Skip to main content

Efficacy Study

Scaffolded teaching approach that adapts to students’ instructional needs

Learning A–Z is offering districts and schools an opportunity to use Headsprout™ materials free of charge by participating in an efficacy study. The study is designed to understand whether and how teachers can use the Headsprout program to help their K–3 students, especially those who are struggling with reading, in classroom settings to grow their reading skills and improve outcomes. The following information is meant to increase your understanding about this research project.

We’re recruiting for the 2020 Spring Cohort.

& Resources

For more information about the Headsprout program, please visit:

For more information about the study, please contact:

Mathias Smrekar

Study Overview

Previous studies examining the effect of Headsprout show promising results. The purpose of this study is to build upon previous research and implement a rigorous evaluation design to understand the extent to which Headsprout improves student reading outcomes within K–3 classroom settings.

Please note that current or past users of Headsprout 
are not eligible for this study.

What is

Headsprout is an online reading program aimed at improving the reading skills of K–3 students. The key features of Headsprout include:

  • Adaptive instruction that tailors the learning path and pace for each student
  • Built-in benchmark assessments enable teachers to monitor student progress and provide differentiated instruction to support diverse learners
  • Comprehensive reporting provides timely data to inform instructional decisions
  • Built-in incentives keep students motivated and excited to learn
  • Online and mobile instruction is accessible at school, at home, or on the go

When will the study occur?

The study will begin in spring 2020. For this study, we are inviting schools that serve students from kindergarten to third grade to participate. Within participating schools, K–3 English/language arts (ELA) teachers will be invited to participate in the study. Of those agreeing to participate, half will be randomly assigned to the treatment condition and the other half will be assigned to the control condition. Teachers who are current Headsprout users or had prior experience with Headsprout are not eligible for the study.

What are the benefits of participation?

For students. Every student receives personalized instruction within an individualized learning path that continually adjusts to their learning needs.

For teachers and schools. Educators have access to Headsprout’s learning products and materials and comprehensive reports on individual students or long-term progress by class. Teachers have access to professional development (PD) trainings and implementation services. Schools participate in efficacy research that meets ESSA Strong Evidence Standards. Honoraria are provided to schools and teachers as compensation for the time and effort dedicated to assist with the research (see Study Overview & Expectations for details).

About Headsprout

Click image to view video.

Additional Resources

Headsprout efficacy study details:

Study overview & expectations

Headsprout case studies

Please complete this form to indicate your interest in participating in this study. We will contact you with further information.

Headsprout Efficacy Study | Contact Request

Learning A–Z, the developer of Headsprout, is an education technology company dedicated to expanding literacy through thoughtfully designed resources for empowering teachers to have a greater impact on student learning through personalized instruction. The current study is funded by Learning A-Z.