Examining the efficacy of Burst:Reading literacy intervention

Burst: Reading (Burst) represents a breakthrough in delivering highly differentiated reading instruction based on formative assessment data. Using cutting-edge mobile technology for assessment administration, students attending schools that implement Burst are first screened with a multi-battery assessment that a) provides cross-skill information about a student’s reading ability and b) identifies students who are below expectations for specific skills at appropriate grade levels. The assessment provides information about skills that contribute to the successful development of reading comprehension and includes all of the measures from Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacyeracy Skills (DIBELS: Next) that assess letter name knowledge, phonological awareness, decoding, fluency, and comprehension. The multi-battery assessment includes three additional measures: comprehension, vocabulary, and late decoding inventories. Burst is driven by sophisticated data-analysis algorithms to generate lesson plans and engaging instruction materials for small groups. Incorporating instructional prioritization rules based on grade and time of year, the algorithm prescribes 30 minutes of small-group instruction in up to two skills (Gersten, et al., 2008) to students identified as needing intervention. Teachers, coaches, specialists, and qualified volunteers deliver 10-day “Bursts” of instruction to small groups of students based on the formative assessment results for each student. Instruction is then tailored to the skills defined as the most critical based on students’ grade and time of year.
Authors citation
Pappas, S., York, A., Wang, Y., & Richards, K.
Year of Study
Program Name
Program Evaluated
Tutor Type
1 year
Sample size
Grade Level(s)
1st Grade,
2nd Grade,
3rd Grade
Student-Tutor Ratio
Small group
Effect Size
Study Design
Cluster Randomized
Pappas, S., York, A., Wang, Y., & Richards, K. (2015). Examining the efficacy of Burst:Reading literacy intervention. Retrieved April 8, 2021, from https://charts.intensiveintervention.org/intervention/toolGRP/b72b56839…