version. The researchers
concluded that DaisyQuest was effective in increasing
phonological awareness.

Experiment 2: Kindergarten

Evaluated population: 70 kindergarten students
ranging in age from 5 – 7 selected from four classrooms in a suburban
elementary school. Due to attrition, the final sample was 69 students.
Participants were recruited by testing 97 students using the PPVT-R and
excluding students with the highest and lowest scores.

Approach: Participants were matched on PPVT-R score
and randomly assigned to an experimental or a control group. Experimental group
participants were given 16 sessions of DaisyQuest
training in groups of 4. Each session lasted 20 minutes. Control participants
received regular classroom instruction. Participants were given several pre-
and post-test measures: the Screening Test of Phonological Awareness, Undersea
Challenge, Production Test of Blending, and Production Test of Segmenting.

Results: At post-test, participants in the
experimental group scored higher than the control group on Undersea Challenge (a
large effect size of 0.88),
the Production Test of Segmenting (a large effect size of 1.86), and the Production Test of Blending
(a large effect size of 1.32) however
not on the Screening Test of Phonological Awareness. Overall, participants in
the experimental group exhibited gains in phonological awareness.

Lonigan, C.J., Driscoll, K., Phillips, B.M., Cantor, B.G., Anthony,
J.L., & Goldstein, H. (2003).
A
computer-assisted instruction phonological sensitivity program for preschool
children at-risk for reading problems. Journal of Early Intervention,
25
(4), 248-262.

Evaluated population:45 low-income children in a
Head Start program in Florida.
Due to attrition, the final sample was 41 participants.

Approach: Participants were randomly assigned to
either an intervention (DaisyQuest) or a control
group. Participants in the intervention group received 15-20 minute sessions of
Daisy Quest, 4-5 times per week over the course of 8 weeks. Participants in the
control group received their regular Head Start curriculum. At post-test,
participants were assessed using the Expressive One Word Picture Vocabulary
Test-Revised, Word Identification subtest of the Woodcock Reading Mastery
Test-Revised, and nonstandard measures of letter-name knowledge, letter-sound
knowledge, rhyme oddity, rhyme matching, word blending, syllable/phoneme
blending, multiple-choice blending, word elision, syllable/phoneme elision,
multiple choice elision, word decoding.

Results: Results of the study indicated that overall,
the average phonological processing of DaisyQuest
participants did not differ from participants in the control group.
Nonetheless, there were several measures where participants in the DaisyQuest scored higher than control participants
including rhyme oddity (a medium effect size of 0.55), rhyme matching (a medium
effect size of 0.59), world elision (a medium effect size of 0.65), and multiple-choice
elision (a small effect size of 0.07).

Mitchell, M.J., & Fox, B.J. (2001).The effects of computer software for developing phonological
awareness in low-progress readers. Reading Research and Instruction,
40
(4), 315-332.

Evaluated population: 72 students (36 kindergarteners
and 36 first graders). Students were selected from six kindergarten and six
first grade classrooms in a suburban elementary school in a southeastern state.
Participants who scored low on a Literacy Initiative for Everyone
inventory and/or the PPVT-III were excluded. Due to attrition, the final sample
was 69 students.

Approach: Participants were randomly assigned to one
of three groups. The first group received the DaisyQuest
intervention, the second group participated in teacher-administered
phonological awareness training, and the third group participated in math and
drawing software programs. Students in the DaisyQuest
group received 15-20 minute sessions of DaisyQuest
over four weeks for a total of 5 hours of instruction. At pre- and post-test,
participants were administered the Phonological Awareness Test.

Results: Results of the study indicated that’s participants in the DaisyQuest
did not score significantly different than participants in the
teacher-administered phonological awareness training. However, participants in
the DaisyQuest group did score higher than the
students given math and drawing software programs on the Phonological Awareness
Test.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Curriculum materials available for purchase at: <a
href=”mailto:DaisyQuest@comcast.net”>DaisyQuest@comcast.net

The DaisyQuest bundle (DaisyQuest, Daisy’sCastle, and the Undersea Challenge mastery test) is available for
$49.95, plus $6.95 shipping and handling.

References:

Barker, T., & Torgensen,
J.K. (1995). An evaluation of computer-assisted
instruction in phonological awareness with below average readers. Journal
of Educational Computing Research, 13
(1), 89-103.

Foster, K.C., Erickson, G.C., Foster, D.F., Brinkman, D.,
& Torgesen, J.K. (1994). Computer administered
instruction in phonological awareness: Evaluation of the DaisyQuest
program. Journal of Research and Development in Education, 27(2),
126-137.

Lonigan, C.J., Driscoll, K., Phillips, B.M., Cantor, B.G., Anthony, J.L.,
& Goldstein, H. (2003). A computer-assisted
instruction phonological sensitivity program for preschool children at-risk for
reading problems. Journal of Early Intervention, 25(4), 248-262.

Mitchell, M.J., & Fox, B.J. (2001).
The effects of computer software for developing phonological
awareness in low-progress readers. Reading Research and Instruction,
40
(4), 315-332.

KEYWORDS: Early
Childhood (0-5), Middle Childhood (6-11), Children, Preschool, Kindergarten,
Elementary School, School-based, Education, Skills-Training, Education, Academic
Achievement, Phonological Awareness, Computer-Based, manual, co-ed, cost.

Program information last updated on 8/31/07

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