Date of Award

Spring 2000

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Not legible

Second Advisor

Luther E. Smith

Third Advisor

Scott D. Robinson

Abstract

Researchers, administrators, teachers, and students attest to the benefits of computers within a classroom environment. This technology has particular potential for assisting children with special needs to improve their educational opportunities. The purpose of this study is to determine the impact of the computer program Reader’s Workshop on teaching basic reading skills to sixth grade students with mild to moderate educational disabilities. The author asks whether the program is effective at teaching word identification, word attack, and passage comprehension. A sample of eight sixth grade students with disabilities were selected to use the software, with tests given both before and after use so that any progress could be measured. The results of the study indicate that there was no statistically significant difference between the means of the pre- and post-tests for word identification, word attack, or passage comprehension for students with mild to moderate learning disabilities after using Reader’s Workshop. The author argues that by adding more participants, increasing student time with the program, increasing the amount of direct teacher monitoring during computer sessions, a future study may yield more positive results. They also encourage testing on other types of learning programs.

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