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Variability in reading ability gains as a function of computer-assisted instruction method of presentation

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Computers & Education Volume 55, Number 1, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


This study examines the effects on early reading skills of three different methods of presenting material with computer-assisted instruction (CAI): (1) learner-controlled picture menu, which allows the student to choose activities, (2) linear sequencer, which progresses the students through lessons at a pre-specified pace, and (3) mastery-based adaptive sequencer, which progresses students through lessons based on whether or not the student has mastered the given skill. Preschool- and kindergarten-aged children (n=183) were randomly assigned to one of the three CAI groups and spent 40min a week, for 13weeks, using the software program in a computer lab. An additional control group of students attending typical preschool or kindergarten received no CAI. ANCOVA results examining post-test reading ability sum score, covarying pre-test score, indicated that the mastery-based sequencer group significantly outperformed the learner-control and control groups, but was not statistically different from the linear sequence group. Analysis by task, rather than overall reading score, revealed significantly better performance for the linear sequence group over controls and picture menu group on the Initial Sound Fluency task, while the mastery-based sequencer group outperformed all three other groups on Non Word Fluency. In sum, these results suggest that the use of a sequencer is a very important element in presenting computerized reading content for young children.


Johnson, E.P., Perry, J. & Shamir, H. (2010). Variability in reading ability gains as a function of computer-assisted instruction method of presentation. Computers & Education, 55(1), 209-217. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved May 19, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 31, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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