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Technology to Support Writing by Students with Learning and Academic Disabilities: Recent Research Trends and Findings
ARTICLE

Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits Volume 7, Number 1, ISSN 1938-727X

Abstract

The trends and findings from a descriptive analysis of 25 years of research studies examining the effectiveness of technology to support the compositional writing of students with learning and academic disabilities are presented. A corpus of 85 applied research studies of writing technology effectiveness was identified from among 249 items in the scholarly literature. The use of technologies to support each of the components of the writing process is reported in terms of the research designs used, the writing processes supported, and the historical trends in research publication. The research designs represented in the research base suggests that, overall, there is a developed program of research; however, this does not hold for the individual writing process areas (planning, transcription, editing, and revising). Among the four process areas, the largest number of studies is of technologies to support transcription with revising the next most frequent and few studies of planning/organization and editing. Comparison of the historical trends in research to trends in technology development revealed that little new research investigating basic digital writing support tools, as used by students with learning and academic disabilities, has appeared in the last 10 years despite the growth and development of technology. Across the total corpus of applied research studies, basic evidence-based practice criteria related to number of studies and number of participants was not met in the areas of planning and organization, editing, and revising technologies. Applied research studies of the effectiveness of transcription tools nearly meet the criteria for number of studies and number of participants, and nearly enough to warrant further analysis of study quality and effect sizes. Taken together these findings underscore the critical need for further research on the effectiveness of contemporary technologies to support compositional writing. (Contains 3 tables and 6 figures.)

Citation

Peterson-Karlan, G.R. (2011). Technology to Support Writing by Students with Learning and Academic Disabilities: Recent Research Trends and Findings. Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits, 7(1), 39-62. Retrieved May 26, 2019 from .

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