Date of Award

August 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Tanya L. Eckert


academic intervention, randomized controlled trial, spelling, writing

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


A large percentage of elementary-aged students in the United States are performing below the proficient level in writing (Aud et al., 2012) and a key component in improving writing quality is the acquisition of proficient spelling skills (Berninger, 1999). One intervention, Cover, Copy, Compare, has shown effectiveness in improving third-grade students’ spelling performance (Williams, 2017); and it has been found to be most effective when combined with another instructional component (Jaspers et al., 2012). A second intervention, Performance Feedback, has been found to be effective in increasing third-grade students’ writing performance (Eckert et al., 2006). However, limited research has examined the integration of these two empirically-based interventions. Therefore, the primary purpose of the present study was to examine these interventions in combination, as well as their independent contribution in improving students’ spelling and writing performance using a randomized controlled trial. A total of 79 third- grade students were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (a) Cover, Copy, Compare Only condition (n = 26); (b) Performance Feedback Only condition (n = 27); or (b) Cover, Copy, Compare + Performance Feedback condition (n = 26). Results indicated that students across conditions performed similarly on post-intervention spelling and writing measures. Implications for combining Cover, Copy, Compare and Performance Feedback to improve students’ spelling and writing performance are discussed.


Open Access