Skip to content

Reading Motivation and Reading Success: A Two-Way Street

Research & Impact



Research Brief


DreamBox by Discovery Education

Grade Level:



DreamBox Reading Plus

Share This Report

Research has shown that students’ perceptions about themselves as readers can affect not only their reading effectiveness but also their engagement with reading and their use of reading as a strategic learning tools. In fact, students with high intrinsic motivation are likely to read three times as many minutes per day as compared to students with low intrinsic motivation. To document the relationship between reading motivation and proficiency, this report focuses on two key domains of motivation (reading interest and reading confidence) and how they relate to reading comprehension, efficiency, and overall reading proficiency. Data were evaluated from a national sample of students who completed both a fall and a spring InSight assessment during one academic school year. The InSight assessment gauges reading proficiency and yields results that can readily be compared with the results of commonly used standardized tests (see InSight Technical Brief for details). For the purpose of this report, students were divided into four motivation-level quartile groups and four proficiency growth quartile groups using national data from the InSight assessment. Across all grade groups:
  • students who reported higher levels of interest and confidence also demonstrated significantly higher levels of reading comprehension and reading efficiency
  • students who engaged in at least 100 DreamBox Reading Plus lessons achieved significantly larger reading proficiency gains than students who did not engage in Reading Plus. Notably, students who completed at least 100 Reading Plus lessons achieved similar reading proficiency growth (always exceeding one year’s worth of growth), regardless of their initial level of interest in reading.
The data presented in the research show that reading interest and reading confidence increase right along with a student’s reading proficiency. DreamBox Reading Plus can help all students become more proficient readers, even students with low reading motivation.