A Comparison of the Effectiveness of Two Different ACT Intervention Preparation Programs on At-Risk High School Students' Performance on the ACT Assessment

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Curriculum and Instruction

Date of Award

Spring 2019


The purpose of this comparative study was to determine the effectiveness of 2 ACT intervention preparation programs. One was a face-to-face ACT intervention preparation program and the 2nd was a computer-based ACT intervention preparation program. Both of these intervention programs were used with at-risk high school juniors and seniors in a large suburban school district in South Louisiana during the 2014–2015 school year. The sample consisted of 74 students who had previous pretest ACT Plan scores and took the posttest ACT assessment in 2015. The postscores were the ACT composite assessment scores taken by students in their junior or senior year. A mixed ANOVA and Welch's t-test were used for the group's composite scores and the Welch's t-test and Man-Whitney U were used on the individual content scores of English, reading, math, and science on the ACT Plan and ACT to determine which ACT intervention preparation program course better helped students with their ACT scores.vResults of the study indicated that students improved their posttest ACT assessment scores from their pretest ACT Plan assessment scores regardless of which intervention preparation program course (face-to-face or computer-based) they completed. However, the students who were enrolled in the face-to-face intervention preparation program courses had better scores on the posttest ACT assessment scores than those who completed the computer-based intervention preparation program courses. Even though there were differences in the amount of improvement in students' composite assessment scores (i.e., the change of score) between students receiving face-to-face training and students who received computer-based training, these differences were not statistically significant. Additionally, there were no statistically significant differences in the amount of improvement between the 2 ACT intervention preparations program for 3 of the 4 subjects tested (math, reading, and English). However, the science scores were significantly different, showing that students who had the face-to-face intervention preparation program experienced far more growth in this subject. Furthermore, students who were enrolled in the face-to-face intervention preparation program did see greater relative improvements in their composite and English scores. Thus, the results show that school districts need to provide prepared teachers rather than computer-based programs to help students, as it is the teacher who makes the difference when using these intervention preparation programs, as those who had the face-to-face intervention preparation program did better.


Susan Szabo

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