A Comparison of Two Flashcard Drill Methods Targeting Word Recognition

Robert J. Volpe, Christina M. Mulé, Amy M. Briesch, Laurice M. Joseph, Matthew K. Burns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Traditional drill and practice (TD) and incremental rehearsal (IR) are two flashcard drill instructional methods previously noted to improve word recognition. The current study sought to compare the effectiveness and efficiency of these two methods, as assessed by next day retention assessments, under 2 conditions (i.e., opportunities to respond held constant across methods, length of instructional session held constant across methods) with 4 first-grade students identified by their teachers as struggling readers. Social validity of the two intervention methods also was evaluated. Results suggested important differences in response to instruction across students. Differences in effectiveness between TD and IR were minimal both when holding opportunities to respond and length of instructional session constant across methods. Minimal differences in efficiency were noted between TD and IR when holding instructional time constant across conditions. However, TD was clearly more efficient than IR for all students when holding opportunities to respond constant across conditions. Social validity data indicated that half of the students preferred the TD method and half preferred the IR method. Limitations and implications of the current study for school-based professionals are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-137
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Behavioral Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Incremental rehearsal
  • Reading interventions
  • Sight word training
  • Traditional drill


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