Delivery & Access Models


Protocols and Fidelity of Implementation

Fidelity of implementation determines the Success of the Program

Schools and districts that implement the Fast ForWord program are able to choose from a variety of usage protocols which indicate the number of days per week each student should use the program, and the number of minutes per day required. The validity of these protocols is underpinned by considerable research by Scientific Learning Corporation, based on usage of the program by thousands of users. Selecting the most appropriate protocol for a student or group of students must first and foremost take the student’s learning needs into consideration. However, other factors have to be considered as well, including class scheduling patterns, availability of technology, and the duration of time available for use of the programs. Choosing the most appropriate protocol to address these considerations, and then implementing the chosen protocol with fidelity, will result in the most positive benefit possible for the students.

What is Fidelity of Implementation?

As it relates to the K-12 educational process, fidelity of implementation is the delivery of an instructional program in the way in which it was designed to be used. As noted by the RTI Action Network, fidelity is more than just “adherence to the rules.” Implementing the Fast ForWord program with fidelity is usually the result of a dynamic change process where all stake holders (teachers, administrators, parents and students) share a vision of what can be achieved, and are committed to experiencing that vision.

Best Practices for Fast ForWord Implementation

Successful implementers of the Fast ForWord program establish clear strategies, based on the learning needs of the target population(s), prior to first starting the implementation. Examples of the issues that need to be considered up front include:

  • The days of the school week, and the time of the school day least likely to be impacted by disruptions.
  • How students who miss Fast ForWord sessions can make them up.
  • The physical environment(s) in which the Fast ForWord program will be delivered (for instance, computer labs, classroom) and their availability.
  • How the implementation will be supervised and the staffing necessary to provide adequate support for students.

Through this planning process, appropriate Fast ForWord protocols can be chosen, from the following:

Once the Fast ForWord implementation begins, there are three key ingredients needed for maximum student gains – Completion, Attendance, and Participation (CAPs). When schools follow our recommended Best Practices, students can demonstrate significant reading gains. Schools need to pay close attention to CAPs on the MySciLEARN reports, and intervene where appropriate. Implementing with fidelity means achieving high scores on each of the CAPs components:

COMPLETION RATE-measures the pace at which a student progresses through the content, relative to that student’s individualized Completion Goal.

  • Recommendation: Students should make consistent progress, meeting (or exceeding) their weekly Completion Goals.
  • Good: 65%+

ATTENDANCE– measures how many days per week a student is using the products.

  • Recommendation: Faithfully adhere to either the 3-days or 5-days a week protocol.
  • Good: 80%+ (100% for the 3-days a week protocol)

PARTICIPATION – measures the percentage of the scheduled minutes per day a student is using the software. This indicates the student’s time on task.

  • Recommendation: Students should participate for the entire length of the Fast ForWord session, each day.
  • Good: 95%+

Through years of Fast ForWord program utilization across thousands of schools and over two million learners, there is clear documentation that the best results and strongest student gains are achieved when the program is implemented with fidelity. Thoughtful planning and strong adherence to the implementation plan will pave the way for improved student achievement.