Tuned in to student success: assessing the impact of interactive radio instruction for the hardest-to-reach

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A review of recent research was conducted to assemble evidence on the impact that Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) may have on improving student learning outcomes. IRI is an instructional tool designed to deliver a family of active learning packages via radio broadcast using a dual-audience approach. IRI exposes students to regular, curriculum-based learning content while modeling effective learning activities and classroom organisation techniques for teachers. As IRI continues to be called upon to improve teaching and learning in low-resource and hard-to-reach areas, a better understanding of the empirical data available is critical to guide the way forward. IRI has been implemented by Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) in over 50 countries over the past 30 years. This paper is a review of existing student and teacher data collected by EDC’s IRI projects. Effect sizes are used to summarise what is known about the effect of IRI on student learning gains in Grades K-4 for English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Local Language. In all, student test results from 13 projects, ranging from Nicaragua in 1977 through Indonesia in 2008, are reviewed, as are teacher observation outcomes from Mali and Madagascar.

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