CommonLit Insights Study Results: Increased CommonLit 360 Usage Highly Correlated to NY State Assessment Success

In an exciting new study from LearnPlatform by Instructure, an independent evaluation group for edtech products, researchers found that students using CommonLit’s lesson library and the CommonLit 360 curriculum showed a significantly greater level of growth than peers who did not utilize CommonLit regularly. This study featured over 1,000 students in two New York City middle schools, and it showed a direct correlation between the number of CommonLit literacy lessons submitted and higher scores on the New York State end-of-year assessment.

Since CommonLit began in 2013, research into the effectiveness of the literacy program has been a key part of the organization’s improvement process. As such, CommonLit commissioned LearnPlatform to do a study determining the effectiveness of CommonLit’s lessons on preparing students for their end-of-year tests. While not all edtech companies take this extra step, CommonLit welcomes the opportunity to investigate its efficacy and grow from that information and feedback.

Positive Connection Between CommonLit and End-of-Year Performance

For the study, LearnPlatform analyzed data from the spring of 2022 and looked at students across three grade levels at two NYC schools. Both schools receive federal Title I funding and have racially diverse student populations with over 50% of students identifying as either Black or Hispanic. Researchers controlled for factors such as students’ prior reading ability in order to isolate the relationship between CommonLit use and students’ performance on the New York State end-of-year assessment. It was at this point that researchers found a distinct and strong positive connection between the number of CommonLit lessons completed by students and their performance on the state assessment. Findings show that the more CommonLit 360 lessons submitted by students, the higher the score on the New York State standardized achievement test.

CommonLit Lessons - Making the Difference

For the research study, students were grouped into categories based on the number of CommonLit lessons they had submitted throughout the year. The data shows that students who submitted nine or more lessons scored significantly higher on the end-of-year New York State standardized assessment than those who submitted fewer lessons.

To break the data down even further, researchers found that on average, students who had completed over 17 lessons scored proficient on the exam while those completing above 21 lessons (2-3 units of CommonLit 360 curriculum) scored 3.3 on a 4.0 scale which is exceeding proficient levels.

Large group differences were found between students who submitted only 1-8 CommonLit lessons and those who submitted anywhere from 9-25 lessons. As shown on the graph below, there is a distinct connection between students submitting more lessons and subsequently performing better on the New York State end-of-year exam.

Bar graph showing positive connection between CommonLit lessons and end-of-year test performance

A Positive Correlation

In addition to the vast number of literacy offerings available for grades 3-12 in the CommonLit digital library, the CommonLit 360 curriculum is also available for teachers and schools at the 6-12th grade levels. CommonLit 360 is a standards-based digital literacy program that provides everything needed for an entire year of engaging and beneficial instruction. The program includes complete units of instruction with reading, writing, vocabulary and discussion lessons that are high-interest and founded in strong literacy practice. Throughout the school year, teachers at the schools in the study utilized both the CommonLit library and CommonLit 360 curriculum. In addition, the educators received the professional development from CommonLit that is a part of the CommonLit School Essential PRO Plus package. It is this consistent usage of CommonLit materials that researchers linked to students’ positive literacy achievement.

These findings suggest that regular and consistent use of CommonLit makes a difference not just in the engagement level of students but in their outcomes on critical end-of-year state exams. To learn more about how your school can partner with CommonLit, reach out today.