Date of Award

Spring 2002

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential of commercially produced software. It evaluated the effectiveness of two different treatments and explored the relationship this may have upon increasing students' reading comprehension among fourth grade students. The subjects involved were forty heterogeneously grouped fourth grade students from a rural school setting school. The students were divided into two groups. A total of sixteen stories were read. The first group, Treatment A, utilized the computers, paired with commercially produced software, to complete eight reading passages. The second group, Treatment B, read the same stories but relied on non-computer methods to complete reading passages. On the third week of the study, the final eight stories were read where Treatment A and Treatment B switched. Treatment A relied on non-computer methods to complete reading passages while Treatment B utilized the computers to complete the reading passages.

The difference between the computer and non-computer modes of presentation were compared using a two sample equal variance t-test to see if there was a significant difference between the mean scores of each story read for both modes of presentation. The results of this study indicated that there was a statistically significant difference between the posttest scores for Treatment A and Treatment B. It can be concluded that the integration of commercial software, paired with computer technology, improved students' reading comprehension when compared with non-computer methods.