Effects of three writing support programs on the writing quality and attitudes of Hispanic junior high students with learning disabilities
Stuart Channon, Illinois State University, United States
Illinois State University . Awarded
Employing an Alternating Treatments Design, this study, set in a large urban (K-8th) elementary school, investigated the comparative effects of three software writing programs (Draft:Builder ®, Write Out Loud ® and Inspiration®) across seven Hispanic junior high (eighth grade) students with moderate learning disabilities. The students received writing instruction from a special education teacher in a resource classroom. A minimum of three stories were produced in each condition. The stories were evaluated for holistic elements and the dimensions of capitalization, punctuation, syntax, spelling, and story length. AppleWorks® software was used as the baseline condition. In addition, pre- and post-intervention questionnaires and interviews were used to assess usability issues related to each software program. Parents and general education teachers were interviewed to assess students' attitude changes about the writing process and use of the computer as a writing tool. Results indicated that Inspiration® was the most effective program with regard to holistic scores and story length, while Write Out Loud® was most effective in the area of writing mechanics and conventions. Both Inspiration ® and Write Out Loud ® were easiest for participants to learn and operate successfully. Format and usability problems were identified with Draft:Builder ® which was the least effective program overall. Students reported more positive attitudes toward writing and the use of the computer in their post-intervention questionnaires and interviews. These changes in attitudes were supported by comments from their parents and general education teachers.
Channon, S. Effects of three writing support programs on the writing quality and attitudes of Hispanic junior high students with learning disabilities. Ph.D. thesis, Illinois State University.
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