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Effects of Computer-Based and Print-Based Fluency Instruction on Students at Risk for Reading Failure

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021113/00001

Material Information

Title: Effects of Computer-Based and Print-Based Fluency Instruction on Students at Risk for Reading Failure
Physical Description: 1 online resource (154 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Fenty, Nicole Scarlett
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: assisted, computer, fluency, instruction, readers, reading, struggling
Special Education -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Special Education thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine whether computer-assisted fluency instruction is as effective as print-based teacher-led fluency instruction for third-grade students experiencing delayed fluency development. An experimental pretest posttest group design was paired with a changing treatments single-subject design to answer several research questions. Participants in the group portion of the study (N = 50) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: a print group, a computer-assisted text-equivalent group, and a computer-assisted time-equivalent group. The text equivalent group was equivalent to the print group in that both groups were exposed to one fluency passage in a given 20-minute session. The time-equivalent group was equivalent to the print group in that both groups experienced fluency instruction during a given 20-minute period. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed no significant differences across groups on two of the three outcome measures (i.e., fluency and comprehension). An ANCOVA indicated significant differences between two of the three treatment groups in the area of vocabulary. Differences between the two computer treatment groups (i.e., text-equivalent and time-equivalent) favoring the time-equivalent group, may have occurred because participants in the time-equivalent group received more exposure to vocabulary words than those students in the text-equivalent group. Participants in the single subject portion of the study (N = 3) were exposed to all three conditions. Visual analysis of data from the three participants who were exposed to all three conditions yielded varied results. Two of the three students experienced increased rates of on-task behavior across all three treatment groups. The remaining student was more responsive to the time equivalent computer assisted condition than the other two conditions. The results from the three participants who were involved in the single subject portion of the study suggest that different students vary in how they engage with computer assisted instruction. Implications for future research include: designing systematic evaluations of the characteristics of students who exhibit high engagement with computer assisted instruction (CAI), evaluating the cost effectiveness of CAI as compared to more traditional forms of instruction, and evaluating the use of CAI as a supplemental form of instruction.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Nicole Scarlett Fenty.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local: Adviser: Lane, Holly B.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2007
System ID: UFE0021113:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0021113/00001

Material Information

Title: Effects of Computer-Based and Print-Based Fluency Instruction on Students at Risk for Reading Failure
Physical Description: 1 online resource (154 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Fenty, Nicole Scarlett
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2007

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: assisted, computer, fluency, instruction, readers, reading, struggling
Special Education -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Special Education thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine whether computer-assisted fluency instruction is as effective as print-based teacher-led fluency instruction for third-grade students experiencing delayed fluency development. An experimental pretest posttest group design was paired with a changing treatments single-subject design to answer several research questions. Participants in the group portion of the study (N = 50) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: a print group, a computer-assisted text-equivalent group, and a computer-assisted time-equivalent group. The text equivalent group was equivalent to the print group in that both groups were exposed to one fluency passage in a given 20-minute session. The time-equivalent group was equivalent to the print group in that both groups experienced fluency instruction during a given 20-minute period. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed no significant differences across groups on two of the three outcome measures (i.e., fluency and comprehension). An ANCOVA indicated significant differences between two of the three treatment groups in the area of vocabulary. Differences between the two computer treatment groups (i.e., text-equivalent and time-equivalent) favoring the time-equivalent group, may have occurred because participants in the time-equivalent group received more exposure to vocabulary words than those students in the text-equivalent group. Participants in the single subject portion of the study (N = 3) were exposed to all three conditions. Visual analysis of data from the three participants who were exposed to all three conditions yielded varied results. Two of the three students experienced increased rates of on-task behavior across all three treatment groups. The remaining student was more responsive to the time equivalent computer assisted condition than the other two conditions. The results from the three participants who were involved in the single subject portion of the study suggest that different students vary in how they engage with computer assisted instruction. Implications for future research include: designing systematic evaluations of the characteristics of students who exhibit high engagement with computer assisted instruction (CAI), evaluating the cost effectiveness of CAI as compared to more traditional forms of instruction, and evaluating the use of CAI as a supplemental form of instruction.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Nicole Scarlett Fenty.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2007.
Local: Adviser: Lane, Holly B.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2007
System ID: UFE0021113:00001


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EFFECTS OF COMPUTER-BASED AND PRINT-BASED
FLUENCY INSTRUCTION ON STUDENTS
AT RISK FOR READING FAILURE


















By

NICOLE S. FENTY


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2007



























O 2007 Nicole Fenty































For Sean, Mom, Dad, and
Kemuel
Thank you for your love, encouragement, and
humor









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I want to thank all the people that made the completion of this dissertation study possible. I

received a great deal of emotional and physical support throughout this process and for this I am

truly grateful.

I want to thank Dr. Holly Lane, who chaired my committee. Dr. Lane encouraged me to

enter the doctoral program and provided emotional and financial support throughout my

program. I want to thank Dr. Terry Scott who has not only been a great mentor but who has

helped me to broaden my professional interests. Thanks go to Dr. Christie Cavanaugh for

mentoring me throughout the writing process and for helping me grow in my teaching at the

college level. I also thank Dr. Martha League who, pre-dating the doctoral program, has been a

wonderful mentor. A special thanks to Dr. Maureen Conroy who has helped me become a better

writer throughout the program.

I want to also thank Ms. Andreea Cimoca, Ms. Julie Harvill, Ms. Ann Vilcheck, and

everyone else at Quick Reads for providing all the materials for this study. Without their

generosity this study would have been impossible to complete.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the administrators, teachers, and students at

the three schools that assisted me in completing my study. Thank go to Dr. Hayes, Ms. Ramirez,

Mr. Steffens, Mrs. Smith, Ms. Spratling, Mrs. Butts, Mrs. Garcia, Ms. Lake, Mrs. Cowart, Ms.

VanSickle, Ms. Thomas, Mrs. Homan, Ms. Bon, Ms. Lewis, Ms. Carlisle, Ms. Rogers, Ms.

Nobles, Ms. Mitchell, and Mrs. White for allowing me the opportunity to work with all the great

students in your schools.

I want to also thank the three students who assisted in providing instruction to the

participants in my study. Brooke Longshore, Chantel Nelson, and Catherine Beaunae treated this










study as if it were your own. I would also like to thank all the doctoral students past and present,

near and far who provided their wisdom, support, and guidance.

Thanks go to Dr. Cyndi Garvan, Ms. Elizabeth Wang, and Ms. Evelyn Chiang for helping

me with my data analysis. They helped me to handle my fear of statistics. I thank my mom and

dad for being loving and supportive parents who always encouraged me to shoot for the stars. I

thank Kemuel for inspiring me to become a teacher. Finally, thanks go to Sean for keeping me

sane throughout this insane process with humor, patience, and reason.












TABLE OF CONTENTS

IM Le

ACKNOWLEDGMENT S .............. ...............4.....


LIST OF TABLES ............ ..... .__ ...............8...


LIST OF FIGURES .............. ...............9.....


AB S TRAC T ............._. .......... ..............._ 10...


CHAPTER


1 INTRODUCTION ................. ...............12.......... ......


Fluency .............. .... ......... .. ... .........1
Students with Reading Difficulties ................. ...............16................
Students with Behavior Difficulties ................. ...............16................
The Reading-Behavior Connection .............. ...............17...
Intervention Strategies in Reading and Behavior ................. ...............18...............
Engagement and Reading Difficulties ............... ... ........... ...............19......
Computer Technology in Schools: A Historical Perspective .............. ....................2
Computer Technology as an Intervention Strategy .............. ...............21....
Opportunities to Respond .............. ...............23....
Rationale for the Study .............. ...............24....
Summary ................. ...............26.......... ......


2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................. ...............27................


M ethods .............. ...............27....
Re sults ................ ...............28.................
D discussion .................. ... ......... ...............28.......

Implications for Future Research............... ...............44
Summary of the Review of the Literature .............. ...............47............. ...

3 METHODS .............. ...............52....


Purpose .............. ...............52....
Research Questions................ ...............5

Design and Instructional Setting. ........._.._... ...............57....._.. .....
Group Study ........._..._... ...............59.._.._.. ......
Single Subject Study............... ...............73.
Summary ........._..._... ...............79.._.._.. ......


4 RE SULT S .............. ...............80....


Preliminary Analyses ........._..._... ...............80.._.._.. ......
Research Questions............... ...............8












5 DI SCUS SSION ................. ...............8.. 9......... ....


Fluency ................. ...... .. ..............8
Computer-Assisted Instruction ............ ..... ._ ...............90...
Discussion of Findings .............. ...............91....
Interpretation of Findings ............ ..... ._ ...............97...
Limitations and Delimitations .............. ...............100....

Implications for Future Research............... ...............10
Summary ............ ..... ._ ...............108...


APPENDIX


A SUMMARY OF STUDIES ............ ..... .__ ...............111..


B INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD DOCUMENT ................. ............................120


C DATA COLLECTION FORMS ................. ...............129...............


D SUMMARY OF THE QUICK READS PROGRAM ................ ................ ......... .132


E RESULTS OF PILOT STUDY ................ ...............135........... ...


F TREATMENT INTEGRITY SCALES ................. ...............136...............


G STUDY TIMELINE BY MONTH AND WEEK ................. ...............138........... ..


H GRAPHIC ORGANIZER FOR PREDICTIONS ................ ...............140........... ...


I SCREEN SHOT EXAMPLES OF QUICK READS ................. ............... ......... ...141

LIST OF REFERENCES ................. ...............145................


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................. ...............154......... ......











LIST OF TABLES


Table page



3-1 Demographic Data for All Study Participants by School ................... ............... 6

3-2 Quick Reads Steps: Print .............. ...............64....

3-3 Quick Reads Steps: Computer: Text-equivalent .....__.___ .... ... .___ ......_.... .......6

3-4 Quick Reads Steps: Computer: Time-equivalent............... ............6

3-5 Percentiles and Matching Levels .............. ...............68....

3-6 Average On-task Behavior............... ...............76

4-1 Descriptive Statistics by Group .............. ...............81....

4-2 Comparison of Pretest Means by Group .....__.___ .... ... ..__ .....___.........8

4-3 Comparison of Posttest Means by Group ................. ...._.._ ....._. ........_........82

4-4 Frequency of Grouped Number of Sessions .............. ...............83....

4-5 Participant Number of Sessions Across Groups ........._.._.. ......._ ........_.._.......8

5-1 Estimated Quick Reads Per Pupil Expenditures Per Year ........._.._....... ...._............107

A-1 Summary of Reading and Technology Studies in Elementary Settings .........._...............112

C-1 Sample of Behavior Rating Scale for Study Pre-Qualification ........._.._.. ......_.._......129

C-2 Sample of Data Collection Sheet Used During Baseline Condition............... ...............13

C-3 Sample of Data Collection Sheet Used During Treatment Conditions.............._.._.. ........13 1

D-1 Overview of the Quick Reads Program ................ ....___ ........... .........3

D-2 Sample Quick Reads Script for Print-based Instruction ........._. ......._. ..............133

E-1 Pilot Study............... ...............135.

F-1 Treatment Integrity Scale for Teacher-led Print Group ................. ........................136

F-2 Treatment Integrity Scale for Teacher-led Computer Group ................. ............... .....137

G-1 Study Timeline by Month ................ ...............138........... ...

G-2 Study Timeline by Week .............. ...............139....










LIST OF FIGURES


FiMr page

1-1 Model of the Impact of Computer-Assisted Instruction on Social and Academic
Achievement .............. ...............25....

3-1 Overview of the Group and Single Subj ect Designs ..........._.......__ ................58

4-1 Daryl's Percentage of Intervals On-Task Across Baseline and Treatment Conditions.....85

4-2 Sam's Percentage of Intervals On-Task Across Baseline and Treatment Conditions.......86

4-3 Jay's Percentage of Intervals On-Task Across Baseline and Treatment Conditions......... 87

I-1 Quick Reads Title Screen Page ................. ...............141..............

I-2 Quick Reads Definition Page ................. ...............142........... ...

I-3 Quick Reads Comprehension Questions Page ................. ...............143..............

I-4 Quick Reads Progress Monitoring Page ................. ......... ......... ..........14









Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

EFFECTS OF COMPUTER-BASED AND PRINT-BASED
FLUENCY INSTRUCTION ON STUDENTS
AT RISK FOR READING FAILURE

By

Nicole S. Fenty

August 2007

Chair: Holly Lane
Major: Special Education

The purpose of this study was to determine whether computer-assisted fluency instruction

is as effective as print-based teacher-led fluency instruction for third-grade students experiencing

delayed fluency development. An experimental pretest posttest group design was paired with a

changing treatments single-subj ect design to answer several research questions. Participants in

the group portion of the study (N = 50) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: a

print group, a computer-assisted text-equivalent group, and a computer-assisted time-equivalent

group. The text-equivalent group was equivalent to the print group in that both groups were

exposed to one fluency passage in a given 20-minute session. The time-equivalent group was

equivalent to the print group in that both groups experienced fluency instruction during a given

20-minute period.

An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed no significant differences across groups

on two of the three outcome measures (i.e., fluency and comprehension). An ANCOVA

indicated significant differences between two of the three treatment groups in the area of

vocabulary. Differences between the two computer treatment groups (i.e., text-equivalent and

time-equivalent) favoring the time-equivalent group, may have occurred because participants in










the time-equivalent group received more exposure to vocabulary words than those students in the

text-equivalent group. Participants in the single subj ect portion of the study (N = 3) were

exposed to all three conditions. Visual analysis of data from the three participants who were

exposed to all three conditions yielded varied results. Two of the three students experienced

increased rates of on-task behavior across all three treatment groups. The remaining student was

more responsive to the time equivalent computer-assisted condition than the other two

conditions. The results from the three participants who were involved in the single subj ect

portion of the study suggest that different students vary in how they engage with

computer-assisted instruction. Implications for future research include: designing systematic

evaluations of the characteristics of students who exhibit high engagement with

computer-assisted instruction (CAI), evaluating the cost effectiveness of CAI as compared to

more traditional forms of instruction, and evaluating the use of CAI as a supplemental form of

instruction.









CHAPTER 1
INTTRODUCTION

Reading achievement is essential for overall school and societal success (Adams, 1990;

Brandt, 2001; Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). Good readers experience an advantage over poor

readers in that they are more likely to also do well in content areas, such as mathematics, science,

and social studies (Hall, Hughes, & Filbert, 2000). School success significantly influences the

extent to which students are able to advance socially and economically once they enter into

society (Snow, et al., 1998). Because of the positive long term effects of reading success, it is

important to know what instructional factors contribute to good reading. The National Reading

Panel (NRP) (2000) has established five key components of reading instruction and makes

recommendations for best instructional practices in each of the components.

Fluency

The ultimate purpose for learning to read is to comprehend text. Reading comprehension

has been identified as "essential to both academic and life-long learning" (National Reading

Panel, 2000, p. 4-1) and is listed as one of the NRP's five key components of reading instruction.

Although, the remaining four components of reading instruction (e.g., phonemic awareness,

phonics, fluency and vocabulary) also make significant contributions to comprehension

development, many researchers have found that reading fluency is most highly correlated with

comprehension (Chard, Vaughn, & Tyler, 2002; Fuchs, Fuchs, Hosp, & Jenkins, 2001; Torgesen

& Hudson, 2006) especially in the primary grades (Schatschneider, et al., 2005).

Reading fluency can be defined as reading effortlessly (rate), accurately (accuracy), and

with proper expression prosodyy) (Meyer & Felton, 1999). Reading rate refers to how quickly

one reads, reading accuracy refers to the correct identification of words in connected text, and

reading prosody refers to reading expressively using correct tone and intonation. Reading









fluency acts as a bridge between word recognition and comprehension (Johns & Berglund, 2002;

Kuhn, 2004/2005; Kuhn, 2005; Schwanenflugel, et al., 2006). Because fluent readers do not

focus their attention on decoding words it allows them to focus on text comprehension (NRP,

2000). Snow, Burns, and Griffin (1998) and Kuhn and Stahl (2003), attribute our ability to

acquire meaning from printed text to quick and accurate word recognition ability and reading

fluency .

In addition to increased comprehension, the ability to read quickly, accurately and with

expression is a defining characteristic of good overall reading (Kiley, 2005). According to Kuhn

and Stahl (2003) and Rasinski (2006) a strong correlation exists between reading fluency and

overall reading achievement. Rasinski has also found that students who score well on

standardized measures of oral reading fluency also score well on standardized measures of

overall reading achievement such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

Because of the relationship that exists between oral reading fluency and overall reading

achievement, Johns and Berglund (2002) and Rasinski have recommended that students,

especially those who struggle, receive explicit instruction in oral reading fluency. This

instruction can lead to increases in both reading fluency and in overall reading achievement.

A History of Oral Reading Fluency Instruction

Oral reading fluency instruction can be traced back to the colonial period (Rasinski, 2006).

During that time, it was not uncommon to Eind that only one member of a household could read.

Because of this, it was crucial that the person who could read be able to read aloud expressively

to the rest of the family. At around the beginning of the 20th century, however, the push for oral

reading began to dwindle (Rasinski). At this time, reading materials became more readily

accessible than they had been in the past. In addition, reading scholars began to argue that oral

reading resulted in too much emphasis being placed on the mechanics of reading which took









away from the meaning of the text (Rasinski). The increased likelihood that more members of a

household could read and the decreased need for oral expressive reading led to an increased

emphasis on silent reading.

This emphasis remained unchallenged until 1974 when a revolutionary theory, the theory

of automatic information processing, was developed by Laberge and Samuels (Rasinski, 2006).

According to this theory, struggling readers differ from good readers in some very fundamental

ways. When struggling readers read, they spend the maj ority of their time trying to decode words

which leaves little time for the actual understanding of text. Good readers, on the other hand, are

more automatic in their decoding and word recognition ability. This allows for more time for

actual understanding of the text. The theory of information processing brought about a

significant question. Since successful reading fluency leads to increased comprehension, how

can we help struggling readers improve their reading fluency? Researchers have found that direct

oral reading fluency instruction in the form of repeated readings, fluent models, assisted reading,

and partner reading could have a significant impact on the reading fluency of struggling readers

(Kuhn & Stahl, 2003; Rasinski, 2000; Samuels, 1979).

Oral Reading Fluency Instruction Today

A recent study performed by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

found that 44% of a representative sample of the nation' s fourth graders scored low in fluency

(NRP, 2000). Students who scored low in fluency also scored low in comprehension (NRP).

According the NRP, students, especially those who struggle with reading, need explicit

instruction in oral reading fluency. This instruction should begin at around the end of first grade

when students have basic word recognition and decoding skills (Rasinski, 2003). Oral reading

fluency instruction should take the form of guided repeated oral reading which involves

re-reading text with guidance and feedback from a fluent model.









Guided repeated oral reading has been linked to increases in word recognition, speed,

accuracy and overall reading fluency (Rasinski, 2003). It can be practiced through the use of a

variety of activities including--adult modeling, partner reading, and computer-assisted reading.

Adult modeling can be facilitated by a parent, teacher, aide, or tutor. It involves the teacher

modeling fluent reading of text for students and then providing guidance and feedback during

student readings of that same text. Adult modeling has been linked to increases in reading

accuracy, rate, and prosody (Kuhn & Stahl, 2003). Partner reading can also help to facilitate

increases in reading fluency. Partner reading can take on two forms. First, a more fluent reader

can be paired with a less fluent reader. The more fluent reader reads the text first and acts as the

fluent model. The less fluent reader then reads. While the less fluent reader is reading, the more

fluent reader provides guidance and feedback to the less fluent reader. Rasinski (2000) suggests

that this form of partner reading is beneficial for both partners. The second kind of partner

reading pairs readers who have the same reading ability. After hearing an adult fluent model read

a piece of text, partners are sent off to take turns reading that same piece of text. The partner who

listens and follows along provides guidance and feedback to the partner who is reading.

Computer-assisted reading can also help provide fluency instruction and practice to students. The

computer can not only provide a model of fluent reading but it can also provide students with

guidance and immediate feedback. The computer allows students to work on fluency passages at

an individualized pace and can help students to chart their progress. Many software programs

allow students to request speech feedback on pronunciation of specific words. Researchers who

have evaluated the effects of computer-assisted reading on fluency skills have found significant

increases not only in reading fluency but also in overall reading achievement (Florida Center for

Reading Research, 2003).









Fluency instruction is most effective when students are provided with opportunities to read

text repeatedly with guidance and feedback from a fluent model (Samuels, 2002). This guidance

and feedback is best provided to students individually (Osborn, Lehr, & Hiebert, 2003).

Individualized instruction provides students, especially those who struggle, with the opportunity

to master skills at their own pace. However, with recent increases in teacher shortages and

increases in under-qualified teachers, it is often difficult to deliver appropriate levels of

instruction to children at risk for reading failure.

Students with Reading Difficulties

Approximately 3% of all school age children have been diagnosed with a reading disability

(Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). Different types of students experience reading difficulties,

including students from low income backgrounds, students who have cognitive disabilities,

students with learning disabilities, and students who experience behavior difficulties. These

students often struggle with one or more of the critical aspects of reading: phonemic awareness,

decoding, word recognition, fluency, or comprehension (Anderson-Inman & Horney, 1998;

Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). Students often struggle due to one or a combination of factors

including inadequate or inappropriate reading instruction in school, inadequate preparation or

parental support, and cognitive or physical disabilities that may interfere with reading

(Anderson-Inman & Horney; Snow, Burns & Griffin). Researchers have implemented a variety

of interventions to combat reading difficulties which include the use of supplemental

basals/textbooks, mainstreaming students with learning disabilities, enhancing home literacy

environments, and computer software (U.S. Department of Education, 2002).

Students with Behavior Difficulties

Students with behavior difficulties pose a range of dynamic challenges for education.

Some students exhibit externalizing (e.g., low task engagement, disruption, and aggression)










problems while others experience problems that manifest themselves internally (anxiety,

depression, withdrawal). There are, however, some characteristics that all of these students share.

According to Coleman and Vaughn (2000), students with behavior challenges experience

emotional variability, fear of failure, lack of trust and an inability to remain engaged and on-task.

Some if not all of these variables may have an effect on students ability to learn (Kauffman,

Cullinan & Epstein, 1987).

The Reading-Behavior Connection

Researchers have found that students who have or who are at risk for behavior difficulties

are also inclined to lack academic skills (Glassberg, Hooper & Mattison, 1999; Gunter & Denny,

1998; Kauffman, Cullinan & Epstein, 1987, Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). In a sample of 233

students newly identified as having behavior challenges, Glassberg, Hooper and Mattison (1999)

found 53.2% of them met at least one of the requirements for learning disabilities. The

requirements set by Glassberg et al. (1999) included a discrepancy between ability and

achievement of at least 22 points, a regression-based ability-achievement discrepancy of 1.5

standard errors or more, and low achievement of at least 1.5 standard deviations below the mean

in either math, reading or written language. Gunter and Denny (1998), found that students with

behavior challenges had lower grade point averages, had failed more courses, had failed more

grade level competency exams and were less likely to finish school than other groups of students

with disabilities. Kauffman, Cullinan and Epstein (1987) found that only 30% of students with

behavior difficulties were rated by their teachers as performing at or above grade level in the

areas of reading, mathematics and written language.

Students with behavior difficulties tend to have the most trouble in reading and written

language (Rock & Fessler, 1997). Many researchers have concentrated their efforts on reading

because reading provides access to other learning and a student who is unable to read or who has









reading difficulties is highly likely to experience school failure, school dropout, unemployment

and crime (National Institute of Literacy, 1998; Snow, Burn & Griffin, 1998). In addition,

Hinshaw (1992a) states that students with behavior challenges have had the most difficulty in the

areas of decoding and reading comprehension.

Intervention Strategies in Reading and Behavior

Interventions that have been implemented for students who exhibit a comorbidity for

reading and behavior difficulties take on a variety of approaches. An examination of the

literature over the last decade has yielded interesting results. Some researchers examined the

effect of one type of intervention (reading or behavioral) on both reading and behavior outcomes.

Other researchers evaluated the effect of a combination of both a reading and behavior

intervention on reading and behavior outcomes. Instructional reading strategies consisted mostly

of prepackaged programs such as the Phonological Awareness Training for Reading (PATR) and

the Wallach and Wallach tutoring program, which assists students with blending, segmenting,

and spelling skills (Lane, 1999; Rabiner & Malone, 2004). Others have used such programs as

the Reading Mastery series and the Open Court reading series which both use explicit instruction

to teach decoding and comprehension skills (Miao, Darch, & Rabren, 2002; Wehby, Falk,

Barton-Arwiood, Lane, & Cooley, 2003). Behavioral instructional strategies included both

prepackaged programs such as the Social Skills Intervention Guide along with more generalized

strategies such as pre-correction (Lane, 1999; Miao et al., 2002).

Researchers who examined reading interventions in isolation, found few significant

improvements associated with social behavior (Lane, 1999; Rabiner & Malone, 2004; Wehby et

al., 2003). Interestingly, researchers who evaluated the effects of a reading intervention coupled

with a behavior intervention, found significant increases in both reading and social behavior. The

results of these intervention studies might suggest that academic interventions alone might not be










enough to fully help students who suffer from both reading and behavior difficulties. However, it

is important to remember that the characteristics of challenging behaviors range along a

spectrum from mild (e.g., easily distracted) to more severe challenges (e.g., aggression). The

success of an intervention strategy might be dependent on the severity of the social behavior

problem. Based on the evaluation of recent studies, researchers have not yet begun to take these

factors into consideration when choosing participants for a study or when drawing conclusions

from the results of a study.

In addition, it is difficult to conclude from the aforementioned findings that significant

effects occur only in the presence of combined interventions. The reading intervention programs

used in the Lane (1999), Rabiner and Malone (2004), and Wehby, Falk, Barton-Arwood, Lane,

and Cooley (2003) studies may have only been significantly successful in improving reading and

not behavior problems because they were not designed to serve a dual purpose. It is possible that

one intervention that serves a dual purpose can have a significant impact on both reading and

behavior difficulties. The use of a highly interactive computer-based reading program, for

instance, could provide an impetus for both reading achievement and increased engagement

which could result in a reduction in reading and behavior challenges (Kamil, Intrator, & Kim,

2000; Maddux, 2000).

Engagement and Reading Difficulties

Reading difficulties has emerged as one of the academic areas most significantly

associated with behavior challenges. In fact, Kauffman, Cullinan and Epstein (1987) found that

low achievement in reading is related to aggression, defiance of authority, and breaking school

rules. Some researchers have found that certain behavior problems can be directly linked to

reading difficulties. According to Rabiner (2000), of all the types of emotional and behavioral

problems, low task engagement can most significantly be connected to reading difficulties. Low









task engagement can be defined as engaging in off task behaviors such as manipulating obj ects

not related to academic tasks, talking to another student, looking around the room, and talking

about issues unrelated to an academic task (Rieth & Semmel, 1991). In a study that involved

over 200 students, Rabiner found that level of task engagement at the beginning of first grade to

be a strong predictor of reading scores at the end of first grade. Students who exhibit low task

engagement may display both externalizing (disruption) and internalizing (withdrawal) behavior

problems. Regardless of the symptom, Rabiner has called for research that evaluates the effects

of reading interventions that promote increased engagement to reading related tasks.

Engaged readers are attentive during reading instruction because they are curious about

reading, they effectively use specific strategies to help them comprehend text, are confident in

their reading, and use text as a means of social interaction (Guthrie, 2005). According to Guthrie

and Wigfield (2000) there is a strong positive correlation between reading engagement and

reading achievement. The assertions above are consistent with the Matthew Effect in reading

(Stanovich, 1986). Stanovich (1986) set forth the hypothesis that good readers become better

readers while struggling readers continue to read poorly. Students who read well are more

inclined to be engaged during reading and are therefore more likely to become better at reading.

Conversely, students who struggle with reading are more inclined to disengage and become less

able readers. The challenge is to increase the task engagement of students who struggle with

reading and attention during instruction.

Readers will be more engaged when reading is a more interactive process, when reading is

neither too easy nor too difficult, and when reading is perceived as being a less serious and a

more creative process (Reinking, 2000). Increasing the task engagement of students who struggle

requires a variety of instructional models. To begin, because students become more engaged









when learning is more hands on, Guthrie and Wigfield (2000) have recommended infusing

content area subj ects, which usually involve more hands on activities, into reading related

instruction. Guthrie and Wigfield also suggest incorporating a wide variety of texts into reading

instruction (i.e. narrative and expository), providing students with strategy instruction (e.g. direct

instruction, scaffolding, and guided practice) and providing students with specific praise and

relevant reinforcers.

Computer Technology in Schools: A Historical Perspective

In the early 1960's, a group of researchers from Stanford University, Patrick Suppes and

Richard Atkinson, developed computer-assisted instruction as an alternative for students who

needed more than traditional whole-group classroom instruction (Molnar, 1997). Because the

computer is able to provide individually paced instruction, immediate and corrective feedback

and extensive rehearsals of curriculum materials, it quickly grew in popularity and emerged as

the ideal teaching assistant (Rieth & Semmel, 1991). As a result, the number of students at the

K-12 level who had access to computer technology in their schools grew from about one percent

in the late 1960's to about 55% in the mid 1970's. By the late 1970's, the introduction of

microcomputers revolutionized the computer as an instructional tool in classrooms across the

country (Molnar, 1997).

Computer Technology as an Intervention Strategy

Technology in schools can take on a variety of forms (video cameras, digital cameras, and

smart boards). Perhaps the most common is computer technology (Maddux, 2000). Over the past

several decades, the use of computer technology in schools has grown tremendously (e.g., from a

student to computer ratio of 125 to 1 in 1983 to a ratio of about 10 to 1 in 1996) (Maddux, 2000).

The increasing trend is partly due to the hypothesized potential impact of the use of computer

technology on student achievement. Since computers allow students to have an interactive










experience with school materials, they have been found to increase student motivation, interest,

enj oyment, persistence and engagement with assigned tasks (Kamil, Intrator, & Kim, 2000;

Laffey, Espinosa, Moore, & Lodree, 2003; Lee & Vail, 2005; Maddux, 2000; Wissick, 1996). In

fact, in the presence of instruction that incorporates computer technology, students are more

engaged and are more likely to recall information after instruction is complete, than they are in

more traditional learning environments (Blankenship, Ayers, Langone, 2005; Kamil et al., 2000;

Wilson, Maj sterek, & Simmons, 1996). Because of the importance of literacy to overall school

and life success, many researchers have specifically evaluated the impact of technology on

students' motivation, interest, and engagement during reading related tasks and activities.

Many researchers have theorized about the possible impact of computer technology on

overall student reading achievement and more specifically on the achievement of struggling

readers. Because computers feature simulative and interactive environments, they have the

ability to scaffold student learning, encourage self-motivation, and increase interest and

productivity in both average achieving and at risk students (Blankenship et al., 2005; Hauser &

Malouf, 1996; Kamil et al., 2000; Laffey et al., 2003).

Many of the naturally occurring features of computer technology that foster reading

achievement, also help students with mild to moderate behavior problems. Children who

experience disruptive behaviors (poor attention, hyperactivity, and noncompliance) early in their

childhood are more likely to experience general academic difficulties, reading problems and

school failure in later childhood (Laffey et al., 2003). The interactive nature of computer

technology provides immediate feedback and engaging visuals which help to increase the task

engagement of students so that they may experience academic achievement (Laffey et al., 2003).









Opportunities to Respond

When students receive more opportunities to respond (OTR) to curriculum content, the

results include increased engagement, increased academic achievement and decreased rates of

disruptive behaviors (Christle & Schuster, 2003; Heward et al., 1996; Sutherland, 2001).

Increased OTR also allows for ongoing assessment of student progress which in turn provides

information for instructional adjustments. Because of these positive outcomes, the Council for

Exceptional Children (CEC) (1987) has developed a series of recommendations that outlines the

optimal number of OTR teachers should provide students during instruction. According to CEC,

during the presentation of new material, teachers should allow for active student responding

between 4 and 6 times per minute. When reviewing information that has already been presented,

opportunities for active student responding should range from 8 to 12 times per minute (CEC).

Student achievement is maximized when high rates of active responding are accompanied by

high rates of accurate responding (CEC).

Providing the appropriate amount of OTR to students can be difficult for teachers because

much of the instruction in general education settings and increasingly in special education

settings occurs in a whole-group format. This decreases the likelihood that students will receive

an adequate amount of OTR (Christle & Schuster, 2003; Sutherland, 2001). Lower achieving

students are at the greatest risk because higher achieving students are much more likely to

volunteer responses during classroom instruction (Christle & Schuster). Teachers have attempted

to increase student OTR by using a variety of strategies. Currently, some research exists on the

use of class-wide peer tutoring, choral responding, and response cards as viable methods of

increasing OTR (Armendiaz & Umbreit, 1999; Christle & Schuster; Greenwood, Delquadri &

Hall, 1984). Some researchers have found class-wide peer tutoring to be problematic for students

who lack social skills because these students have trouble maintaining consistent positive










unsupervised interactions with classmates. Other researchers have found that choral responding

and response cards do not allow for consistent individualized feedback (Sutherland, 2001;

Sutherland, Alder, & Gunter, 2003). Because there are weaknesses in many of the current

strategies (e.g., whole-group hand raising, and class-wide peer tutoring), more research is needed

to examine how best to achieve and maintain high rates of active student responding (Heward et

al., 1996; Sutherland, 2001). The ideal strategy would provide students with high rates of

opportunities to respond, encourage high rates of active responding, and provide consistent

individual corrective feedback.

Because the computer can provide individually paced instruction to students, it can

overcome many of the obstacles to OTR that are present in traditional whole-group instruction.

Unlike class-wide peer tutoring, computer-assisted instruction (CAI) allows students who have

social skills deficits to experience increased rates of opportunities to respond without the added

need to monitor students for behavior problems among students. Unlike choral responding and

response cards, the computer allows individual students to benefit from more active responding.

The responses that a particular student provides are met with specific praise and/or corrective

feedback. CAI scaffolds instruction for individual students based on continual assessment of

individual student responses. When increased OTR is accompanied by active student responding

and followed by praise or corrective feedback, this results in increases in social and academic

achievement (Christle & Schuster, 2003; Sutherland, 2001) (See Figure 1-1).

Rationale for the Study

Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) may be the most viable alternative to print-based,

teacher-led fluency instruction. CAI has proven effective in teaching a variety of reading skills

including phonological awareness and comprehension (Blankenship et al., 2005; Hauser &

Malouf, 1996; Kamil et al., 2000; Laffey et al., 2003). Limited research exists that has





































Figure 1-1. Model of the Impact of Computer-Assisted Instruction on Social and Academic
Achievement

investigated whether CAI is as effective in increasing fluency as print-based teacher-led

instruction. Also, very little research exists on the impact of CAI on student task engagement

during instruction.

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of print-based, teacher-led

instruction and CAI on the reading fluency and overall reading skills of children with deficits in

reading fluency. The study also evaluated the effects of CAI on the task engagement of a subset

of the larger sample. The same fluency skills were taught in each treatment group. Some

variables (e.g., fluency program) were identical while others (e.g., duration of daily instruction

and number of passages instructed per day) differed. The primary difference across the treatment

groups was the medium used for instructional delivery. Evaluating the results of CAI and









teacher-led instruction allowed conclusions to be drawn about the relative effectiveness of the

different modes of instructional delivery. If students learn as well as or better when instructed by

computer software, teachers may be justified in providing CAI as an alternative method for

increasing fluency skills. Also, if students are engaged as well as or better when instructed by the

computer, teachers may be justified in providing CAI as an alternative method of instructional

delivery .

Summary

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of teacher-led instruction and

computer-assisted instruction on the fluency skills, reading ability and task engagement of third

grade students. The literature review provides a review of the relevant literature on

computer-assisted instruction. The methods section describes the procedures that were used to

conduct the study and analyze the resulting data. The results section reports the outcomes of the

study. The discussion section provides an evaluation of study results, study limitations, and

implications for future research.









CHAPTER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

The purpose of this literature review is to examine the existing literature on the use of

computer-assisted instruction as a method for improving reading attitude, engagement and

achievement in elementary school settings. Specifically, this review reports and evaluates such

elements as participant characteristics, dependent measures, procedures for implementing

interventions and the results of using various forms of computer-assisted instruction with

elementary age children.

Methods

The following electronic databases were searched beginning in 1990 and up to the present:

Academic Search Premier, ERIC, E-Journals, PsychlNFO, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

Collection, and Sociological Collection using the following search terms: technology, computer

technology, reading difficulties, reading disabilities, reading problems, attention problems,

distractibility, hyperactivity, engagement. An ancestral search was also conducted using articles

retrieved during the initial search. A hand search of the Journal of Special Education Technology

and the Journal of Computing in Childhood Education was also conducted beginning in 1 990

and up to the present. All articles whose abstracts discussed a connection between technology

and reading or a connection between technology and engagement were collected.

Because the development of reading fluency in the elementary grades was the focus of this

study, studies that featured students at the secondary level were excluded. This review only

includes studies that examined the use of computer technology as an intervention tool for early

childhood and elementary age students. Studies included in this review incorporated computer

technology as an intervention strategy to combat either reading and/or behavior (e.g.,

engagement and attitude) difficulties. Studies that did not include struggling readers were










excluded from the review. Articles included observational, single subject, quasi-experimental

and true experimental studies. Theoretical pieces were kept and used for background material in

the introduction and discussion sections of the review.

Results

The resulting literature review included 23 studies that evaluated the use of computer

technology on reading and/or behavior problems. Of the reviewed 23 studies, 14 evaluated

multiple research questions. The studies were divided in the following manner: 12 examined the

effects of computer technology on word recognition, while eight examined the effect of

computer technology on early reading skills including phonological awareness and letter

recognition, seven examined the effects of computer technology on reading fluency at the word

and passage levels, four examined the effects of computer technology on text comprehension,

two examined the effect of computer technology on vocabulary and decoding skills, two

examined the effects of computer technology on spelling skills, one examined whether or not

students use metacognitive strategies when using computer-assisted instruction, and one

examined how computer technology affects overall reading achievement (Boone & Higgins,

1993).

Discussion

The discussion that follows examines the aforementioned studies through a series of six

themes. Many of the studies were categorized according to more than one theme. Five studies

evaluated the effects of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) on student attitude, motivation and

engagement. Three studies examined the use of CAI as a form of supplemental instruction. Five

studies examined the effects of CAI on students of varying ability levels. Three studies evaluated

the cost effectiveness of CAI in reading instruction. Three studies examined the effects of










varying levels of speech feedback on reading achievement. Five studies compared the effects of

CAI with traditional forms of reading instruction.

Attitude, Motivation and Engagement

The more students read, the better they become at reading. Students who are more

motivated to read become better readers because not only do they have a positive attitude toward

reading but they also tend to be more engaged during reading instruction. Poor readers, on the

other hand, are often unmotivated to read and therefore do not progress (Stanovich, 1986).

Because the computer can provide instruction in an interactive, multimedia, game-like format, it

should easily motivate students. Several researchers have tested the above theory.

Lewin (2000) explored the effects of varying levels of computer enhancements on the

motivation and self confidence of students in grades five and six. The researcher pretested

students using the Salford Sentence Reading and Burt Word Reading Tests. Teachers were also

asked to rate each child's motivation level on a scale from 1 (negative) to 5 (positive). Sixteen

students were assigned to a "Basic" condition and 16 were assigned to an "Enhanced" condition.

The students who experienced the "Basic" version of the computer program were provided with

word pronunciation feedback while those who experienced the "Enhanced" version also

experienced illustrations, initial sound feedback, and word meaning feedback. Intervention's

occurred 15 minutes daily over the course of four weeks. Participants and teachers were

posttested using the same measures as at pretest. Surprisingly, a tally of teacher ratings of

students' motivation levels revealed that enhancements only positively affected students who

were already motivated to read. more surprisingly, students who started the study as unmotivated

readers viewed both the "Basic" and "Enhanced" computer tasks as tedious and academic.

Similarly, Wise et al. (1989) used varying levels of speech feedback with 62 students in

grades three through six in an attempt to improve their word recognition abilities and their









attitude toward reading. Researchers transferred 64 stories to speech synthesizers so that speech

feedback could be provided on difficult words. Students were asked to complete a questionnaire

at the onset of the study which evaluated their most and least favorite subj ects in school.

Researchers then assigned students to one of four feedback conditions (e.g., whole word,

syllable, sub-syllable, or a combination of syllable and sub-syllable). At the end of the study,

students were posttested using the same questionnaire as the pretest. When researchers tallied

student responses, they found that nine out of the thirty participants in the treatment group

showed positive changes in their attitude toward reading. Although, these findings are more

encouraging than Lewin's findings, it is uncertain as to whether a change of 30 percent across

participants is enough to support the hypothesis that computer-assisted instruction can improve

students' attitudes.

In a similar study, Cole and Hilliard (2006) examined the benefits of using the web-based

reading curriculum program, Reading Upgrade, on the motivation and engagement of struggling

third grade readers. Reading Upgrade provides practice in decoding, fluency, phonics, and

phonemic awareness and is accompanied by several technological enhancements such as music

and graphics.

A 12-item questionnaire was used to assess three facets of reading motivation including:

avoidance (e.g., whether students view reading to be negative and subsequently make attempts to

avoid it), recognition (e.g., whether students read to receive something tangible such as a treat or

a grade), or satisfaction (e.g., whether students read because they enj oy acquiring information).

Students were also observed so that researchers could evaluate other aspects of engagement and

motivation such as percent of intervals on-task, enthusiasm, and frustration. Researchers found a

correlation, although not statistically significant, between low reading performance and









avoidance and recognition motivation. This finding suggests that students who are intrinsically

motivated to read reap the greatest benefits from reading. The Einding also supports the theory of

the Matthew Effect in reading which states that good readers get better because they are

motivated to do so.

In addition to the questionnaire results, direct observations revealed that a maj ority of the

students remained enthusiastic about the computer program throughout the study. Researchers

also found that students were actively engaged during both the instructional and game portions of

the study. Observers recorded the following comments made by researchers working directly

with the students: "Ayana had a smile on her face... I didn't remember seeing her smile before

[the first day of working with Reading Upgrade]," and "Tyrone sung along with the software

very loudly. He cheered when he got an answer right" (Cole & Hilliard, 2006, p. 369). Although

these Eindings seem to be more encouraging than Lewin (2000) and Wise et al. (1989),

conclusions and comparisons must be drawn cautiously. Unlike the other two sets of researchers,

Cole and Hilliard do not report specific numbers or percentages of students who were observed

to be actively engaged or motivated.

In a related study, Clarfield and Stoner (2005) evaluated the effects of computer-assisted

instruction on three kindergarten and first grade students experiencing trouble with reading and

engagement during instruction. Each of the students was officially diagnosed with attention

defieit/hyperactivity disorder. Participants were pretested using the Dynamic Indicators of Basic

Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) as well as the Behavior Observation of Students in Schools

(BOSS). The study ranged from eight to ten 30 minute sessions depending on the student. Visual

analysis of changes in level and trend from baseline to intervention revealed a significant

decrease in off task behaviors across all three participants. Before the study, students' off task









behaviors ranged from 24% to 49%. At the completion of the 10 session study, students' off task

behaviors decreased drastically to a range of 3% to 6%.

Bangert-Drowns and Pyke (2001) examined engagement in a way that was different from

all the aforementioned studies by investigating the issue of multiple levels of engagement. The

researchers established a continuum that ranged from disengagement to what they consider to be

the ultimate level of engagement--literal thinking. Bangert-Drowns and Pyke define literal

thinking as "the conscious awareness of the cognitive processes involved with reading including

the tendency to integrate personal values and beliefs while interacting with text" (p. 214). After

observing 43 students during 78 half hour sessions in the school laboratory, researchers found

that although students were rarely disengaged they also rarely exhibited literal thinking while

interacting with the computer software. Bangert-Drowns and Pyke found that most students

performed toward the middle of the engagement continuum in that students' navigational

interests were dictated by the software interface as opposed to students allowing their own

interests to dictate how they used the software. These findings may have been affected by the

fact that many of the participants in this study were, as Cole and Hilliard (2006) suggest,

exhibiting two of the three facets of reading motivation avoidance and recognition.

Because motivation to read, attitude towards reading and engagement during reading

instruction are all related concepts, one might expect similar findings across the five studies.

According to Guthrie and Wigfield, 2000, attitude and motivation are intrinsically linked to

engagement because they are what force us to act. One possible explanation for the disparity

across the studies is the difference in age groups. Clarfield and Stoner perhaps found significance

across participants because the students in their study were younger which may have decreased

the likelihood that they had negative experiences with reading and were therefore more easily









affected by computer enhancements. Another possible explanation could be that the inherent

quality of certain computer enhancements (e.g., speech feedback and graphics) lends themselves

to increased motivation, attitude and engagement. Cole and Hilliard (2006), for instance, report

using popular music to enhance text and their study yielded positive Eindings.

Motivation plays a significant role in reading achievement (Guthrie & Wigfield, 2000).

The use of computer-assisted instruction has been linked to increased reading achievement and

increased self-confidence (Mioduser, Tur-Kaspa, & Leitner, 2000). Based on all of the above

findings, it seems that perhaps students in the later elementary years may not be as easily

impacted by computer enhancements. More research is needed to determine if the effect of

computer-assisted instruction on student attitude, motivation and engagement is affected by

students' age. It also seems that the quality of technology enhancements may have an effect on

student motivation, attitude and engagement. More research is needed to determine which kinds

of enhancements lead to the most positive outcomes.

Supplemental Instruction

Using the computer as a supplement to traditional classroom instruction is ideal. It allows

students to receive individualized rehearsal of information that has already been presented. In a

longitudinal study spanning three years, Higgins and Boone (1991) and Boone and Higgins

(1993) examined the impact of adapting basal readers so that computer software incorporated

learning goals specific to 300 students in kindergarten through third grade classrooms.

Researchers enhanced a Macmillan Basal Reader by creating software that displayed

computerized pictures, animated graphic sequences, definitions, synonyms and digitized speech

linked to words and pictures from the original basal text. They examined the impact of

integrating computer software on decoding and overall reading achievement. The Macmillan

Standardized Reading Achievement Test was used as both a pre and posttest measure.









Interventions, on average, involved 10 minute sessions over the course of a school year. An

Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) revealed significant differences between treatment and

control groups across all three years in both decoding and overall reading achievement.

Similarly, Boone, Higgins, Notari, and Stump (1996) examined the impact of adapting

Macmillan basal series materials to computer software on the letter recognition skills of 143

kindergarten students. Lessons involved links from words to pictures, speech, graphics and

animated sequences. Participants were pretested and posttested using the Macmillan

Standardized Reading Achievement Test. After seven and a half minute sessions over three

years, an ANCOVA revealed significant differences between treatment and control groups.

It would seem from the results of the above studies that the use of computer-assisted

instruction as a supplement to traditional classroom instruction is worthwhile. Unfortunately,

unless traditional basals provide software as part of their core programs, it would be difficult for

teachers to coordinate or create computer software that supplements traditional classroom

instruction. More research is needed to determine how best to go about coordinating and/or

creating software to supplement traditional classroom instruction.

Students at Varying Ability Levels

Originally, computer-assisted instruction was developed as a method of remediation for

struggling students (Molnar, 1997). As the use of computers grew more prevalent, schools began

to vary their instructional use. Now computers are not only used for drill and practice instruction,

but also for strategy instruction and simulation purposes. Developers have enhanced each of the

three different types of instructional software (e.g., drill and practice, strategy, and simulation)

with speech, visuals, animation, and multimedia enhancements. Many researchers have evaluated

whether computer-assisted instructional enhancements have different effects on students at

varying ability levels. Some of the researchers featured in this review have evaluated the use of










computer-assisted instruction with students at low, medium, and high reading ability levels.

Current findings regarding the most effective computer enhancements for low achieving students

are mixed.

Lewin (2000) investigated the effectiveness of a "Basic" versus an "Enhanced" version of

computer-assisted instruction on 32 fifth and sixth grade students. Students in low, medium and

high ability groups were randomly assigned to either of the two versions. Through the use of an

ANCOVA, Lewin found that readers with the lowest ability made the highest gains in word

recognition. In addition, Lewin found that the word pronunciation enhancement used in the

"Basic" version of the computer program was most beneficial for struggling readers.

Interestingly, Lewin also found that the extra enhancements (e.g., initial sound production and

meaning) provided by the "Enhanced" version were most effective for improving word

recognition skills in medium and high ability students.

Boone et al. (1996) evaluated the use of hypermedia, the use of a combination of visuals,

animation, speech and multimedia software, on the letter recognition skills of 143 kindergarten

students. After using an ANCOVA to compare the effect of computer-assisted instruction on

low, medium, and high ability level students, researchers found no significant improvements for

at risk students. Like Lewin (2000), however, middle and high ability students did exhibit

significant improvements in letter recognition skills.

Like Boone et al. (1996) and Lewin (2000), Nicolson, Fawcett, and Nicolson (2000)

examined the use of a computer software program on the word reading ability of 32 low,

medium and high achieving readers who ranged in age from six to eight. Participants were

ranked based on their scores on the Wechsler Objective Reading Dimension (WORD), matched

for age and reading ability and then randomly assigned to either a treatment or control group.









The 16 students in the treatment group received the Reader's Interactive Teaching Assistant

(RITA) which uses pictures, graphics and speech feedback to assist with word reading. The

remaining 16 students were placed in the control group. Sessions occurred bi-weekly for 30

minutes. An ANCOVA revealed that the lowest achieving students made the least amount of

progress in word reading at the conclusion of the study.

In a study slightly different study, Mathes, Torgesen, and Torgesen (2001) examined the

effect of pairing Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) with additional computer-assisted

instruction in phonological awareness on 183 first grade students. Students in low, average, and

high ability groups were randomly assigned to receive PALS either with or without an

accompanying phonological awareness software program (e.g., Daisy's Quest or Daisy's Castle).

An Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) revealed that low achieving students gained the most

benefit from PALS instruction regardless of whether they received additional computer-assisted

instruction. Overall, the addition of CAI had no statistically significant effect on students'

phonological awareness.

The findings across studies can be attributed to a variety of factors. To begin, the lack of

improvement in the Boone et al. (1996) study could be partly attributed to the amount of time

allocated, 7.5 minutes per day, to computer-assisted instruction. It is possible students needed

more daily exposure to materials. In addition, the Eindings reported by Lewin (2000) may help to

explain the results of the Nicolson et al. (2000) and Mathes et al, (2001) studies. Lewin reports

that struggling readers are best served by minimal or "Basic" computer-assisted enhancements. It

is possible that the extra enhancements provided to students in the Nicolson et al. and Mathes et

al. studies were a hindrance to those students in the low ability group.









The above hypothesis can be supported by the findings of an observational study

performed by Lewis (1999). Lewis observed six learning disabled students as they read

electronic storybooks at varying enhancement levels including graphics, embedded games, and

glossary features. Lewis pretested students using a word list she created. Each student used three

different types of programs for two hours over the course of four days. The first set of

enhancements involved six programs with high text interactivity, no embedded games, and

graphics, the second involved six programs with varying text interactivity and embedded games

and the third involved six programs with varying text interactivity, and glossary features.

Posttests involved the original word list, a retelling of each of the stories, and responses to

comprehension questions. Like Lewin (2000), Lewis found the average student gain in word

recognition to be low and that students spent an average of 40% of their time interacting with the

non-essential features of the computer program. Lewis concluded that struggling readers needed

to engage in highly structured activities with minimal enhancements to reap benefits from

computer-assisted instruction.

Cost Effectiveness

Researchers have often speculated about the cost effectiveness of computer-assisted

instruction. To analyze cost effectiveness, one must take into account a variety of elements

including the cost of computer hardware and software, the cost of traditional instructional

curriculum materials, the amount of time it takes teachers and students to be trained to use

computer hardware and software, as well as set up costs (Jones, Torgesen, & Sexton, 2001; Roth

& Beck, 1987). The studies evaluated in this review were all in agreement about the cost

effectiveness of computer-assisted instruction.

Torgesen, Waters, Cohen, and Waters (1988) evaluated the effectiveness of three

variations of a computer program designed to increase sight word recognition in 17 learning









disabled students who were in grades one through three. Participants were pretested using a

timed computerized word reading test. Torgesen et al. (1989) used the program "Words" to

provide student enhancements that included graphic representation of words and speech

feedback. Researchers used a multi-element design with four treatment conditions where

students received either a graphic representation of words, speech feedback, a combination of

graphic representation and speech feedback, or no treatment. Participants were involved in daily

15 minutes sessions for eight weeks and were posttested using the same measure used for the

pretest. After being exposed to each of the four treatment groups, a tally of the change in total

words read from pre to posttest demonstrated equal effects across conditions in improving the

sight word recognition of students. Researchers used these findings to make decisions about the

cost effectiveness of the "WORDS" program. Torgesen et al. concluded that since "WORDS" is

an inexpensive program, provides pictures and sound enhancements and is easily adaptable so

that more words can be added to students' lists, that this particular program was a cost effective

method of computer-assisted instruction.

In a similar study, Nicolson et al. (2000) evaluated the use of the Reader' s Interactive

Teaching Assistant (RITA) on the word recognition of 16 students. RITA incorporates pictures,

graphics and speech feedback during instruction. When researchers found significant differences

in word reading between treatment and control, they performed systematic calculations of the

cost effectiveness of the RITA program. Nicolson et al. factored in teacher time for both

computer-assisted and traditional instruction as well as software costs and determined that RITA

is more cost effective than traditional methods of support.

Jones, Torgesen, and Sexton (2001) also evaluated cost effectiveness in their study which

investigated the effect of computer-assisted instruction on the individual word and text fluency









of elementary age students. Participants were pretested on their speed and accuracy on a group of

target words and randomly assigned to one of two groups. Ten students were assigned to use the

Hint and Hunt program which is enhanced by speech feedback and provides practice in

phonological awareness. The remaining ten students were assigned to use a spelling program.

After daily 15 minute sessions over the course of 10 weeks, an ANCOVA revealed that

participants in the experimental group improved the speed and accuracy of their word reading.

These students were also able to generalize their word reading ability to similar sets of words.

Torgesen et al. used these findings to help determine the cost effectiveness of the Hint and Hunt

software program. They concluded that the benefits of educational effectiveness balance the high

expense ($180) of the Hint and Hunt program.

It would seem based on preliminary assessments regarding the cost effectiveness of

computer-assisted instruction that the potential educational benefits either balance or out weigh

the high cost of some forms of computer software. In addition, the declining cost of computer

hardware and increased access to software on the internet, has led to increased growth in the use

of computer-assisted instruction.

Speech Feedback

Speech feedback refers to the use of sound to deliver task instructions and to provide

corrective feedback. Sound is one of the most common enhancements used for computer-assisted

instruction. Speech feedback has been associated with increased engagement and word learning

in elementary age students (Kim & Kamil, 2001). Several of the studies that were examined in

the current review explicitly evaluated the effects of speech feedback on student progress.

Researchers who have evaluated the use of speech feedback have found that, in general, it leads

to increases in varying aspects of reading. Although, speech feedback can be provided at a









number of levels including the word, syllable and sub-syllable levels, inconsistencies have arisen

when researchers have attempted to examine the effects of different kinds of feedback.

A study performed by Lewin (2000) compared the effects of speech feedback on the word

recognition skills of 32 intermediate elementary students. Feedback included a "Basic" version

which provided word pronunciation and an "Enhanced" version which, in addition to word

pronunciation, included initial sound production and meaning enhancements. Through the use of

an ANOVA, Lewin concluded that whole word pronunciation was most beneficial for improving

student word recognition.

In contrast, when Wise et al. (1989) evaluated the effects of speech feedback on improving

the word recognition and phonological awareness of 62 students in the intermediate grades, they

found different results. After using an ANOVA to evaluate speech feedback at the whole word,

syllable and sub-syllable levels, Wise et al. (1989) concluded that segmented speech feedback

(feedback at the syllable or sub-syllable level) was most beneficial for improving phonological

awareness. Because phonological awareness involves manipulating language at the syllable and

sub-syllable levels, the Einding is a logical one. Wise et al. made no conclusive assertions about

the best method of speech feedback for the improvement of word recognition.

Finally, Chera and Wood (2002) examined the effects of whole word and segmented

speech feedback on the development of phonological awareness and word reading in 30

pre-kindergarten through first grade students struggling to develop emergent literacy skills. After

protesting students using the British Ability Scales Word Test, Chera and Wood assigned fifteen

of the participants to use Bangers and~a~sh, an animated multimedia talking book that provided

students with both whole word and segmented speech feedback. The remaining fifteen students

served as the study's control. Participants were posttested using the same measure as the pretest.









Through the use of a Mann Whitney U test, Chera and Wood found that whole word feedback

led to increases in phonological awareness and neither whole word nor segmented feedback led

to increases in word reading.

Because Lewin only evaluated the use of initial sound and not segmented feedback, it is

difficult to compare this study to the Chera and Wood and Wise et al. studies. Also the, Chera

and Wood study differs from both the Lewin and Wise et al. studies in that Chera and Wood

examined emergent readers. The literacy and computer experiences of young struggling readers

could differ markedly from older intermediate readers.

In addition, it may be that the effectiveness of the different levels of feedback may vary

based on the reading skills being practiced. Speech feedback at the word level may be best when

practicing word recognition skills while feedback at the syllable or sub-syllable levels may be

best when practicing phonological awareness. In other words, statistically insignificant findings

way have resulted due to a mismatch between the type of speech feedback and the reading skill

being practiced.

Computer-Assisted versus Traditional Instruction

Because of the benefits of computer-assisted instruction (e.g., individually paced

instruction and extensive rehearsals) it is important to determine whether the computer is at least

as good an instructional tool as effective methods of traditional instruction. The studies that have

been analyzed in this review reveal consistent findings.

In a study conducted by Mioduser, Tur-Kaspa, and Leitner (2000), 46 five and six year

olds at risk for reading disabilities were provided with the program "I have a secret I can read"

to help improve phonological awareness, letter naming, and word recognition skills. The

program consists of two components involving both computer and printed materials. After being

pretested using a standardized test of phonological awareness, word recognition, and letter









naming, participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups. Group one received both

print and computer-based materials, group two received only print-based materials, and group

three received regular special education programming without special reading training. After

engaging in an unspecified number of session, researchers posttested students using the measures

used during the pretest. Through the use of a Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA),

Mioduser et al. (2000) found that the participants in the computer/print-based group made

significant gains in phonological awareness, word recognition, and letter naming skills when

compared to print-based and no formal instruction groups.

In a similar study, Mitchell and Fox (2001) compared the effectiveness of a

computer-based method of instruction (Daisy's Castle) to a traditional teacher-led method on the

phonological awareness of 72 kindergarten and first grade students. After being pretested using

the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-III) and the Literacy Initiative for Everyone (LIFE),

twenty four participants were assigned to one of three experimental conditions. The first

condition consisted of the computer-assisted instruction, Daisy's Castle, the second condition

consisted of the teacher delivered instruction (e.g., explicit instruction using a phonological

awareness kit) and the third condition consisted of a treatment control condition, drawing and

math software. After four weeks of daily 20 minute intervention sessions, participants were

posttested using the same measures as pretest. Unlike the Mioduser et al. (2000) study, an

ANCOVA revealed no significant differences between the teacher and the computer groups.

Both groups, however, exhibited significant improvements over the treatment control group.

Lewandowski, Begeny, and Rogers (2006) also examined the effect of a computer-assisted

program and a tutor on the word recognition of a group of 63 third grade students struggling with

reading. Students were pretested using a researcher created assessment of word recognition and a









curriculum based measure of reading fluency. The intervention lasted for three ten-minute

sessions and consisted of practice with a list of individual words followed by a timing of

connected text. Students were randomly assigned to one of three groups (i.e., computer, tutor, or

control). Students in the computer group received assistance with individual words from the

computer while students in tutor group received assistance with individual words from a tutor.

Students in the control group were required to read the word list on their own. Posttesting

involved an alternate version of the pretest. Like Mitchell and Fox (2001), Lewandowski, et al.

(2006) found significant differences between the computer and tutor groups and the control

group. The computer and tutor groups both experienced significant improvements in word

recognition and fluency. The control group did not make significant gains.

Hinitikka, Aro, and Lynntinen (2005) compared the effectiveness of computerized versus

print-based training on letter knowledge and letter sound correspondence of 44 primary age

struggling readers. Students were pretested using a researcher created test of letter naming, letter

sound correspondence, spelling and a standardized Finnish test of reading fluency. Participants

were randomly assigned to an experimental group that received the same training in a print

format. Sessions ranged from 10 to 20 minutes and were provided three times per week over a

period of six weeks. After analyzing the data using an ANOVA, researchers found no significant

differences in the dependent variables (letter knowledge, letter sound correspondence, spelling,

and reading) between the computer and print groups.

In addition to examining the effects of web-based learning on student motivation and

engagement, Cole and Hilliard (2006) also evaluated its effects on reading achievement. They

studied 36 third graders who were performing at least two years below grade level in reading.

The intervention program consisted of a computer-based intervention program, Reading Upgrade










which was used to enhance students' decoding, fluency, phonics and phonemic awareness skills.

The control group received the schools traditional reading enrichment program. After being

pretested using standardized measures of decoding, fluency, comprehension, letter and word

recognition, participants were randomly assigned to either the intervention or control groups.

After 180 minutes of instruction over the course of eight weeks, researchers posttested students

using alternate forms of the pretest measures. A One-Way ANOVA, yielded promising results.

Like Mioduser et al. (2000), Cole and Hilliard concluded that there were significant differences

favoring the intervention group in the areas of decoding, fluency, phonics, and phonemic

awareness. Perhaps one of the reasons the Cole and Hilliard and Mioduser et al. studies yielded

results that were more favorable to CAI is because that study consisted of the appropriate amount

of enhancements to maintain student engagement and increase student outcomes.

Whether computer-assisted instruction is as effective as traditional classroom instruction is

an important question. Computers are more capable of providing individual attention to students.

Naturally occurring elements of computer-assisted instruction such as individualized corrective

feedback increases individual student accountability. This increased accountability often leads to

increased engagement which in turn leads to increased achievement (Balajthy, 1989; Guthrie &

Wigfield., 2000). Approximately 70% of the studies that compared computer-assisted instruction

to print-based instruction found the computer to be at least as effective as print-based instruction.

These findings could have a significant impact on the kinds methods used to provide reading

instruction in the future.

Implications for Future Research

The use of computer-assisted instruction has increased over the last several decades. This

has occurred primarily because the naturally occurring features of computer-assisted instruction

allows for individually paced instruction, immediate and instructive feedback, extensive









rehearsals and repetition, teaches in small increments, and is often presented in a game like or

alternative format to traditional instruction (Cotton, 2001; Rieth & Semmel, 1991). Some

researchers have theorized that these features could positively impact the achievement of

students who struggle, especially those who struggle with reading. A review of the literature on

the use of computer-assisted instruction with struggling readers has yielded a great deal of

uncertainty regarding a number of issues.

To begin, some researchers have found computer-assisted instruction to be motivating and

engaging for students. More research is needed to determine the extent to which CAI helps

students to be motivated and engaged during reading instruction. More research is also needed to

determine the impact of this increased motivation and engagement on overall student

achievement (Guthrie & Wigfield, 2000).

In addition, researchers who have evaluated the concept of cost effectiveness have only

done so with respect to money. Very little research has evaluated the cost effectiveness of CAI

with respect to time (i.e., the amount of time it takes teachers and students to be trained to use

computer hardware and software, the amount of time the computer allows students to be exposed

to materials, and the amount of time the computer can devote to individual students). Oftentimes,

teachers have very little time to provide struggling readers with the type of individualized

instruction and feedback that they need. More research is needed to determine how instruction in

CAI compares to more traditional forms of print-based reading instruction. More specifically,

more research is needed to determine whether CAI is more cost effective than traditional forms

of instruction with respect to time (Jones, Torgesen, & Sexton, 2001).

Also, some researchers are unclear about the effect of the enhancements provided by

computer-assisted instruction on low achieving readers. There is some evidence to suggest that a










minimal amount of enhancements may be most beneficial for struggling readers. More research

is needed to determine which types of enhancements have the greatest impact on struggling

readers.

Furthermore, some researchers are still unclear about how different types of speech

feedback, feedback at the whole word, syllable or sub-syllable levels, affect the word recognition

skills of struggling students. The development of word recognition skills is significant to fluency,

comprehension and overall reading achievement skills (NRP, 2000). More research is needed to

determine how best to use the speech feedback features of computers to help improve word

reading skills. Although researchers emphasize the benefits of speech feedback, they also

recommend that future research examine each of the different forms of feedback on students at

different ages and at a variety of reading levels.

Finally, the available research that has compared computer and print-based instruction has

yielded mixed results. In most cases no significant differences were found between computer and

print-based instructional methods. However, there were cases in which computer-based

instruction led to more significant improvements. More research is needed to compare the effects

of print-based teacher-led and computer-assisted instruction. The results of this research could

increase our understanding of instructional efficacy (Wilson, Maj sterek, & Simmons, 1996).

Research questions for the current study, which will be presented in the chapter that

follows, arose from two of the six themes examined in this literature review (i.e., attitude

motivation, and engagement and computer-assisted versus traditional instruction). The first

surrounds the influence of CAI on student motivation during reading instruction. The second

surrounds a comparison of the effects of print-based instruction with CAI. Specifically, an

evaluation of questions involving the extent to which CAI affects motivation and engagement









during reading instruction and the instructional efficacy of CAI as a method of fluency

instruction are presented.

Summary of the Review of the Literature

Participants

A total of 1,644 students participated in the studies evaluated in this literature review. The

number of participants in each study ranged from 3 to 300. Participants in the review were

primarily elementary age students ranging from pre-kindergarten to sixth grade. Two studies

included both early childhood and a primary age students (pre-k through first grade), ten studies

were conducted with primary age students alone (K-3), five studies investigated students who

were in both primary and intermediate grades (K-5), five studies were conducted with

participants in the intermediate grades only, and two studies did not specify a particular grade

level. All studies focused on the effect of computer-assisted instruction on students who were at

risk for or who had already been diagnosed with a reading or learning disability. Sixteen studies

focused on students who were at risk for a reading or a learning disability while seven studies

used participants who had a diagnosed learning and/or reading disability (see Appendix A).

Dependent Variables and Measures

Dependent variables included phonological awareness, letter recognition, fluency, text

comprehension, vocabulary, decoding skills, spelling, overall reading achievement, task

engagement and attitude. Outcome assessments for these variables included standardized

measures such as the Woodcock Johnson Reading Mastery Test (WRMT) and the Peabody

Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) as well as assessments created by the researchers for a

particular study. Eighteen of the 23 studies used standardized measures while the remaining five

used measures created by the study's author (see Appendix A). Many of the measures created for

a particular study were used to assess behavioral outcomes such as student task engagement









Interventions

Interventions varied across studies. Eight studies used a computer adapted version of

traditional basal readers while the remaining fifteen used pre-packaged software programs (see

Appendix A). The two most commonly used pre-packaged software programs were Hint and

Hunt (incorporated into three studies) and Daisy's Quest (incorporated into two studies). Both of

these programs are designed to enhance phonological awareness. All of the interventions

provided either oral and/or visual feedback (see Appendix A). Oral feedback involves the

computer voicing information and visual feedback involves the computer providing written

information to students.

Procedures

Studies incorporated either single subject, observational, quasi-experimental or

experimental designs. Two of the studies used a single subject design, five used an observational

design, and sixteen studies used either a quasi-experimental or experimental design. The

quasi-experimental and experimental designs consisted of either two (one treatment and one

control), three (two treatment and one control), or four (three treatment and one control)

conditions with the two treatment condition (12 out of 16 studies) being used most frequently

(see Appendix A).

Some researchers specifically stated that they trained students to use the computer software

incorporated into their study. Training ranged from a few hours to two weeks. Other researchers

did not report providing training for students or reported providing students with training but did

not specify the duration of the training. After training was complete, with the exception of

occasional adult monitoring, students in each of the 23 studies were expected to work with the

software programs individually with little adult assistance.









The amount of time spent on interventions per day in the studies reviewed ranged from 7.5

minutes to 35 minutes, with 20 minutes per day being most common (six studies) (See Appendix

A). One study did not specify the number of minutes spent on interventions per day. The amount

of time spent per week ranged from two hours to five days, with three days being most common

(seven studies). Two studies did not specify the amount of time spent on interventions each

week. The duration of the studies ranged from three days to three years. The most common

study duration times included: four weeks (three studies), eight weeks (four studies), and ten

weeks (three studies). Three studies did not specify their study duration time in weeks.

Most researchers used interventions that were separate from students' daily curriculum. A

total of three studies reported connecting the computer-assisted intervention to the daily

curriculum (see Appendix A). In all three cases the computer was used to reinforce the same or

similar types of material being covered by the traditional curriculum. In one case, the

intervention was even incorporated into a small-group instructional rotation (see Appendix A).

Findings

Of the 18 studies that used an experimental or single subj ect research design, researchers

report significant overall differences between treatment and control groups or baseline and

intervention phases for 15 studies (see Appendix A). In reading, researchers found significant

improvements in the areas of phonological awareness, word recognition, fluency, spelling and

letter naming. In behavior, researchers found improvements in student engagement and attitude

towards reading. Overall, researchers concluded that explicit computer-assisted instruction

involving oral and visual corrective feedback, a game-like environment, animated sequences,

graphic representations, and text manipulation/interactivity, can provide effective results for

students. Researchers also concluded that some of these elements were most beneficial for low

achieving students.









Themes

The purpose of this chapter has been to summarize and analyze the literature examining the

impact of computer-assisted instruction on reading ability. Computer-assisted instruction has

grown in popularity in recent decades. This has occurred primarily because of the computer' s

ability to provide readers, especially those who struggle, with individualized instruction,

instructive and corrective feedback, and extensive repetition and rehearsals (Rieth & Semmel,

1991; Wilson, Majsterek, & Simmons, 1996). The logistics of traditional classroom instruction

requires more prevalent use of whole-group and some small-group instruction, both of which

result in decreased opportunities for individualization (Cotton, 2001). Based on the

aforementioned characteristics, researchers and other educational stakeholders have

hypothesized that the computer has a great deal of potential to aid in the development of reading.

The dependent variables in this literature review included phonological awareness, letter

recognition, fluency, text comprehension, vocabulary, decoding skills, spelling, overall reading

achievement, motivation, task engagement, and attitude. Careful analysis of research results

yielded a series of themes including the use of the computer as a motivational tool, the use of

computer-assisted instruction as a supplement to traditional classroom instruction, the use of the

computer to assist readers at varying ability levels, the cost effectiveness of computer-assisted

instruction, the use of different types of speech feedback enhancements, and the use of

computer-assisted instruction when compared to more traditional forms of instruction.

Based on the results of this review it is unclear as to whether the use of CAI results in

improvements in the attitude, motivation and engagement of struggling readers. Results suggest

that CAI is most effective when used as a supplement to more traditional forms of instruction. In

addition, CAI that includes a great number of enhancements (i.e., games, animation, and sound)

may be more beneficial to higher achieving readers. Results also suggest that CAI may be at










least as cost effective as traditional forms of instruction. Also, the results of speech feedback

vary based the focus of reading instruction (e.g., phonological awareness versus word

recognition). Finally, it is unclear as to whether computer-assisted instruction is at least as

effective as traditional forms of reading instruction. The purpose of the current study, which will

be presented and discussed in the remaining chapters, is to increase the research base for two of

the six themes discussed in this literature review (i.e., attitude, motivation, and engagement and

computer-assisted versus traditional instruction). The result of the current literature surrounding

these two themes is mixed and more research is needed to provide conclusive evidence regarding

the use of CAI in these areas.









CHAPTER 3
IVETHOD S

Purpose

The purpose of this research was twofold. The first purpose was to investigate the effects

of two methods of fluency instruction (i.e., print and computer) on oral reading fluency and

overall reading achievement. The second purpose was to examine the effects of

computer-assisted instruction (CAI) on student engagement. To accomplish these goals, two

complimentary studies were designed and implemented using a mixed methods approach.

Fluency

Because of its contribution to reading comprehension and overall reading achievement,

there is agreement among reading experts that reading fluency is an important component of a

comprehensive reading curriculum (Kuhn, 2004/2005; Kuhn & Stahl, 2003; Rasinski, 2004).

Despite the fact that it is one of the five key components of reading development, fluency

instruction continues to be overlooked in the general reading curriculum (Allington, 1983;

Kuhn). Leading experts in the field of reading have attributed this neglect to such factors as a

failure on the part of universities and school districts to train pre-service and in-service teachers

how to provide explicit fluency instruction to students, the assumption that decoding instruction

automatically leads to increases in reading fluency, and questions surrounding how to provide

individualized support to students (Allington; Fleisher, Jenkins, & Pany, 1979/1980; Kiley,

2005; Kuhn).

Fluency instruction is most effective when students are provided with opportunities to

repeatedly read text with guidance and feedback from a fluent model (Samuels, 2002). This

guidance and feedback is best provided to students individually (Osborn, Lehr, & Hiebert, 2003).

Teachers and researchers are often seeking ways to provide struggling readers with









individualized support from a fluent model. Because it is often difficult to provide quality

individualized guidance and feedback to students, teachers have turned to alternative forms of

instructional delivery including: paired reading, tape assisted reading and computer-assisted

instruction (Osborn, Lehr, & Hiebert). Because computer-assisted instruction has the capacity to

provide students with individually paced instruction, extensive rehearsals, immediate and

corrective feedback and distributed presentation of new material (Rieth & Semmel, 1991); it

could potentially be the most viable of the three alternatives for providing students with

individualized guidance and feedback which is crucial to fluency development (Cotton, 2001;

Rieth & Semmel).

There is a dearth of research-based information regarding specifics of how

computer-assisted instruction can impact a struggling reader (Hall, Hughes, & Filbert, 2000).

Hall et al., 2000 has called for studies that evaluate the use of CAI for the instruction of each of

the five key elements of reading instruction (i.e., phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency,

vocabulary, comprehension). Tomlinson (2001) suggests increased evaluation of how CAI can

assist teachers with differentiating instruction to meet the varying needs of students.

In this study, three groups were compared. Three groups were established instead of two

because the results of a pilot study, which will be discussed later in this chapter, revealed that a

simple comparison between print and computer alone may yield inconclusive results. It could

have been argued that the instructional nature of the software version of the fluency program was

not equivalent to the print version of the program. Therefore two computer groups were

established. One group was equivalent to the print group in the amount of text presented in a

given session and the other group was equivalent to the print group in the amount of time

students received to complete a given session. Participants in the print group received a










print-based method of fluency instruction led by a graduate student teacher, a student completing

the requirements for a master' s degree in education. Participants in the text and time equivalent

groups received one-on-one computer-assisted fluency instruction. The primary purpose of the

proposed study was to compare the effects of computer-assisted instruction with small-group

teacher-led print-based instruction on the fluency and overall reading skills of beginning third

grade students who have demonstrated delayed fluency.

Task Engagement

Guthrie and Wigfield (2000) and Kuhn and Stahl (2003) have found that student

engagement during academic tasks is crucial to overall academic achievement. Engagement can

be defined as an "observable manifestation of achievement motivation" (Monzo & Rueda, 2000,

p. 2). Students can demonstrate engagement by engaging in on-task behaviors such as

maintaining eye contact, either with the teacher or with the materials being used during

instruction. Just as with overall academic achievement, engagement is strongly related to reading

achievement. A national research study involving students of ages nine, thirteen and seventeen

revealed that more highly engaged readers demonstrated higher achievement than less engaged

readers (Campbell, Voelkl, & Donahue, 1997). In fact, Guthrie, Schafer, and Huang (2001), have

found that high engagement during reading can overcome such obstacles as a low

income/education and family background.

For many years, researchers and practitioners have had difficulty finding ways to help

increase student engagement. The individualization provided by CAI could assist teachers with

increasing student engagement. In the CAI environment each student receives individualized

feedback on each response. This individualization provides students with increased opportunities

to respond and holds students more accountable, thus leading to increased engagement during

instruction. (Balajthy, 1989). In addition to evaluating the effects of CAI on fluency skills, the









purpose of the proposed study was to also compare levels of task engagement among students

who had difficulty remaining on-task during instruction using CAI and a print-based teacher-led

method of instructional delivery.

Because this study directly evaluated the effects of CAI on student engagement, a single

subj ect component was incorporated to allow for the systematic evaluation of a subset of the

larger group population. The use of a single subj ect design was appropriate for this investigation

for three main reasons. First, one of the strengths of single subj ect research designs is the ability

to demonstrate a reliable functional relationship between dependent and independent variables

with individual subjects in natural settings (Tawney & Gast, 1984). This project involved applied

interventions which required that formative data-based changes be made in the levels of the

independent variables. It was important to carefully monitor and account for the unique variables

frequently present in applied settings. Single subj ect research methodology allows high levels of

precision and flexibility, while at the same time, providing excellent control for threats to

internal validity (i.e.,, factors that would impede the ability to demonstrate functional

relationships) (Kazdin, 1982; Tawney & Gast, 1984). In addition, Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968)

noted that systematic replication of behavioral research is necessary if we are to understand the

parameters associated with a particular method or procedure.

Second, single subj ect designs are useful when the number of available and appropriate

subj ects is limited. The improbability of obtaining sufficient numbers of subj ects displaying both

challenging behaviors and reading deficits in a single controlled setting was a maj or difficulty in

planning group comparison designs for this investigation. These low numbers were due in part to

(a) relatively low incidence rates of students who exhibit a comorbidity for low task engagement

and reading deficits (U. S. Department of Education, 1994) and (b) wide variety of behavioral










topographies displayed within this population of students. However, power and effect-size

conventions of traditional group research designs would dictate that much larger samples be used

to achieve reliable findings (Keppel, 1991; Kraemer & Thiemann, 1987). These facts exemplify

the impracticality of attempting to select and assign students to groups of sufficient size to

facilitate parametric designs.

Third, although generalizations typically are limited by the small number of subj ects used

in single subj ect studies, external validity can be enhanced through the repeated demonstrations

of experimental control across different subjects and settings (Kazdin, 1982; Tawney & Gast,

1984). The ability to characterize subj ects for whom a given intervention is found to be effective

is an important feature of the single subj ect methodology and a key purpose of this research

proj ect. This study evaluated the effects of CAI and teacher-led instruction on student

engagement by comparing three interventions that were replicated across three individual

students.

Research Questions

The processes and procedures described herein are designed to provide information to

answer six specific research questions.

* Research Question 1: Is a computer-based method of instruction as effective as a
print-based method of instruction in improving the fluency skills of children who
demonstrate delayed fluency development?

* Research Question 2: Is a computer-based method of instruction as effective as a
print-based method of instruction in improving the general reading skills (i.e., vocabulary
and comprehension) of children who demonstrate delayed fluency development?

* Research Question 3: Is the number of sessions of instruction related to the fluency
development of children who demonstrate delayed fluency development?

* Research Question 4: Is the number of sessions of instruction related to the reading
development (i.e., vocabulary and comprehension) of children who demonstrate delayed
fluency development?











* Research Question 5: When students are not limited in the amount of text they read, do
they read more?

* Research Question 6: Is there a clear functional relationship between method of fluency
instruction and task engagement for students who demonstrate delayed development in
on-task engagement?

Data from two dependent measures (i.e., a standardized measure of oral reading fluency

and a standardized measure of overall reading achievement) were analyzed to answer research

questions one through four concerning the effects of the print-based, text-equivalent, and

time-equivalent instruction on the oral reading fluency and overall reading skills of participants.

Data provided by the fluency software program were analyzed to answer research question five

concerning whether students took advantage of the opportunity to read multiple passages in a

given session. Visual analysis of graphs of students' on-task engagement during reading

instruction was analyzed to answer research question six concerning the existence of a functional

relationship between fluency instruction and task engagement.

Design and Instructional Setting

Because the purpose of the current study was twofold, two studies were performed using a

mixed methods approach. A description of both research designs is illustrated in Figure 3-1. A

description of the instructional settings for both designs is also included in this section.

Experimental Design: Group

An experimental pretest posttest design was used in this study. This design allowed for

the assessment of changes in the dependent variable over time. Because this study included third

grade participants who were being prepared to take statewide high stakes tests, a treatment

control group was not feasible. Each of the schools that were involved in this study, planned on

providing struggling students who did not participate in this study with their own forms of

supplementary fluency instruction. Limitations will be discussed. Participants were randomly










assigned by school to one of the three treatment groups. Random assignment controlled for

threats to internal validity including: selection and regression toward the mean (Dooley, 2001).

Experimental Design: Single Subject

A changing conditions single subj ect design was used to evaluate the on-task engagement

of the three participants within the larger group study. This design allowed the researcher to

compare participants' on-task engagement across the three treatment conditions (Kazdin, 1982).

A changing treatments design allows for the comparison of multiple treatments "without

associating the treatments with a particular stimulus" (Kazdin, p. 177).




Group Design: examine reading achievement in each group



Print-Based Fluency I~Computer-Based Fluency
Instruction rI Instruction




Print Text Time
Time: 20 min Equivalent Equivalent
Text: 1 passage Time: not Time: 20 min
monitored Text: monitored
Text: 1 passage


Single-Subject Design: examine task engagement in each
condition



Figure 3-1. Overview of the Group and Single Subj ect Designs

Instructional Settings

Three elementary schools located in north central Florida were chosen as sites for this

study. All three schools were chosen because a prior relationship existed between each school

and the graduate student researcher. Two of the schools were also chosen because they had large










populations of students at the third grade level who also struggle in oral reading fluency. One

school served primarily a rural population while the other two schools represented a more urban

population. Two of the three schools served children in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. One

of the schools served a kindergarten through twelfth grade population. Table 3-1 provides

descriptive statistics for the socioeconomic status of the schools and the socioeconomic status of

study participants by school.

An important factor when selecting schools was the availability of adequate computer

resources. This study required computers with the following minimum system requirements:

Windows 98 or Mac OS X. In two of the three schools, the computer-assisted instruction groups,

time and text controlled, received their instruction in the school computer laboratory. It was

therefore critical that these schools had a computer laboratory with a minimum capacity of 15

students. The small-group teacher-led instruction group, group A, took place in a quiet area (e.g.,

the school conference room or an unused classroom) provided by each school.

Group Study

In this section, methods of subj ect selection, the instruments and materials, the

instructional procedures, and methods of data analysis for the group design portion of the study

are discussed.

Subject Selection

All third grade students in the three elementary schools were assessed using the Dynamic

Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS), an individually administered standardized

measure of oral reading fluency. The test was administered by the teachers and reading coaches

in each of the schools. Students who scored between the 10th and 39th percentile or between

35-76 words correct per minute (wcpm) according to benchmark goals and indicators of risk

provided by the test manual qualified for the study (Hasbrouck & Tindal, 1992). The 10th to 39th









percentile range was chosen because Hasbrouck and Tindal (1992) suggest that students scoring

within this range on measures of oral reading fluency beginning in second grade are good

candidates for interventions in oral reading fluency development. This is because students

scoring at this level are more likely to have the basic foundational skills (e.g., phonemic

awareness, phonological awareness, word recognition) needed to be ready for fluency instruction

(Rasinski, 2004). Students who score below the 10th percentile would have needed substantial

interventions beyond the scope of this study and students who scored above the 39th percentile

were considered normally achieving readers (Hasbrouck & Tindal).

All other students scoring within the 10th and 39th percentile were given letters of parental

informed consent explaining the purpose of the study as required by the University of Florida' s

Institutional Review Board (see Appendix B). The participants who returned letters of consent

were included in the study. Within each research site, students were randomly assigned to one of

the three experimental groups using a random number table. Each participant was assigned a

number and grouped using an electronic random number generator. Because participants in the

computer group worked individually, whether random assignment yielded heterogeneous or

homogenous groupings was irrelevant. Participants in the print-based groups were placed in

instructional groupings that were as close to homogenous as possible after the random

assignment process.

Once participants were finalized, frequencies were tabulated for demographic variables

(age, gender, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity) (See Table 3-1). Struggling students at school

one who were not involved in the study received small group print based Quick Reads fluency

instruction. Struggling students in schools two and three who did not participate in the study

received computer based Read Naturally fluency instruction.









Instruments and Materials

In this section, the research instrumentation is described. This section includes information

about the screening measure used to select the participants in the study. The pretest and posttest

measures used to assess the effects of training are also described.

Screening measure. The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS), a

set of standardized measures that includes an oral reading fluency measure, has been widely used

Table 3-1. Demographic Data for All Study Participants by School
Schooll1 School 2 School 3
(N = 6) (N = 26) (N = 21)
Frequency Percent Frequency Percent Frequency Percent
Age
8 1 16 12 46 3 14
9 4 67 13 50 11 52
10 1 16 1 4 7 33
Gender
Male 3 50 14 54 9 43
Female 3 50 12 46 12 57
SES
Free/Reduce 2 33 21 81 18 86

Full Pay 4 66 5 19 3 14
Ethnicity
Black 2 33 13 50 3 14
White 4 67 10 38 15 71
Hispanic 0 0 2 7 3 14
Mixed Race 0 0 1 4 0 0

across the country as a tool for screening, diagnosis and progress monitoring (Good & Kaminski,

2002). DIBELS oral reading fluency (ORF) is a measure that is individually administered

beginning in the winter semester of first grade. It is used to measure the accuracy and rate at

which students are able to read connected text at their grade level. Students' performance is

reported as the number of words read correctly in one minute. It consists of a set of three timed

standardized reading passages that students read orally. Errors include omissions, substitutions,

and hesitations of more then three seconds. Self corrections within three seconds are counted as









accurate. The median score among the three passages comprises the student' s oral reading

fluency score. Students are usually tested approximately three times per year (e.g., fall, winter,

spring).

The most observable manifestation of skillful reading is the speed at which text is

transferred into spoken language (Adams, 1990). It is therefore not surprising that oral reading

fluency is highly correlated with overall reading achievement (Fuchs, Fuchs, Hosp, & Jenkins,

2001). In fact, Fuchs et al. (2001) have found oral reading fluency to be more strongly

associated with the ability to read and respond to text than more direct measures of reading

comprehension. In addition, student performance on measures of oral reading fluency in the

early grades is highly predictive of later overall reading achievement (Good, Simmons, &

Kame' enui, 2001). DIBELS was chosen as the screening instrument in this study because it has

been shown to be a reliable and valid measure for identifying children at risk for reading failure.

The reliability of the screening instrument used in this study is important to ensure

consistent measurement of the skills being studied (Salkind, 2004). There are four types of

reliability including: test-retest, parallel forms, internal consistency, and interrater reliability

(Salkind). Two of the four types of reliability have been established for DIBELS: test-retest and

alternate forms reliability. Both of which are quite high. The test-retest reliability for elementary

age students ranges from .92 to .97; and the alternate forms reliability ranges from .89 to .94.

The validity of the screening instrument used in this study is important to establish to

ensure that the assessment tool measures the construct that it claims to measure (Gay & Airasian,

2000). There are four types of validity including: content, criterion-related, construct, and

consequential validity (Gay & Airasian). One of the four types of validity has been established

for DIBELS: criterion validity. The criterion validity ranges from .52 to .91.










Outcome measures. In addition to using DIBELS as a screening tool for students at risk

for reading failure, it was also used as an outcome measure for oral reading fluency. Pretest (i.e.,

fall assessment scores) and posttest (i.e.,. winter assessment scores) data were compared.

DIBELS was chosen as an outcome measure because it has been shown to be a reliable and valid

instrument for predicting student response to training in fluency skills.

Because DIBELS is not designed to serve as a comprehensive reading assessment tool

(Good, Simmons, & Kame'enui, 2001), the Gates MacGinitie Reading Test Level three--Fourth

Edition was also used as an outcome measure for overall reading achievement. The Gates

MacGinitie is a group administered assessment that, at the third grade level, specifically assesses

vocabulary and comprehension. The vocabulary portion consists of 45 questions and is timed for

20 minutes. The comprehension portion consists of 48 questions and is timed for 35 minutes. In

the vocabulary portion, students are provided with a sentence or phrase that consists of a target

word. The sentence or phrase and target word are followed by a list of possible synonyms for the

target word. Students are required to choose the synonym that matches the target word within the

context of the sentence. In the comprehension section, students are provided with a short passage

followed by a list of questions related to the passage. Two of the four types of reliability that

have been established for the Gates MacGinitie Reading test include: internal reliability and

alternate forms reliability. The internal reliability ranges from .88 to .96; and the alternate forms

reliability ranges from .74 to .95.

Materials. Quick Reads is an instructional program used to build oral reading fluency

(Hiebert, 2005). The program uses controlled grade level appropriate vocabulary. The books are

based on non-fiction science and social studies topics and are thematically grouped. The program

consists of four levels: A-F (see Appendix D-1). Each level consists of three books and each










book contains 30 texts (90 texts per level). Text length corresponds to grade level reading rate

for one minute. Quick Reads comes in both a print and a software format. Both formats involve

the same passages. See Table 3-2 for the steps that guide the print version of the Quick Reads

program.

The software version of the program allows students to receive speech feedback on the

vocabulary of pre-selected words in a passage, speech feedback on the pronunciation of all

words in a passage, and also comes equipped with voice recognition software so that students

may read passages to the computer and receive feedback. The software places the locus of

Table 3-2. Quick Reads Steps: Print
Step Number Action
1 The teacher begins by browsing the title, picture and caption with students.
2 The teacher uses a graphic organizer to help students to make predictions
about what might occur in the passage (see Appendix H-1).
3 The teacher then reads the passage as students follow along silently.
4 Students then choral read the passage.
5 Students practice the passage by reading with a partner.
6 The teacher then times the student for one minute.
7 The teacher and student chart the number of words read correctly per minute.
8 As students wait to be time, they respond to the comprehension questions that
accompany a particular passage. Review the comprehension questions
with students.

control with the student so that the student is in charge of the order of the steps for instruction.

The student can choose to have the computer read first or the student can choose to read first. In

the print-based version of instruction, the order is pre-set. No matter the order, the computer

requires that (1) the student be read to by the computer at least twice, (2) that the student read to

the computer at least twice, and (3) that the student answer the comprehension questions that

accompany the passage before moving to another passage. See Tables 3-3 and 3-4 for the steps

that guide the computer versions of the Quick Reads program. Appendix I provides screen shot

examples of the software version of the Quick Reads program.









Each passage of both versions of the program includes an introduction page which shows a

figure and an accompanying caption which is designed to be used as a pre-reading activity. In the

print version of the program, the fluency passage is on the adj acent page. In the software version,

the fluency passage is hyperlinked to the introduction page. Comprehension questions also

accompany both versions of the program. In the print version, questions can be found at the end

of a series of passages. In the software version, questions appear after two readings of the same

passage have been completed. In the print version, a page to chart student progress appears at the

very end of a book. In the software version, the charting page appears after each reading.

Table 3-3. Quick Reads Steps: Computer: Text-equivalent
Step Number Action
1 The student logs into the program.
2 The student tests the microphone.
3 The student logs into the reading passage.
4 The student chooses at least two vocabulary words.
5 The student chooses to have the computer read or to read to the computer.
6 The student chooses to have the computer read or to read to the computer.
7 The student chooses to have the computer read or to read to the computer.
8 The student chooses to have the computer read or to read to the computer.
9 The student responds to comprehension questions.
10 The student begins a math program.

Instructional Procedures

In the following sections, procedures for planning and delivering instruction are described.

The training of graduate students who served as instructors of the print group and as supervisors

of the computer-assisted instruction groups is discussed. A description of the computer-assisted

and teacher-led instruction interventions is also provided.

Personnel training. Graduate students in education were trained to supervise the students

in the computer-assisted groups and to teach students in the teacher-led instruction group. All

three graduate students were able to commit enough time to the study to supervise both the

computer-assisted and the teacher-led groups.









Training for the graduate students who taught the teacher-led group was conducted by the

researcher. The graduate students received a review of the concept of fluency and its relationship

to reading. Fluency skills were defined and demonstrated, and interventions were explained.

Scripts for up to 30 lessons were provided to each of the graduate students (see Appendix D-2).

The number of sessions for this study varied based on such circumstances as start date and end

date of the study, holidays, and student absences. The researcher modeled procedures for one

lesson. The graduate students practiced in pairs until they became comfortable using the scripts.

The researcher observed each graduate student and provided corrective feedback on all

procedures as needed.

The training of the graduate students who supervised the computer-assisted groups was

conducted by the researcher. The researcher taught the graduate students how to operate the

Quick Reads (2005) software program. The graduate students were allowed to view the tutorial

and to practice navigating through different sections of the program.

Table 3-4. Quick Reads Steps: Computer: Time-equivalent
Step Number Action
1 The student logs into the program.
2 The student tests the microphone.
3 The student logs into the reading passage.
4 The student chooses at least two vocabulary words.
5 The student chooses to have the computer read or to read to the computer.
6 The student chooses to have the computer read or to read to the computer.
7 The student chooses to have the computer read or to read to the computer.
8 The student chooses to have the computer read or to read to the computer.
9 The student responds to comprehension questions.
10 The student moves on to another passage (if time).

Participant training: computer-assisted instruction. Participants in the CAI groups

were trained to use the Quick Reads software program before the study began. Participants were

allowed to view the tutorial that accompanied the software program. Then participants got an

opportunity to practice several procedures that were necessary for daily use of the program









including: accessing the menu of stories, accessing the individual stories, testing and using the

microphone, requesting speech feedback on the vocabulary of target words, and pronunciation of

individual words.

Pilot Study

A pilot study was conducted over the course of three weeks during a summer reading

enrichment program. All 12 students involved in the study scored within the 10th and the 38th

percentile (i.e., 48-89 wcpm) on the end of the year 2nd grade DIBELS ORF. Six students were

randomly assigned to receive print-based Quick Reads instruction and six students were

randomly assigned to receive computer-based Quick Reads instruction. Students received

instruction over the course of three weeks for five days per week at 30 minutes per day. There

were no significant differences in increases in means across both groups. Appendix E-1 displays

individual and average increases from pretest to posttest (i.e., end of the year scores to end of

summer program scores) for both groups.

The six students in the computer group varied in the number of fluency passages read in

each allotted 30 minute session. Some students were only able to complete one passage in a

session while others averaged over two passages in a session. In the pilot study, it was difficult to

draw conclusions about the differences between the print and computer groups because of the

confounding variables associated with the number of passages participants in the computer group

were able to read in a given session. The result was the establishment of two computer groups for

the current study.

Description of intervention: teacher-led instruction. Participants were grouped based on

their DIBELS ORF scores. Participants with similar ORF scores were placed in the same group.

Once grouped, the researcher again used DIBELS scores to determine the Quick Reac level at

which to begin instruction. The researcher used a specified DIBELS ORF percentile range to









determine the level at which to begin instruction (see Table 3-5). Students in this study were

either placed in Quick Reads level A or in level B. Quick Reads Level C is meant to be used with

students who are reading on a third grade level. Quick Reads Levels D-F are meant to be used

with students who are reading above a third grade level. Group size ranged from three to Hyve

students. Students began the study at the beginning (i.e., the first story) of each level and

continued within that level throughout the entirety of the study. The fact that there are three

books in each Quick Reads level with over 20 stories in each book prevented any student from

increasing to a higher level within the intervention period.

As a method of insuring procedural integrity, the researcher provided graduate students

with scripts to follow to ensure consistency across the teacher-led instructional groups (see

Appendix D-2). Each lesson involved eight steps (see Table 3-2) and took approximately 20

minutes per day to complete. Students completed one passage per day and received instruction

for three days per week across a period of ten weeks. Instructional time in this study reflected the

fact that effective fluency instruction must be frequent (i.e., between three to Hyve times per

week) (Johns & Berglund, 2002). Posttests (DIBELS ORF Winter) were administered by the

researcher and the graduate students within one week after the completion of the study.

Table 3-5. Percentiles and Matching Levels
DIBELS ORF Percentile Quick Reads Level
10th-28t A
29th-39th B

Description of intervention: text-equivalent computer-assisted group. Similar to the

teacher-led group, DIBELS percentile ranges were used to determine the Quick Reads level at

which to begin instruction for the CAI group. Each student in the text-equivalent CAI group

began in either level A or level B. The Quick Reads software allows students to request speech

feedback on the definitions of pre-selected words and on the pronunciation of individual words









throughout the passage. However, the software program requires that participants have the

computer read the passage to them at least twice, that participants read to the computer at least

twice, and that participants respond to the comprehension questions that accompany the passage.

Once these requirements have been fulfilled then participants can choose to move to another

passage or choose to read to the computer again to try to improve their score.

Several controls were implemented to limit the differences between groups to the variables

of interest. Because participants in the teacher-led group engaged in predicting to activate prior

knowledge, participants in the text-equivalent CAI group were required to request speech

feedback on at least two target vocabulary words. This requirement helped to serve as a

pre-reading activity for participants in the text-equivalent group. In addition, because participants

in the teacher-led group only had the opportunity to hear a fluent model twice and to read the text

twice before an official timing and charting of their scores then participants in this group were

not be allowed the option of listening to the computer more than twice or reading to the

computer more than twice. Once participants completed the requirements for a given session

including: requesting at least two target vocabulary words, listening while the computer read

twice, reading to the computer twice, and completing the comprehension questions that

accompany the passage; participants were required to complete their session. A completed

session meant that practice of a particular passage was complete. Participants in this group were

only allowed to complete one passage in a given daily 20 minute instructional session.

Description of intervention: time-equivalent computer-assisted group. Similar to the

teacher-led group and the text-equivalent computer-assisted group, DIBELS percentile ranges

were used to determine the Quick Reads level at which to set the instruction for participants in

the CAI time-equivalent group. Recall that the Quick Reads software program allows students to










request speech feedback on the definitions of pre-selected words and on the pronunciation of

individual words throughout the passage. Also, the program requires that participants have the

computer read the passage to them at least twice, that participants read to the computer at least

twice, and that participants respond to the comprehension questions that accompany the passage.

Once these requirements have been fulfilled then participants can choose to move to another

passage or read to the computer again to try to improve their score.

Just like participants in the teacher-led and text-equivalent CAI groups, participants in the

time-equivalent CAI group were required to request speech feedback on at least two target

vocabulary words. This requirement helped to serve as a pre-reading activity for participants in

the time-equivalent group. Also like the participants in the teacher-led and the text-equivalent

groups, participants in the time-equivalent group were not be allowed the option of listening to or

reading to the computer more than twice. Similar to conditions in the text-equivalent group, once

participants completed the requirements for a given session including: requesting at least two

target vocabulary words, listening while the computer reads twice, reading to the computer

twice, and completing the comprehension questions that accompany the passage; participants

were required to complete their session. To investigate the full effects of using CAI during

fluency instruction, if participants in this group completed a passage within the allotted 20

minute instructional period, they were allowed to move to another passage. However, to ensure

that students had fulfiled all the completion requirements, participants in this group were

required to check in with a graduate student before moving on to a new passage. The graduate

student ensured that participants fulfilled all of the requirements that were needed to complete a

session and move to the next passage.









Treatment integrity.Because this research study was conducted in three different

schools, it was important to ensure that instructional content was delivered reliably across

schools. The procedures implemented to ensure consistency of instruction throughout the study

are discussed. Treatment integrity is the extent to which an intervention is implemented as

planned (Gresham, 1989). Examining treatment integrity was important in this study because it

helped to decipher whether the intervention did or did not work due to the actual intervention and

not because of variations in how the intervention was implemented.

Treatment integrity in this study involved an observer rating scale (see Appendix F-1 and

F-2). This method of collecting treatment integrity helped to avoid the bias of a self report and

also helped the researcher to determine not just whether each step was implemented but also the

degree to which each step was implemented. The researcher observed each graduate student

teacher using the observer rating scale at least once per week or the equivalent of approximately

30% of the instructional sessions. The rating scales were tailored to match the requirements for

conducting print and computer groups. For the print group the focus was on the graduate student

teacher' s ability to follow each scripted step of the program and to also maintain student focus

throughout each session. For the computer group the focus was on the graduate student teachers'

ability to prepare and manage the software and to also assist students in navigating the software.

Each observation was followed by a debriefing where graduate students were informed about

how they performed on each aspect of the treatment integrity rating scale. If necessary,

debriefings were followed by re-teaching and modeling. Re-teaching and modeling was led by

the primary researcher.

Data Analysis

The purpose of this study was to compare CAI with small-group teacher-led instruction in

fluency for third grade students with below average skills in fluency. To evaluate the effects of










computer delivered and teacher-led instruction, six hypotheses were constructed. At the end of

the study, all protests were re-administered to all participants in the group design. Because

students in the single subj ect design were experiencing all three conditions, it was not possible to

compare the effects of the treatments on their fluency or reading achievement (i.e., vocabulary

and comprehension).

An Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) approach was used to evaluate differences in oral

reading fluency across the three groups. ANCOVA was used in this study to remove predictable

individual differences from the dependent variable (i.e., pretest scores) which, in turn, provided a

more precise estimate of experimental error than a repeated measures ANOVA (Shavelson,

1996). ANCOVA removes selection bias which strengthens internal validity.

"Any variable that is correlated with the dependent variable can be controlled for using

covariance" (Gay & Airasian, 2000, p. 501). In the case of the current study, the ANCOVA

adjusted posttest scores for initial differences in pretest scores and compared the adjusted scores.

The use of an ANCOVA was an attempt to diminish the variation in posttest scores that can be

attributed to other variables not related to the treatment. The pretest is called the covariate.

The data was analyzed to determine if main effects existed. Main effects refer to whether

the independent variable (i.e., instructional method) has a significant effect on the outcome or

dependent variables (i.e., oral reading fluency and overall reading achievement). It was also

analyzed to determine if treatment effects, whether the separate effects of levels of the

independent variable (i.e., print-based instruction versus computer-based instruction) had an

impact on the dependent variable (e.g., oral reading fluency and overall reading achievement),

existed. Post hoc tests which included Tukey's HSD and Scheffe's method were used to measure










significant treatment effects. Both tests allow for comparisons of pairs of means and of complex

combinations (i.e., more than two) of means.

Single Subject Study

Methods of subj ect selection, the instruments and materials used, the instructional

procedures used, and methods of data analysis for the single subject design portion of the study

are discussed in this section.

Subject Selection

At the onset of the study, the researcher asked teachers of students who qualify (hereafter

known as participant teachers) for the larger group study to nominate from among those students,

individuals who also had difficulty remaining engaged during instruction. Engagement was

defined as "an overt interaction with an instructional task" (Rieth & Simmel, 1991) such as a

verbal response, reading aloud, or writing an answer on a piece of paper. All teacher nominated

students received letters of parental informed consent explaining the purpose of this portion of

the study as required by the University of Florida' s Institutional Review Board. The participants

who returned the letters of consent were included in this portion of the study. The participant

teachers were asked to complete a behavior rating scale (see Appendix C-1) to determine the

extent to which the teacher nominated students actually had difficulty remaining engaged during

reading instruction. The purpose of the behavior rating scale was to act as a second level of

screening and provide teachers with the specific target behaviors that were to be evaluated in the

study. Completing the behavior rating scale clarified for some teachers the nature of the target

behaviors. In fact, after viewing the rating scale, some teachers removed several students from

the initial nomination list because they exhibited disruptive but not off task behaviors. The rating

scale required participant teachers to rate students on a scale of zero to three with three

representing whether the student "always" performed a specified activity and zero representing









whether the student "never" performed a specified activity. The activities on the rating scale

included: paying attention, listening to directions, remaining on-task while working

independently, and actively participating. Students with the lowest scores on the rating scale

qualified for the single subj ect portion of the study. Each nominated participant was also

observed by the researcher using an observation protocol. Because the logistics of this portion of

the study were somewhat complex, all participants were chosen from the same school. Five

students were initially selected to participate in this portion of the study, however, one

participant was eliminated during baseline observations because he already exhibited very high

rates of engagement during whole-group instruction and independent seat work. The remaining

four students were randomly assigned to each of the three treatment groups. One of these four

students was eliminated toward the end of the study due to a large number of absences. A

description of each of the remaining three students follows.

Daryl

Daryl was a 10 year old white male enrolled in a general education third grade classroom.

He spent approximately 40% of the school day in a special education resource room. Daryl often

engaged in off task behaviors which hindered his reading development. These off task behaviors

included distracting others, leaving his assigned seat during independent academic work, failing

to pay attention during whole-group instruction, failing to listen carefully to directions, failing to

remain on-task during independent work, and failing to complete independent academic work.

Sam

Sam was a 9 year old Hispanic male who was enrolled in a general education third grade

classroom. Sam often engaged in off task behaviors which hindered his reading development.










These off task behaviors included: failing to pay attention during whole-group instruction and

failing to complete independent academic assignments.

Jay

Jay was a 9 year old white male who was enrolled in a general education third grade

classroom. He often engaged in off task behaviors which hindered his reading development.

These off task behaviors included distracting others, leaving his assigned seat during

independent seat work, and inappropriate use of assigned materials.

Instruments and Materials

In this section, the research instrumentation for the single subj ect portion of the study is

described. This section includes information about the screening measure used to select the

participants for this portion of the study, the outcome measures used to assess the effects of the

changing conditions, the materials used to capture student behavior, the methods used to train

personnel, and a description of the intervention.

Screening measure. An observation protocol created by the researcher (see Appendix

C-2) was used to determine the extent to which the teacher nominated students actually had

difficulty remaining engaged during reading instruction. Target behaviors on the observation

protocol used for screening students included: eyes on the teacher, eyes on the text, hand raised

to contribute to a lesson, pointing to the text, reading the text, responding to a question, writing

responses to questions, and asking the teacher or other students questions about the lesson.

Outcome measure. In addition to being used as a screening tool, the researcher created

observation protocol was also used as an outcome measure. The percentage of intervals in which

on-task behavior was observed was tabulated during each condition of the study. Average

on-task behavior percentages for each of the three conditions are presented for all participants in

Table 3-6.










Table 3-6. Average On-task Behavior
Student % of On-task % of On-task % of On-task % of On-task
Behavior Behavior Print Behavior Behavior
Baseline Text-Controlled Time-Controlled
Daryl 34.0 73.3 89.5 85.3
Sam 40.3 78.0 75.1 86.0
Jay 47.6 51.8 63.8 93.8

Materials. In addition to the materials used in the group design portion of the study, a

video camera was used to capture each of the three students to provide a permanent record from

which engagement data was collected at a later time. The researcher and a trained graduate

student used the tapes for training and the development of interrater reliability.

Personnel training. One of the graduate students provided assistance during the single

subj ect design portion of the study. Personnel training for this portion of the study consisted of

teaching the graduate student how to set up the video camera to capture the target students and

how to assist the researcher in observing for the presence of on-task engagement behavior.

To train the graduate student how to observe target students, the researcher provided the

graduate student with an operational definition of the target behavior (i.e., engagement). The

graduate student was trained on the definition of the target behavior and then practiced using

written examples of the target behavior. The graduate student then used knowledge of the target

behavior to practice by watching and coding videotapes of classroom scenarios comparable to

those that were experienced during actual coding. The graduate assistant practiced with the

researcher using the tapes until 80% inter-observer agreement for three consecutive sessions was

reached.

Description of intervention. During the baseline condition, students were observed during

whole-group reading instruction. During the treatment conditions, when students were in the

print group, they were observed during small-group instruction, and when they were in the









computer group, they were observed during one-on-one reading instruction. During baseline, the

researcher observed each of the selected participants for 20 minutes at ten second intervals using

a researcher created observation protocol on three different occasions during reading instruction.

It is best practice in single subj ect design to collect at least three stable data points during

baseline (Kazdin, 1982). Data recording sheets consisted of twenty minute sessions divided into

ten second intervals (see Appendix C-2 and C-3). For each ten second interval, the researcher

recorded a check (-\) to represent on-task behavior or a dash (-) to represent off task behavior.

The researcher used partial interval recording to measure task engagement. Participants were

recorded as off task if they exhibited off-task behaviors at any time during the 10O-second

interval. Partial interval recording was used for this intervention program because it provides a

more accurate estimate of low rate behaviors and provides a simple conversion into a percentage

which can be easily communicated to others (Kazdin).

The intervention period of the study employed a changing conditions design with the three

treatment conditions (print-based, text-equivalent CAI and time-equivalent CAI) alternated on

successive weeks. In a changing conditions design participants are exposed to a number of

different treatments within the intervention phase to determine if a clear functional relationship

exists between a particular treatment (i.e., print-based, text-equivalent CAI and time-equivalent

CAI) and the target behavior (i.e., task engagement). Counterbalancing occurred so that

approximately one third of the participants received print-based instruction and one third

received instruction in each of the other two conditions. Originally, the researcher had planned

for participants to be exposed to the three conditions in succession for two cycles, so that they

could experience each condition at least twice. However, time constraints only allowed each

participant to be exposed to one of the three conditions at least twice.









During the treatment conditions, the definition of on-task engagement varied somewhat

based on whether students were in the print or in one of the computer groups. For the print

group, the definition of on-task behavior included: eyes on the teacher during instruction, eyes on

another student if that student was actively participating in group discussion, active participation

in group discussion, eyes on the text, or engaging in a written product during independent

academic work. For the computer groups, the definition of on-task behavior included: eyes on

the computer screen, active interaction with the computer (i.e., speaking into the microphone), or

hand-raising to signal teacher assistance.

Data Analysis

Percentage of time on-task was calculated by dividing the total number of intervals that

each student remained on-task by the total number of observed intervals. The data was also

analyzed to determine whether any changes in trend, variability, and/or level existed. Visual

inspection was used to examine changes in trend (i.e., accelerating and decelerating) and

variability across treatment conditions. Evaluating changes in trend allows researchers to

examine the direction of data points within each phase and across phases (Kazdin). The concept

of variability is important because it allows the researcher to draw conclusions about the

treatment (Kazdin). Less variability in the data allows for increased confidence on the part of the

researcher about the kinds of conclusions that can be made. To evaluate changes in level, the

researcher compared an average of the data points in the baseline condition with an average of

the data points in the intervention conditions (i.e., print and computer). Evaluating changes in

level helps to determine whether the data, from one condition to the next, has continued on the

same general level as was seen in the last phase or has suddenly jumped to a distinctly different

level (Kazdin, 1982).









Summary

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of teacher-led and computer-assisted

instruction on third grade students who demonstrated delayed development of fluency skills and

on-task engagement. Six hypotheses regarding the acquisition of fluency skills and the on-task

engagement of struggling students were tested through complementary studies using a mixed

design (i.e., group and single subject). All participants qualified for both studies by scoring

between the 10th and 39th percentiles on DIBELS ORF. Participants in the group design were

randomly assigned to one of three groups. Participants received a print or software version of

Quick Reads, a fluency instruction program. Teachers and students received training led by the

researcher on how to use study materials. Participants in the print group received small-group

teacher-led instruction in fluency. Participants in the text-equivalent group received instruction

equivalent to the print group in the amount of text presented in a given 20 minute session.

Participants in the time-equivalent group were equivalent to the print group in the amount of

time allotted to instruction for each session. Dependent measures of instructional effectiveness

were statistically examined to compare the effects of group on the fluency and reading skills of

the students. In addition, to being initially qualified for the group design study through the use of

DIBELS, students in the single subj ect design study also qualified based on teacher nomination.

Unlike in the group design, students in the single subj ect study experienced each of the three

conditions. Dependent measures of social effectiveness were visually analyzed to compare the

effects of group on on-task engagement. A timeline of the study is attached (Appendix G-1 and

G-2).









CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

A description of preliminary analyses (i.e., equivalency of groups and within group

analyses) is included in this section. Results of the analyses of each of the six research presented

in the previous chapter are also presented.

Preliminary Analyses

Statistical analyses were conducted to examine the initial equivalency of the three

intervention groups. Within group analysis was also conducted to determine whether participants

in each of the groups exhibited significant differences from pre to posttest on each of the three

dependent measures.

Equivalency of Instruction Groups

Pretest means on the dependent measures (i.e., fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension)

for all groups were calculated. An ANOVA was used to make comparisons across the three

groups. No statistically significant differences were found on the Gates MacGinitie vocabulary

and comprehension subtest pretest measures. There were, however, statistically significant

differences found on the DIBELS ORF pretest measures [F (2,49) = 3.281, p = .046]. Tukey's

HSD revealed that pretest differences existed between the print and text-equivalent groups (p .=

.032) and the print and time-equivalent groups (12= .045). Despite random assignment, the print

group scored significantly lower that both the text and time-equivalent groups on the DIBELS

ORF pretest measure. Specifically, the print-based groups scored approximately nine points

below the text-equivalent and time-equivalent groups on the standardized measure of oral

reading fluency.









Within Group Analysis

Analysis of posttest scores reveal a significant main effect for method of instruction on

DIBELS ORF [F(1,49) = 42.349 2 < .001], the Gates MacGinitie vocabulary [F (1,49) = 67.675

2 < .001] and the Gates MacGinitie comprehension [F (1,49) = 18.554 e <. 001] subtests.

Research Questions

The primary research questions in this study asked whether a computer-based method of

instruction is as effective as a print-based method of instruction in improving the fluency, overall

reading achievement (i.e., vocabulary and comprehension), and engagement of children who

demonstrate delayed fluency development. To answer these questions, each student in the study

was pre and posttested using alternate forms of two measures of reading (i.e., DIBELS ORF and

the Gates MacGinitie). The resulting data were analyzed. Descriptive statistics for all three

groups are reported in Tables 4-1, 4-2, and 4-3. Scores for fluency, vocabulary, and

comprehension were analyzed using an analysis of covariance with group (i.e. print,

text-equivalent, and time-equivalent) as the independent factor and the mean posttest scores on

DIBELS and the Gates MacGinitie as the dependent factors.

Table 4-1. Descriptive Statistics by Group
Print Text-equivalent Time-equivalent
(N= 17) (N= 17) (N= 16)
Mean Mean Mean
Pre Post Increase Pre Post Increase Pre Post Increase
ORF 52.94 69.59 16.65 61.19 82.59 21.40 61.63 83.56 21.93
Vocabulary 417.12 439.53 22.41 433.30 441.35 8.05 429.19 453.88 24.69
Comprehension 409.94 432.24 22.30 407.41 425.06 17.65 404.44 429.75 25.31

Table 4-2. Comparison of Pretest Means by Group
Dependent Print Text-equivalent Time-Control F df p
Measure Group Group Group
Fluency 52.94 61.19 61.63 3.28 2 .389
Vocabulary 417.12 433.30 429.19 0.96 2 .742
Comprehension 409.94 407.41 404.44 0.30 2 .046









Research Question 1

Is a computer-based method of instruction as effective as a print-based method of

instruction in improving the fluency skills of children who demonstrate delayed fluency

development?

Posttest fluency scores were analyzed across the three groups through an ANCOVA using

the pretest scores as the covariate. No significant differences were found across the three groups,

[F (2, 49 = 1.08, 2 = .350.]

Table 4-3. Comparison of Posttest Means by Group
Dependent Print Text-equivalent Time-Control F df p
Measure Group Group Group
Fluency 69.59 82.59 83.56 1.08 2 .350
Vocabulary 439.53 441.35 453.88 3.76 2 .031
Comprehension 432.24 425.06 429.75 1.06 2 .357

Research Question 2

Is a computer-based method of instruction as effective as a print-based method of

instruction in improving the general reading skills of children who demonstrate delayed fluency

development?

Posttest Gates MacGinitie subtest scores (i.e., vocabulary and comprehension) were

analyzed across the three groups through an ANCOVA using pretest scores as the covariate. No

significant differences were found across the three groups on the comprehension subtest [F

(2,49) = 1.06, e=.357]. However, significant differences were found on the vocabulary subtest [F

(2,49) = 3.76, 2 = .034]. A post hoc analysis was subsequently performed using Tukey's HSD.

Post hoc analysis revealed that significant differences in vocabulary existed between the

text-equivalent and the time-equivalent computer groups ( = .034) with the differences favoring

the time-equivalent group.












































Text-equivalent 4 7 6
Group
Time-equivalent 3 5 8
Group

Research Question 4

Is the number of sessions of instruction related to the reading development (i.e.,

vocabulary and comprehension) of children who demonstrate delayed fluency development?

Posttest scores on the Gates MacGinitie were analyzed across instructional sessions using

an ANCOVA. No significant differences were found in vocabulary [F (2,49) = 1.08, p = .348], or

in comprehension across sessions [F (2,49)= 2.59, e = .089].


Research Question 3

Is the number of sessions of instruction related to the fluency development of children who

demonstrate delayed fluency development?

The number of instructional sessions ranged from 12 to 23. In general, students missed

sessions because they were absent from school, because of school functions (e.g., plays and pep

rallies), or because they were required to remain in their homerooms to take standardized state

practice tests. Number of instructional sessions were categorized into three groups (See Tables

4-4 and 4-5). Posttest scores were analyzed using an ANCOVA with instructional sessions used

as the independent variable. No significant differences were found across sessions [F (2, 49) =

1.14, 2= .330].

Table 4-4. Frequency of Grouped Number of Sessions
Number of Sessions (Grouped) Number of Students
12-15 7
16-19 15
20-23 27

Table 4-5. Participant Number of Sessions Across Groups
Sessions
12-15 16-19 20-23
Print Group 0 4 13









Research Question 5

When students are not limited in the amount of text they read, do they read more?

Students in the time control group ranged from 1 to 2.4 passages on average per day.

Forty-six percent of students averaged two or more passages per day. The number of passages

read in the time-equivalent group averaged 1.9.

Research Question 6

Is there a clear functional relationship between method of fluency instruction and task

engagement for students who demonstrate delayed development in on-task engagement?

The results presented here for each student describes the percent of intervals within each

condition that the student was on-task. Anecdotal comments will also be made regarding any

changes in the data related to trend, level, or variability. For graphic representation of this data

see Figures 4-1, 4-2 and 4-3.

Daryl

During three days of baseline data collection, Daryl's on-task behavior remained low and

was approximately 34% (range 30 to 40%). When moved to the time-equivalent group, Daryl

exhibited an increased change in the level in his rate of responding. His average percentage of

intervals on-task in the time-equivalent condition was approximately 87% (range 82 to 93%).

When placed in the print group, his average rate of responding decreased to approximately 73%

(range 53 to 91%). Upon being placed in the text-controlled condition, his average rate of

responding improved to a stable rate and averaged approximately 90% (range 85 to 95%).

Daryl's average rate of responding when returned to the time-controlled group decreased but was

relatively stable at 84% (range 80 to 88%).











rm
/
sc
8e
i,
n sc

1

,,


Bs~g~nc Tme-~y Pmd


r~t-~au ~yn-~


Figure 4-1. Daryl's Percentage of Intervals On-Task Across Baseline and Treatment Conditions

Sam


During three days of baseline data collection, Sam's on-task behavior averaged


approximately 48% (range 43 to 53%). Sam completed the baseline condition on a downward

trend and began the text-equivalent condition with an increased change in level. He averaged


approximately 73% (range 63 to 87%) during the text-equivalent condition and ended on an


upward trend. Sam experienced the highest average rate of responding during the

time-equivalent condition at 86% (range 78 to 92%). When placed in the print condition, his


average rate of responding decreased slightly to 78% (range 60 to 96%). His behavior was also


more variable during the print condition than during other conditions. Finally, when he was again


placed in the text-equivalent condition, Sam' s average rate of responding averaged


approximately 77% (68 to 91%) and he ended the condition on an upward trend.


Jay

During the three days of baseline data collection, Jay's on-task behavior averaged


approximately 40% (range 23 to 53%). Upon placement in the print group, Jay's rate of


responding immediately increased but steadily decreased on subsequent days within the print
















~eld-EILY ~ IY~eOlluezvadenF6I









Figure 4-2. Sam's Percentage of Intervals On-Task Across Baseline and Treatment Conditions

intervention condition. Jay's average during the initial print group condition was just slightly

higher than baseline at 50% (range 32 to 68%). When placed in the time-equivalent condition,

Jay's behavior increased significantly and remained stable resulting in a positive change in level

and trend in the data points. His rate of responding during the time-equivalent condition

averaged approximately 94% (range 90 to 97). When Jay moved to the text-equivalent condition

his average rate of responding decreased to approximately 64% (range 48 to 78%). The move

from the time-equivalent to the text-equivalent condition resulted in a negative change in level

and trend in the data points. Finally, when placed in the print condition, Jay's percentage of

intervals on-task decreased even further to 54% (range 44 to 63%).

Interobserver agreement. Interobserver agreement was assessed on 30% of the

behavioral observations for each of the three participants. See Appendix C-1 for a list of the

target behaviors that guided the behavioral observations in this study. The primary observer was

the researcher while the secondary observer was a trained graduate student. Interobserver

agreement was calculated on an interval by interval basis by dividing the number of agreements










Bareln~ ~mc-~LU Te~-EQy


P~nd


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 2D 21 22



Figure 4-3. Jay's Percentage of Intervals On-Task Across Baseline and Treatment Conditions

by the total number of intervals, with the dividend multiplied by 100%. Interobserver agreement

is important in single subj ect design because it minimizes the biases that any individual observer

may have. It also helps to ensure that the target behavior is well defined (Kazdin, 1982).

Traditionally, acceptable levels of agreement begin at 80% (Kazdin, 1982). The overall mean

agreement in this study was 95.1% with a range of 88% to 97%.

Summary

The results of statistical and visual data analyses from this study have been presented in

this chapter. Preliminary analyses with regard to equivalency across the three instructional

groups revealed that despite random assignment, participants in the print group scored

significantly lower on the pretest oral reading fluency measure than those in the text and

time-equivalent groups. Examination of within group differences yielded significant increases

from pretest to posttest on all outcome measures across all treatment groups. Also, each of the

six research question were addressed. There were no significant differences across the three

treatment groups from pretest to posttest for two of the three dependent variables (i.e., oral

reading fluency and comprehension). Significant differences across treatment groups on









vocabulary posttest scores were discovered. Visual analysis of the data from the three students

who participated in the single subject portion of the study yielded mixed results. Two of the three

participants exhibited increased rates of on-task behavior in all three treatment conditions. The

remaining student only exhibited consistent increased rates of on-task behavior when placed in

the time-equivalent condition. Conclusions and implications for these findings will be discussed

in the subsequent chapter.









CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

The purpose of this discussion is to evaluate the results of the findings in the current study.

The six research questions regarding the effects of print and computer-based methods of a

fluency instructional program on student reading and task engagement will be used to guide the

discussion. Implications for future research and study limitations are also presented.

Fluency

Reading fluently means reading effortlessly, accurately, and with proper expression

(Meyer & Felton, 1999). As students become more fluent readers, their ability to comprehend

text increases (Johns & Berglund, 2002; Kuhn, 2004/2005). Comprehension is the ultimate

reason for reading so creating interventions to help those students who are struggling with

reading fluency is worthwhile. Johns and Berglund and Rasinski (2006) suggest that the

interventions that are used to help improve reading fluency should be explicit and systematic. A

comprehensive fluency instructional program includes multiple opportunities for students to hear

text read by a fluent model, multiple opportunities to read the same text, and to measure the rate

at which they are reading text.

The fluency program used in this study, Quick Reads, consisted of all the components of a

comprehensive fluency instructional program. Both the print and software versions provided

students with several opportunities to listen to a fluent model and to re-read text. The program

even provided comprehension questions at the end of each passage. In fact, in the software

version of the program students were prevented from advancing to the next passage before

completing the accompanying comprehension questions.










Computer-Assisted Instruction

Whole-group instruction remains a common grouping practice in today's classrooms. This

is due in part to a lack of time and a lack of resources (i.e., additional personnel). During

whole-group instruction, it is difficult to meet the needs of diverse learners. In this setting,

students are less likely to receive multiple opportunities to respond and frequent individualized

feedback. Increased opportunities to respond and specific feedback and correction have been

highly correlated with increased academic achievement (Christle & Schuster, 2003; Heward et

al., 1996; Sutherland, 2001). Computer-assisted instruction decreases the ratio of students to

teacher. The results include increases in opportunities to respond, active responding, praise

and/or corrective feedback, and school and post-school outcomes. These characteristics should

allow CAI to meet the needs of struggling and diverse learners in a more efficient way than

larger grouping formats.

The purpose of the current study was to determine whether a computer-based version of a

fluency program would be as effective as a print version of the same program. Students were

randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: a print-based, time equivalent, and a

text-equivalent group. The print-based group received small-group fluency instruction led by a

graduate student teacher. Students in text-equivalent group received computer-assisted

instruction and completed the same amount of text as the print-based group. Students in the

time-equivalent group also received computer-assisted instruction and spent the same amount of

time receiving instruction as the print-based group. Students were pre and posttested on a

measure of oral reading fluency and a measure of reading achievement. The primary goal of the

study was to determine whether CAI could provide a viable alternative to whole and small-group

methods of fluency instruction.









Discussion of Findings

In this section of the discussion and the findings of each research question will be

examined.

Research Question 1

Is a computer-based method of instruction as effective as a print-based method of

instruction in improving the fluency skills of children who demonstrate delayed fluency

development?

The computer-based methods were found to be as effective as the print-based teacher-led

method. The results of this study is similar to the results of other studies performed by such

researchers as Mitchell and Fox (2001), Lewandowski et al. (2006), and Hinitikka et al. (2005).

These results support the notion that CAI is a viable alternative method of instruction to

print-based teacher-led instruction. The consistent occurrence of no significant differences across

print and computer-based groups in various studies may be attributed to a variety of factors. Best

practice in fluency instruction dictates that students hear text read by a fluent model. The nature

of teacher-led fluency instruction is such that students may be more likely to listen to the text

being read in the presence of an actual person than in the presence of a computer because the

computer is unable to provide verbal redirection to maintain on-task behavior. Best practice in

fluency instruction also dictates that students be provided with multiple opportunities to practice

re-reading passages. The one-on-one nature of computer-based fluency instruction allows for

more opportunities for individual students to practice re-reading passages. It is possible that the

positive and negative aspects of both forms of instruction lead to a balance (i.e., no significant

differences) in student outcomes.









Research Question 2

Is a computer-based method of instruction as effective as a print-based method of

instruction in improving the general reading skills of children who demonstrate delayed fluency

development?

The results of this study showed significant differences between the text-equivalent and

time-equivalent groups in the area of vocabulary with the time-equivalent group surpassing the

text-equivalent group. To better understand why a difference in vocabulary could have occurred

between these two groups, it is necessary to examine the fundamental differences between the

treatment conditions. In both the text and time-equivalent groups students were required to

access at least two vocabulary words before beginning a new passage. This was an attempt to

provide the students in the CAI group with a pre-reading activity similar to the kind of activity

that was provided to students in the print group. Students in the text-equivalent group, however,

were only allowed to read one passage per session whereas students in the time-equivalent group

were not restricted as to the number of passages they could read in a given session. The study's

design allowed for the participants assigned to the time-equivalent condition to receive more

exposure to vocabulary words than the participants in the text-equivalent condition. Baumann

and Kame'enui (2004) and Beck, McKeown, and Kucan (2002) have found that increased

exposure to vocabulary words leads to increased vocabulary knowledge.

No differences in vocabulary were found between the time-equivalent and print groups.

This may have occurred because the pre-reading activity in the print group involved discussion

of target words. Baumann and Kame' enui (2004) and Beck, McKeown, and Kucan (2002) have

found that vocabulary instruction is most effective when students are provided with the

opportunity to interact with and discuss words. The fact that the time-equivalent group

experienced increased exposure to words may have been tempered by the fact that the print










group received more meaningful exposure to words. Because the students in the print group had

the opportunity to engage in pre-reading discussions that involved a graphic organizer and

discussions during and after the readings, these students received more in-depth exposure to text.

Research Question 3

Is the number of sessions of instruction related to the fluency development of children who

demonstrate delayed fluency development?

Based on the results of this study, no differences in posttest fluency scores can be

attributed to the number of instructional sessions the participants received. More specifically,

there were no mean differences on the DIBELS oral reading fluency outcome measure between

participants who received 12 to 15 sessions, 16 to 19 sessions, and 20 to 23 sessions. There are

several possible reasons for the lack of differences across sessions. First, lack of differences may

have occurred due to a lack of equality in the number of participants in each category. There

were almost three times as many students, for example, who received 20 to 23 sessions than

students who received 12 to 15 sessions. It is always best to maintain equal numbers across

groups because this ensures "greater sensitivity of tests of significance and because potential

distortions due to departures from assumptions underlying such tests are minimized" (Pedhazur

& Schmelkin, 1991, p. 473). One solution to this could have been to categorize the number of

sessions according to halves instead of thirds (e.g., 12 to 17 and 18 to 23 sessions). This solution,

however, would not have rectified the issue of inequality because one half would still consist of

twice as many participants as the other half.

Closer examination of the data yielded an interesting finding that could also account for

the lack of differences across sessions. No participants in the print condition fell into the lowest

category of number of sessions (i.e., 12 to 15 sessions). Over 75% of the participants in the print

group received more than 20 sessions. Conversely, over half of the students in both the









text-equivalent and time-equivalent conditions received less than 20 sessions. It seems, at least

based on the results of this study, even though students in the CAI groups received, on average,

less instruction than students in the print group this did not have a significant effect on students'

fluency skills.

Research Question 4

Is the number of sessions of instruction related to the reading development (i.e.,

vocabulary and comprehension) of children who demonstrate delayed fluency development?

Based on the results of this study, no differences in posttest scores in vocabulary and

comprehension can be attributed to the number of sessions participants received. In other words,

there were no mean differences on the Gates MacGinitie vocabulary and comprehension

outcome measures between participants who received 12 to 15, 16 to 19, or 20 to 23 sessions. As

in the case of oral reading fluency, lack of differences may have occurred due to a lack of

equality in the number of participants in each category. Differences could also be attributed to

the fact that many of the participants who received fewer sessions were receiving

computer-assisted instruction. It is possible that students in the CAI conditions did not need as

many sessions to make significant gains in the areas of vocabulary and comprehension.

Research Question 5

When students are not limited in the amount of text they read, do they read more?

Students in the time-equivalent group were allowed to read as many passages as they

could, under the guidelines of the study (e.g., reading to the computer twice and being read to by

the computer twice), within the allotted 20 minute session. Approximately half the students in

this were able to take advantage of the opportunity to read multiple passages in a session. There

are a variety of reasons why the remaining half of the students were unable to complete multiple

passages in a given session including: technological problems, arriving late to the lab,









distractions in the lab, and the motivation to complete multiple passages. In addition, there were

several students who were assigned to the text-equivalent group who, if the given the

opportunity, would have completed multiple passages in the allotted time. Ideally, in a less

structured research setting, students who could take advantage of reading multiple passages

would be given the opportunity to do so. Interestingly, those students who averaged multiple

passages scored higher on average on all posttest outcome measures than those students who

averaged less than two passages per session.

Research Question 6

Is there a clear functional relationship between method of fluency instruction and task

engagement for students who demonstrate delayed development in on-task engagement?

Daryl experienced high average rates of responding across all the treatment conditions.

Although his data points were more stable during the CAI conditions, decreases in rates of

responding during the print condition occurred after consecutive days of absences. Perhaps

missing school for an extended period of time affected Daryl's ability to re-settle into daily

school routines. Overall, based on the data it seems that Daryl benefited from both small-group

print-based instruction and computer-assisted instruction.

Sam, like Daryl, benefited from both CAI and print-based instruction. Sam's data was

most stable and his highest average rates of responding occurred during the time-equivalent

condition. Variable rates of responding in the text-equivalent condition may have occurred

because when in this condition, Sam was surrounded by others in the same condition. To assist

the graduate student in charge of monitoring the participants in the lab to keep track of how to

direct students, the lab was organized so that students in the text-equivalent condition were

placed in one part of the room and students in the time-equivalent condition were placed in









another part of the room. When students in the text-equivalent condition complete the

requirements for one passage they are required to spend the rest of the session working on a math

program. In many instances, Sam became distracted by the math program being played by his

neighbors.

Jay experienced a downward trend in his rate of responding throughout the study with the

exception of when he was placed in the time-equivalent condition. In this condition, he

experienced a significant increase in rate of responding. It seemed the print condition was the

least effective at maintaining Jay's engagement. While observing Jay during the print condition,

the researcher found him to be easily distracted and unfocused on the print material both in and

out of the presence of the graduate student teacher. When Jay was placed in the text-equivalent

condition he was able to focus more on the software version of the program, however, he

experienced frequent fluctuations in his rate of responding. This was in large part because

similarly to Sam, Jay often became distracted when his neighbor was playing a math program.

This had an effect on the stability of Jay's rate of responding during the text-equivalent

condition. During the time-equivalent condition, Jay was surrounded by others who remained

focused on the Quick Reads program throughout the entire session. All of these variables may

have had an impact on the differences in Jay's rate of responding.

In general, across all three participants, the highest and most stable rates of responding

occurred during CAI conditions. This may have occurred because during these conditions these

students worked individually with the computer which created less opportunity for distracting

stimuli. Daryl and Sam also experienced increased rates of responding during the print condition.

For them the close teacher proximity and increased teacher attention that resulted from

small-group instruction was enough to lead to increased rates of responding. Researchers have









theorized that small-group instruction when compared to whole-group instruction increases

student rates of opportunities to respond which decreases the likelihood of off task behaviors

(Kamps, Dugan, Leonard. & Daoust, 1994; Malmgren, 1999; Wolery, Ault, Doyle, & Gast,

1992). Interestingly, Daryl and Sam experienced higher average posttest scores across the three

outcomes variables (i.e., fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension) than Jay did.

Interpretation of Findings

The results of the current study are consistent with the results of similar previous studies

(Cole & Hilliard, 2006; Lewandowski, Begeny, & Rogers, 2006; Hinitikka, Aro, Lyyntinen,

2005; Mioduser, Tur-Kaspa, & Leitner, 2000; Mitchell & Fox, 2001). Implementing CAI

resulted in increases in varying aspects of reading achievement including reading fluency,

comprehension, and vocabulary.

More specifically, the current study yielded similar findings and can be compared to the

study performed by Lewandowski et al. (2006). Although Lewandowski et al. only included one

computer-based groups, both studies examined the effects of CAI on third graders struggling

with reading, examined fluency as an outcome variable, and compared the same program for

both software and print-based versions. The results across the two studies suggest that CAI can

be as effective as traditional teacher-led instruction in providing fluency instruction to struggling

readers.

The current study was also similar to the study performed by Cole and Hilliard (2006) in

that both studies examined the effects of CAI on the fluency of struggling third grade readers.

However, the findings of the current study differed from Cole and Hilliard's findings. Cole and

Hilliard discovered significant differences, favoring CAI, between the CAI and print groups on

fluency outcomes. There are several reasons why this could be. First, Cole and Hilliard may have

used more sensitive measures. Also, Cole and Hilliard made comparisons between two different










instructional programs as opposed to different versions of the same program. In this case, the

software program may have been inherently more powerful an intervention (e.g., engaging,

intensity, appropriate enhancement levels, appropriate levels of speech feedback) than the

print-based program. The authors do not provide details regarding similarities and differences

between the two programs.

Positive Aspects of Computer-Assisted Instruction

Computer-assisted instruction can be used with students who have a variety of learning

needs. It seems that CAI would be most beneficial for students who have needs toward the more

extreme ends of the learning continuum (e.g., students who struggle or students who are

advanced). CAI can be tailored to students with learning rates that differ from average learning

rates. Conventional instruction primarily focuses on the needs of students with average learning

rates (Cotton, 2001). Because CAI provides individualized instruction, students can work at their

own pace, receive consistent specific feedback, and feel a sense of control over their own

learning. CAI also lacks some human characteristics that a can be detrimental to students'

learning. Unlike humans, the computer is "infinitely patient, never gets tired, and never gets

frustrated or angry" (Cotton, 2001, p.4).

The Quick Reads software program used in this study provided the necessary

accommodations to promote the success of struggling readers. Once trained, students were

expected to follow a series of procedures including logging into the program, testing the

microphone that accompanies the software, accessing the correct passage, and selecting two or

more highlighted vocabulary words. Unlike the students who received the small-group print

version of the program. Students who received the software version were given the flexibility to

begin and end the study on different fluency passages. Logistically, students in each small-group

had to remain on the same fluency passage. To achieve parity, some standardization had to be









established across groups, however, beyond the scope of this study any student in the CAI group

who wanted to read the same passage across multiple sessions or to read multiple passages in a

given session could do so. Although both the print and software versions allowed students to

chart their reading progress, the charting in the software version was much more elaborate.

Students in the CAI condition received feedback after each reading of a passage. The software's

built in timing mechanism allowed students to receive immediate and specific corrective

feedback on words read correctly, words read incorrectly, and words read correctly per minute.

This allowed students to chart their progress several times in a given session. This increased

feedback can be extrinsically rewarding to students which is a crucial ingredient for keeping

struggling students engaged during instruction (Cole & Hilliard, 2006). Unlike the students in the

software condition, students in the print condition could only receive one timing at the end of

each session. Finally, the software version of the program provided more opportunities for

individual students to respond. Students who received instruction in small-groups had to share

opportunities to respond. Increased opportunities to respond that result in active responding have

been correlated with increased student achievement (Christle & Schuster, 2003; Sutherland,

Alder, Gunter, 2003).

Positive Aspects of Print-Based Instruction

Although CAI seems to be tailor made for students who struggle, there are several

limitations, most of which are connected to the fact that CAI lacks human attributes. To begin, in

the current study, there was no way for the software version of the program to equate the kinds

of pre-reading activities that the print-based teacher-led groups experienced. Pre-reading

activities assist in activating background knowledge. Activating background knowledge is

crucial to enhancing comprehension of text (Adams, 1990; Pressley, Johnson, Symons,

McGoldrick, & Kurita, 1989). Also, the quality of the interactions that occurred between the









teacher and students during pre-reading activities could not have been duplicated by the software

version. In addition, although the voice recognition technology used to create the software

seemed quite advanced, students who deviated from the norm in their speech (e.g., had a speech

impediment or an accent) were often erroneously corrected by the computer. A human would be

better able to differentiate between whether a word was said correctly or incorrectly. Finally,

increased use of CAI could result in reduced student interactions with peers. One of the goals of

schooling is to help students to master social interactions. School success is not only determined

by the ability to achieve academic success, but also by the ability to achieve social success

(Wager & Rutherford, 1993).

Limitations and Delimitations

Delimitations

Participants were third grade students identified by a standardized measure of oral reading

fluency as having deficiencies in fluency skills. Students who scored between the 10th and 39th

percentile on DIBELS ORF and whose parent or guardian provided permission for participation

in the study were admitted to the study and pretested on a measure of overall reading

achievement. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups. All three groups

received instruction in fluency from either a teacher or via the computer. Because this study

involved working with third grade students and third grade students are heavily involved in high

stakes testing, a control group was not feasible for this study. Also, a subset of the larger sample

was observed to examine the effect of CAI and teacher-led instruction on task engagement.

These students were used to evaluate differences in task engagement and were not evaluated for

differences in fluency. The research settings included three elementary schools in north central

Florida.









Limitations

Because of the nature of conducting applied research in schools, several limitations are

noted within this section. To begin, the findings of this study are only generalizable to the 50

third grade students in the three elementary schools who participated in the study. In addition,

students in all three groups made improvements on all measures from pre to posttest. Despite

these results, with the study's lack of control group, it is difficult to determine whether the

increase can be attributed to the Quick Reads program, to time, or to a combination of both.

Because participants were struggling readers at a critical stage in their reading development,

establishing a control group would have been difficult. In addition, comparisons to non-study

participants would have proven complex because all participating schools provided intervention

instruction to a maj ority of the struggling readers who were not involved in the study. The

aforementioned factors made it difficult to draw conclusions about the efficacy of the

interventions used in this study. In the absence of a control group, comparisons can be made to

average growth norms in fluency. According to Fuchs, Fuchs, Hamlett, Walz, & Germann

(1993), with instruction, normally achieving readers gain an average of 2.5 words correct per

week. The struggling readers in this study gained an average of 1.6, 2.0, and 2. 1 words correct

per week in the print, text, and time-equivalent groups respectively. The methods of instructional

delivery used in this study garnered similar increases for struggling readers in words correct per

week as normally achieving readers.

In addition, the effects of the software program used in this study may not be generalizable

to other software programs because of such effects as instructional design and delivery. The

print-based, teacher-led condition took place outside of the regular classroom environment and

thus the results of the print-based group may not be generalizable to instruction that may take

place within regular classroom environments. In addition, because of the short duration of this










study, ten weeks, it is difficult to extrapolate and make assumptions about the longitudinal

effects of the intervention. This intervention period may have also been negatively affected by

such realities of everyday schooling as holidays, school plays, practice tests in preparation for

statewide assessments, make up tests related to the regular curriculum, and early release days. As

a result, the maximum number of instructional sessions was only 23. The original goal for the

study was 25 to 30 sessions. It is possible that the reduction in the number of sessions may have

negatively impacted one or all outcome measures. Also, issues of school effects may have had an

impact on this study. A pre-existing relationship between the researcher and teachers in schools

one and two decreased the likelihood that students in these schools missed sessions due to school

factors within teachers' control (e.g., scheduled activities such as standardized exam practice or

chapter tests). These pre-existing relationships also were important with regard to student

absences. Teachers in schools one and two were flexible in permitting make-up sessions.

Without a pre-existing relationship with the teachers in school three, there was less teacher

"buy-in" to the study. This resulted in more scheduling difficulties, and school three was more

reluctant to provide alternative days and times for make-up sessions.

Text factors may have added a limitation to the study. The genre of the fluency passages

used during Quick Reads instruction may have had an impact on students' DIBELS scores.

Given that DIBELS passages are in a narrative format, practicing with Quick Reads' expository

passages may not have prepared students to perform well on DIBELS. Use of an expository

fluency measure might alleviate this limitation.

Several technology problems may have hindered students' ability to use the software

program as prescribed (i.e., three days per week, 20 minutes per day). These problems included

the computer erroneously correcting student dialect as well as challenges testing the software's









microphone. The software does not allow students to begin working with fluency passages until

they have tested the microphone. There were several instances when it took students several

minutes to check the microphone. This task should only take a few seconds. These issues may

have impacted the lack of differences between the print and computer-based groups.

In addition, through recruiting, approximately 80% or 53 out of 64, of the identified

population were placed in the study. Fifty-three participants is still only a moderate number and a

larger sample size may have yielded more conclusive results. Increased sample sizes increases

the power of a study (Pedhazur & Schmelkin, 1991; Shavelson, 1996). Also, additional outcomes

measures may have yielded more conclusive results. Measurements such as the Woodcock

Johnson vocabulary and comprehension subtests or the Qualitative Reading Inventory which is a

one-on-one comprehension measure, although more time consuming may have provided more

precise measures of the dependent variables.

Finally, the single subj ect portion of the study was compromised in several ways because

of the need to operate within a larger group study. In some instances because the large group

design had established a routine schedule it was difficult to maintain the integrity of the changing

treatments design of the smaller study. For example, the print and computer-based groups

received instruction at different times of the day. When a student switched from the print to the

computer condition or vice versa conflicts with special education services such as speech

language or occupational therapy would arise. The legal ramifications of preventing students

from receiving these services coupled with the already established schedule of the large group

design led to decreases in the number of sessions received by students in the single subj ect

portion of the study. Also, students in the single subj ect portion of the study were exposed to two

changes after the baseline condition (i.e., a small group and then a one-on-one condition). This










may have impacted some of the changes that occurred in the treatment conditions. Results are

less conclusive when more than one change is made from baseline to intervention phases

(Kazdin, 1982).

Implications for Future Research

The portion of this study that examined engagement suggests that not all students are

impacted in the same way by computer-assisted instruction. Two of three students in the single

subj ect portion of the study exhibited increased rates of responding in both the small-group print

and CAI conditions. Additional research is needed to determine whether certain characteristics

predispose students to be engaged during CAI. Also, in the current study, the issue of cost

effectiveness arose. When evaluating cost effectiveness many researchers focus on the issue of

money but more research is needed to determine how the issue of time impacts the difference in

cost between print and computer-based programs.

Finally, the current study compared the print-based version of a fluency program to a

computer-based version. However, researchers suggest that it might be most beneficial to

combine print-based with computer-assisted interventions (Boone & Higgins, 1993; Boone,

Higgins, Notari, Stump, 1996;). More research is needed to determine the most effective way to

do so.

Characteristics of Study Participants

The current study focused on meeting the needs of struggling readers. Surprisingly, only a

small percentage of previous studies in the literature focused on students who struggle. In fact,

for the literature review presented in chapter two, over half the studies that were initially

collected were later excluded because they only include average and above average learners.

More research is needed that focuses on how best to use CAI to meet the needs of diverse

learners.









All the studies that have focused on students who struggle have assumed that struggling

students would respond in a positive way to computer-assisted instruction. But students who

struggle respond to CAI in different ways (e.g., some students may be completely engaged while

others may be disengaged) (Bangert-Drowns & Pyke, 2001). There are several examples of this

in the current study. First, on average, only about half the students in the time-equivalent

condition took advantage of the ability to read multiple passages. One of the reasons for this may

be that they were not engaged during CAI instruction. Second, only one of three students in the

single subj ect portion of the study exhibited a discernible preference for the CAI condition. As

discussed in chapters one and two there are aspects of the computer that can improve

engagement (e.g., interactivity and animation) but these same aspects can also prove to be

distracting to students. There has been some research that has evaluated the kinds of

enhancements that are best for readers who struggle (Torgesen, Waters, Cohen & Torgesen,

1988; Lewin, 2000). There has, however, been a lack of research that has evaluated the

characteristics of students who can most benefit from CAI given the appropriate levels of

enhancements. It seems from this current study that students who need minimal redirection from

adults and who become easily engrossed with information presented via the computer would be

best served by CAI. However, more evidence is needed to support this theory. Perhaps engaging

in inquiry that evaluates the effect of providing struggling students with a choice as to how they

receive instruction may increase the knowledge base that exists about how students' learning

preferences relate to how they engage during CAI instruction.

Cost Effectiveness

In the current study, approximately 17 students received the print version of the Quick

Reads program. The remaining 33 students received the software version. The print version of

this program costs approximately $600 for a complete classroom set of 24. If materials would









have been purchased for this study, $1,200 would have been spent to supply the print group

because both levels "A" and "B" would have been purchased. The software version of the

program costs approximately $1,200 for a stand alone package of 12. Therefore, it would cost

approximately $4,800 to purchase levels "A" and "B" for 33 students. The fact that both forms of

instruction yielded similar outcomes coupled with the obvious difference in price for the

materials suggests that the print version would be the more cost effective choice. It is important

to remember that money is only one factor in determining cost effectiveness and once the issue

of time is taken into consideration, the more cost effective choice becomes less apparent.

For the current study, several graduate students were hired to teach the print groups and to

supervise the CAI groups. It took each graduate student at each of the larger schools an average

of one hour to work with six to seven participants because the graduate student had to work with

participants in small-groups. That same graduate student spent an average of half an hour

working with 15 students on average in the CAI groups because students could all be in a large

computer lab at one time. It is therefore important to consider that the extra time spent with

students in small-groups also translated into more money paid to instructors. With the added cost

in time and money required to run the small-groups, the cost of the print version could begin to

rival the cost of the software. There was one large drawback for the computer with regard to

time. The program required some training before participants could begin to use it. With this

particular program it is possible to lose up to two or even three sessions to training students.

Because students in the print version can begin working immediately, this is an important factor

when considering cost effectiveness.

If the Quick Reads program were used under real world school conditions, questions of

cost effectiveness could be answered more conclusively. Consider that for both the print and











Year 2
:her-Led Computer-As si sted
:udents) (15 students)


Materials per student $125.00 $333.33 $125.00 $0.00
per year
Teacher time per $756.77 $201.78 $756.77 $201.78
student per year *$80.23 *$80.23
Total cost per student $881.77 $535.11 $881.77 $201.78
per year *$413.56 *80.23
*Cost with paraprofessional conducting implementation

software groups, in an entire school year, two sets of level "A", "B", and one set of level "C"

books would need to be purchased. This number should cover students progressing through an

average of one level during a school year. This would result in a total of $3,000 spent on print

materials and $8,000 spent on software materials. The difference between the two figures

appears significant until one considers that the print materials are consumable (i.e., a new set

must be purchased for the next group of students), while the software materials are reusable.

Table 5-1 displays per pupil expenditures for materials for both print and software groups. Also,

in 2007 the average teacher in the U.S. will earn $45,400. The average paraprofessional in the

U.S. will earn $18,052 (Roza, 2007). Table 5-1 displays per pupil expenditures for teacher time

for both print and software groups. When taking into consideration materials and teacher time,

the total annual per pupil expenditure for the program is approximately $300 less for the

software group than the print group (See Table 5-1). When one considers the fact that a

paraprofessional can monitor the software group, that savings increases to $400. During the

second year of using the Quick Reads program, the annual per pupil savings increases to between

$600 and $800 depending on whether a paraprofessional is involved (See Table 5-1). The

information above is speculative, however, and more research is needed that systematically

examines the differences in materials, time and money between print-computer led instruction.


Table 5-1. Estimated Quick Reads Per Pupil Expenditures Per Year

Year 1
Costs Teacher Led Computer-Assi sted Teac
(4 students) (15 students) (4 st










Computer-Assisted Instruction as Supplemental Instruction

Researchers have found that when CAI is used as a supplement to traditional teacher-led

instruction it is more effective than when either is used alone (Boone & Higgins, 1993; Higgins

& Boone, 1991). To use CAI as a supplement, the software would have to mirror the skills being

covered during traditional instruction. Unfortunately, most traditional basal programs do not

provide software to accompany their core programs. Without the availability of software that has

already been made to accompany a program, teachers would be hard pressed to find generic

software that serves the same purpose. The Quick Reads program would provide a good

opportunity to add to the research on CAI as supplemental instruction. Students could work in

small-groups with a teacher and use the software version to practice current and previous

passages. Researchers could compare the combined condition to the CAI and print conditions

alone. The results could add to the literature and perhaps help increase the number of software

supplemental programs that accompany traditional core programs. The use of CAI as a form of

supplemental instruction also has practical implications. Because many computer-based

programs are accompanied by built in training programs this could help ease the difficulty of

introducing it as a literacy center and in turn promote increases in the amount of small group

instructional delivery that occurs in the classroom. Availability of supplemental software that

directly accompanies core programs could also lead to the increased purposeful use of CAI in

classrooms.

Summary

Six research questions regarding the effects of a computer-based version of a fluency

program and a print-based version of the same program were explored using statistical analyses.

Results are in agreement with much of the previous research in that CAI and print conditions

yielded no significant differences in the areas of oral reading fluency and comprehension.










Significant differences were found across treatment conditions in the area of vocabulary in favor

of the time-equivalent condition. Differences may have occurred because students in this

condition receive more exposure to vocabulary words.

Students in the single subj ect portion of the study who experienced all three treatment

conditions exhibited increased rates of responding during all three treatment conditions. Rates of

responding across all three students were variable, however, during the print-based version of the

program. Future research should focus on discovering which students would benefit most from

CAI, systematically evaluating the cost effectiveness of CAI, and examining the effects of CAI

as a form of supplemental instruction.

Because advancements in computer technology are increasing at an alarming rate and the

cost of technology continues to decrease, the increased use of computer technology in schools

seems promising. It is currently unclear, however, exactly how the aforementioned factors will

affect the use of computer technology in classrooms. Based on the results of the group design

portion of the current study and the results of other similar studies, it seems that a balance exists

in the benefits and drawbacks between CAI and traditional forms of instruction. CAI,

specifically the Quick Reads program, could therefore be effective if used either instead of or as

a supplement to traditional forms of instruction. In addition, the single subj ect portion of this

study has raised questions surrounding the theory put forth by many researchers regarding the

effects of CAI on task engagement. It is now less certain as to whether students who experience

difficulties remaining on-task actually benefit from CAI. When compared to whole group

instruction, small group instruction allows for similar benefits to CAI such as increases in

individualized corrective feedback and increases in opportunities to respond. It seems small

group instruction may be just as effective as CAI in promoting task engagement for some










students. The issue is further complicated by the fact that print-based, teacher-led instruction is

accompanied by an actual person who can redirect students during instruction which in turn

should lead to increases in task engagement. There are those students, however, who are more

responsive to CAI than either whole or small group instruction. It is therefore important to

evaluate which student characteristics correlate with increased task engagement in the presence

of CAI. Increased exposure to CAI for students who are more engaged during CAI than during

any other forms of instruction (i.e., whole or small group) could lead to increased reading

achieveme









APPENDIX A
SUMMARY OF STUDIES












Table A-1 Summary of Reading and Technology Studies in Elementary Settings
Citation Purpose Participants Dependent Intervention/ Procedures Findings
Variable(s) and manipulation
Measure(s)


"High" literacy
(metacognition) as
measured by
researcher
observations.


Bangert-Drowns &
Pyke, 2()(1


Document instances of
"high" literacy when
using different kinds
computer software.


N= 43
Grades= pre-k to 6th
Ability level= varving
ability levels


Observed students
during weekly half
hour visits to school
computer laboratory.


Researcher 's
observed for 78
sessions. Field notes
included student
software interactions,
contextual factors,
and observer
reflections.

Group 1: phonological
awareness training
program.
Group 2: Same as
group 1 except
sofhrare designed to
train alphabetic
decoding skills.
Group 3: Control
group spent equal time
on computer usmng
math (Alien Addition
and Math Rabbit)
sofhrare.
Students used
hypermedia basal
lessons independently
either before or after a
teacher directed
activity. The basal was
adapted by researchers
in the study so the
sofhrare incorporated
learning goals specific
to the classroom.


Very rarely were
students completely
disengaged. Students
experiences many
instances of
engagement but
observers observed no
instances of -high"
literacy.
Phonological
awareness training
groups made
significant
improvements on
measures of
phonological
awareness and word
recognition when
compared to other
groups.



Most effective for low
achieving students


Barker & Torgesen,
1995














Boone & Higgins,
1993


Investigate the effects
of CAI on
phonological
awareness.












Longitudinal study to
investigate the effect
of hypermedia on the
development of
reading skills,
participation in
reading-related
classroom activities
and yearly
acluevement gains in
language skills.


N= 54
Age= 6 -7
Grade= 1't
Ability level= at risk
for reading difficulties
(4()th percentile or
lower on word
identification subtest
of Woodcock Johnson
Mastery Test)




N= 3()()
Grades= K-3
Ability level= some
students at risk for
being referred to
special education
classes.


Phonological
awareness, word
recognition as
measured by the Word
Identification subtest
of the Woodcock
Johnson Reading
Mastery Test and the
Sound Categorization
Subtest.





General reading
achievement as
measured by the
Macmillan
Standardized Reading
Achievement Test.


Phonological
awareness trainig
programs (e.g.,
Daisy 's Quest and
Daisy's Castle
Phonological decoding
program (e.g., Hint
and
Hunt 1.


Basal Reader:
Macmillan Basal
Reader,
Hypermedia pre-
reading lessons:
involves links from
words and pictures,
digitized speech,
graphic
representations, and
animated sequences.












Table A-1 continued.
Citation Purpose Participants Dependent Intervention/ Procedures Findings
Variable(s) and manipulation
Measure(s)


_I


Letter recognition
skills as measured by
the Macmillan
Standardized Reading
Achievement Test.







Phonological
awareness, word
reading as measured
by the British Ability
Scales Word Reading
Test.



Oral reading fluency
as measured by
DIBELS ORF,
Task engagement.


Boone, Higgins,
Notari, & Stump, 1996










Chera & Wood, 2002


Longitudinal study to
investigate the effect
of CAI on letter
recognition skills.


N= 143
Grade= K
Ability level = some
students at risk for
referral to special
education


Basal Reader:
Macmillan Basal
Reader,
Hypermedia pre-
reading lessons:
involves links from
words and pictures,
digitized speech,
graphic
representations, and
animated sequences.
Bangers and Mash:
animated multimedia
talking books.
Involved onset/rime
manipulation.
Involved both whole
word and segmented
speech feedback.

Headsprout Reading
Basics: consists of
fluency building
exercises, segmenting
and blending
strategies, explicit
instruction in building
sight word
vocabularies and
recognizing and using
punctuation cues.
Students observed
twice during the
baseline condition and
three times a week for
the first three weeks of
the experimental
condition. Then every
other week for the rest
of the study.


Hypermedia pre-
reading lessons used
as a supplement to
teacher directed
instruction. Each
hypermedia lesson
took an extra 7.5
minutes per day.



15 students received
intervention. 15 served
as control

Ten sessions lasting
10 minute over 4
weeks


Students work
sequentially through
40 animated lessons,
each lasting
approximately 20
minutes.


Low performing
students in
experimental group
outperformed low
performing students in
control group in letter
identification.





Intervention group
showed significantly
higher increases in
phonological
awareness than
control.



The CAI intervention
produced higher mean
levels of oral reading
fluency from the
baseline to
experimental
condition.


Investigate the effect
of CAI on
phonological
awareness.


N= 30
Age= 3 to 6
Grade= pre-k-1st
Ability level=
struggling in aspects
of emergent literacy.



N= 3
Age/Grade= K-1
Ability level= at risk
for reading
difficulties.
Students also
identified with
Attention
Deficit/Hyperactivity
Disorders (ADHD)


Clarfield & Stoner,
2005


Investigate the effect
of CAI on oral reading
fluency and task
engagement.












Table A-1 continued.
Citation Purpose Participants Dependent Intervention/ Procedures Findings
Variable(s) and manipulation
Measure(s)


Students exhibited
high levels of
enj oyment and
involvement and
enthusiasm.
Experimental group
made gains equivalent
to one grade level.
Significant differences
between web-based
and traditional groups
on both the DRA and
the WRAT-3 favoring
the web-based group.

Significant effects of
treatment for spelling
FLASH group.
Students out
performed math
FLASH group. Effects
transferred to another
list of high frequency
words with similar
magnitude. No
statistically significant
differences on word id
and fluency.

Experimental group
outperformed control
in K, 2 and 3 not 1st
however,
Low performing
students scores saw
especially significant
improvements


Cole & Hilliard, 2006 Examine the benefits N= 36 Decoding, fluency,


related to vocabulary
and decoding


comprehension as
measured by the
Developmental
Reading Assessment
(DRA). Letter and
word recognition as
measured by the Wide
Range Achievement
Test, 3rd Edition
(WRAT-3).
Motivation as
measured by a 12 item
questionnaire adapted
by the researchers.
Spelling as measured
by the Test of Written
Spelling. Word
Identification as
measured by the
Woodcock
Identification Mastery
Test-Revised),
Passage Reading
Fluency as measured
by the Comprehensive
Reading Assessment
Battery.

Vocabulary and
decoding as measured
by the Macmillan
Standardized Reading
Achievement Test.


of using a web-based
reading curriculum
program on reading
achievement and
motivation


Grade= 3
Ability level= readers
who were performing
2 or more grade levels
below level in
reading.. 9% of
students identified
with a disability







N= 33
Grade= 1
Ability level= at risk
for reading failure.


Reading Upgrade, a
program used to
enhance decoding,
fluency, phonics, and
phonemic awareness.
Instruction occurred in
a computer lab twice
per week.








Spelling FLASH
involves words
flashing on the
computer screen for .8
seconds. After the
word disappeared. The
student typed the
word. Words came
from the first 200
words from Dolch
sight word list
including pre-primer,
primer, and 1st grade
levels.
Computerized
pictures, animated
graphics, definitions,
synonyms and
digitized speech, links
to words and pictures
from the original basal
text. Macmillan Basal
Reader enhancements


Intervention group:
180 minutes of
instruction before
school for 8 weeks.
Students also observed
for percent of intervals
on-task for 20 minutes
for 40% ofthe
sessions.Control
group: received the
school' conventional
reading enrichment
program, one hour,
three times per week
for eight weeks.
Research assistants
supervised FLASH
sessions three times
per week, 10 minutes
per session. Students
worked individually
on computers. There
were 50 ten minute
sessions over 18
weeks. Group 1
received math CAI,
Group 2 received
spelling CAI.

Hypermedia integrated
into small-group
rotation lesson
duration varied across
grade levels. K-7.5
minutes,
1st-10 minutes,
2nd-15 minutes
Control- no access


Fuchs, Fuchs, Hamlet,
Powell, Capizzi, &
Seethaler, 2006


Pilot study to assess
the potential for CAI
to enhance reading.


Higgins & Boone
1991


Investigate the effect
of CAI on decoding.


N= 175
Grade= K-5
Ability level= some
struggling readers.












Table A-1 continued.
Citation Purpose Participants Dependent Intervention/ Procedures Findings
Variable(s) and manipulation
Measure(s)


I


Hinitikka, Aro, &
Lyytinen, 2005


Evaluate the effect of
computerized training
on letter knowledge
and letter sound
correspondence.


N= 44
Age range= 81 to 104
months
Ability level=
struggling readers


Letter naming and
spelling as measured
by a researcher created
assessment. Reading
fluency as measured
by as standardized
Finnish measure
Likilasse.






Word identification
and comprehension as
measured by the CVC
Word Reading Test,
Text Reading Test,
Cluster Word Reading
Test, and Reading
Comprehension Test.






Speed and accuracy of
words in isolation and
oral reading of
connected text.


The Literate
computerized training
program. Designed to
enhance the accuracy
and fluency of letter
sound correspondence.
Game like format
provided speeded
practice.





Speed group: flash
words, picture word
matching, speeded
sentence correction,
speeded passage
correction.
Context group: cloze
exercise at sentence
level, cloze exercise at
the passage level,
picture sentence
matching, picture
passage matching.
Hint and Hunt I:
practice five short
vowels and four vowel
diagraphs and
dipthongs. Program
divided into 10 levels.
Hint--vowel sounds
introduced and
practiced using
digitized speech.
Hunt-game format to
provide extensive
speed oriented
practice.


Experimental Group:
10-20 minute
intervention session
three times per week
over a period of six
weeks.
Control group:
Students exposed to
pen and pencil tasks in
phonological
awareness, letter
knowledge, and
reading.
Participants matched
based on number of
words correct on CVC
Word Reading Test
and placed in a speed
group and a context
group.
Training took place
three sessions a week
for 15 minutes per
session for two
months.

10 LD experimental,
10 LD computer
experience control
(spelling program),
and normal no
treatment comparison
students.
10 weeks, 15 minutes
per day, five days per
week. Posttest
administered when
mastery of a level of
the CAI program
occurred.


No statistically
significant differences
between intervention
and control groups in
letter sound
correspondence, letter
naming and letter
spelling although not
No statistically
significant differences
in reading fluency.


The speed group
showed higher gains in
reading performance
than the context group
in decoding at both the
word and text levels.
No effects found in
reading
comprehension.





Experimental group,
improved in both
speed and accuracy of
word reading. Students
able to generalize to
similar set of words.
Improved speed of
paragraph reading.
Average increase in
word reading,
experimental group-
20%,
control group-4%.


Irausquin, Drent, &
Verhoeven, 2005













Jones, Torgesen, &
Sexton, 2001


Investigate the effect
of computer on word
recognition and
comprehension










Investigate the effect
of CAI on fluency
(word and connected
text).


N= 28
Ages= 7-10
Ability level=
problems with
beginning reading
(score at the lowest
25" percentile on the
CVC Word Reading
Test and a maximum
of card 3 out of 4 on
the Text Reading
Test).

N= 30,
Age/Grade range=
elementary,
Ability level= low
(school identified
learning disabled),
average reading rate
(words in isolation) 40
words/min or less.












Table A-1 continued.
Citation Purpose Participants Dependent Intervention/ Procedures Findings
Variable(s) and manipulation
Measure(s)


Lewandowski,
Begeny, & Rogers,
2006


Examine the effects of
a tutor or computer-
assisted word
recognition in a
sample of third grade
children.


N=63
Grade= 3
Ability level=
struggling readers, 14
ESE students.


Fluency and word
recognition as
measured by a
researcher created
word list and
curriculum based
reading passages.


Word recognition
training using a list of
100 words selected
from the word
frequency book.
American Heritage
Word Frequency
Book.


Three ten minute
sessions. Each session
consisted of two
practice exposures to a
list of words followed
by an oral timed
readings of the list.
CAI group: computer
read words to students.
Tutor group: tutor read
words to student.
Control group:
students read words on
their own.
Students read text
independently.
Instructed to only
request help from CAI
as needed.
16 students assigned to
"basic", 16 assigned to
"enhanced".
15 minutes daily over
a period of4 weeks

Each student
interacted with each of
the three different
programs for a total of
two hours over a
period of four days.
Students were
observed and
videotaped.


Computer and tutor
groups significantly
improved in word
recognition and
fluency. Control group
did not make
significant gains.








No overall significant
differences between
"basic" and
"enhanced" groups.
Both groups made
mean gains of 3
months on Salford
Sentence Reading test.



Student with learning
disabilities did not see
significant gains in
reading skills (an
average of 2.4 words
from pretest to
posttest).


Lewin, 2000


Investigate the
effectiveness of an
"Enhanced" design of
computer-assisted
instruction on word
recognition and
identification skills,
Explored the
effects on levels of
motivation and self
confidence
Observe students
they engage in
unstructured
interactions with
talking storybooks.

Examined how the
level of text support
affects reading gains


N= 32,
Age range= 5-6,
Grade= Kindergarten,
Ability levelss= low,
medium, high.







N= 6
Age/Grade =
elementary age
Ability level= learning
disabled students.


Word recognition and
identification as
measured by the
Salford Sentence
Reading and the Burt
Word Reading Test
Self confidence and
motivation.




Student engagement/
interaction,
Gains in individual
word reading.


Basic version
included: coaching
through reading cues
(word pronunciation)
Enhanced version
included: coaching
through reading cues
(initial sound,
illustration, word
identification meaning
and syntax).
Six computer
programs with high
text interactivity no
embedded games or
activities, Six with
varying interactivity
and games, with
varying interactivity
and definitions or
glossary features.


Lewis, 1999












Table A-1 continued.
Citation Purpose Participants Dependent Intervention/ Procedures Findings
Variable(s) and manipulation
Measure(s)


I V


Mathes, Torgesen, &
Allor, 2()(1


Examined the
effectiveness of peer
assisted learning
strategies for first
grade readers with and
without additional
computer- assisted
instniction with
phonological
an areness.





Examine the
effectiveness of CAI
on phonological
an areness, compare
CAI to teacher
delivered instniction.







Compare effects of
computer-based
instniction to
conventional modes of
instniction (teacher
instniction with
textbooks) on early
reading acquisition.


N= 183
Grade= 1st grade
Ability level= low,
average, and high
performing students.


Phonological
awareness measured
by the Comprehensive
Test of Phonological
Awareness (CTOPP),
word reading accuracy
as measured by the
Test of Word Reading
Efficiency (TOWRE)
and Woodcock
Reading Mastery Test,
alphabet knowledge as
measured by the Test
of Early Reading.
Phonological
awareness as
measured by the
Peabody Picture
Vocabulary Test
(PPVT-III) and the
Literacy Initiative for
Everyone (LIFE).





Phonological
awareness, word
recognition, and letter
naming skills as
measured by the
standardized measures
of phonological
an areness, word
recognition, and letter
naming.


Peer assisted learning
strategies with and
without CAI (Daisy
Quest and Daisy's
Castle). CAI was a
supplement rather than
a replacement of the
pre-existing program.







Daisy's Quest and
Daisy's Castle
(practice in rhyme
identification,
segmenting, blending).
Teacher delivered
(explicit instniction
with phonological
an areness kit, then
practice using picture
cues, manipulatives, or
games).
"I have a secret I can
read" = program for
early reading
acquisition developed
for special education.
It consists of booklets
for individual work
and computer
materials.


Students received
three 35 minute
sessions per neek for
16 weeks. Students
worked in pairs for
tn o 15 minute
sessions. Students took
on both student and
teacher roles. Students
in CAI condition
received 8-1() hours
more phonological
awareness instniction
via the computer.
Three experimental
conditions (CAI,
teacher, treatment
control- drawing and
math sofhrare).

24 children in each
treatment group.

2() minute session, 5
days per week, four
weeks.
Participants were
randomly assigned to
one of three groups:
special intervention
with computer-assisted
instniction, print only,
or no special
intervention.


Low achieving
students gained the
most benefit from this
instniction with or
without additional
CAI instniction. CAI
had no statistically
significant effects on
students' phonological
an areness.





Both CAI and teacher
group showed
increases in
phonological
processing over
control.







Children at risk for
reading disabilities
who received the
computer reading
intervention,
significantly improved
their phonological
an areness, word
recognition, and letter
naming skills
compared to those
who received a print-
based reading
intervention program.


Mitchell & Fox, 2()(1


N= 72
Age= 5-8
Grade= K-1
Ability level= at risk
for reading difficulties.
K below grade level in
three of five subtests
of Literacy Initiative
of Everyone (LIFE).
1st below grade level
on five of seven
subtests of LIFE.
N= 46
Age= 5-6
Grade= K
Ability level= at risk
for reading disabilities
(scored 55 points or
below out of 122
possible points on the
Phonological
Awareness Test


Mioduser, Tur-Kaspa,
& Leitner, 2()(()












Table A-1 continued.
Citation Purpose Participants Dependent Intervention/ Procedures Findings
Variable(s) and manipulation
Measure(s)


Word reading as
measured by the
Wechsler Objective
Reading Dimension
(WORD) Reading and
Spelling Tests.


Nicolson, Fawcett, &
Nicolson, 2000


Compare the use of
computer-assisted
instruction with
traditional instruction
on word reading.


N= 32
Ages= 6-8
Ability level=
struggling readers


Reader' sInteractive
Teaching Assistant
(RITA)= uses pictures,
graphics and speech
feedback. The teacher
can specify activities
based on the child's
current progress.


32 lowest ranked
students on the
Wechsler objective
Reading Dimension
(WORD) were
matched for age and
reading.
16 students placed in
treatment (used
RITA). 16 students
placed in control (no
intervention).

Participants worked
once per week to
complete two passages
over a period if three
weeks.
Participants had to
respond to six
comprehension
questions after reading
the passage. To
continue to the second
passage, students had
to get four out of six
questions correct.
Students in the
experimental group
used CAW for about
10 weeks beginning in
the fall and HH for
about 10 weeks
beginning in the
spring. There were
three 20 minute
sessions per week.


Treatment group made
significantly more
progress than the
control. Overall
standard scores
increased from 84.9 to
89.7 for treatment
from pretest to posttest
and 80.3 to 81.9 for
control group from
pretest to posttest


For both high and low
difficulty passages,
participants who were
required to view all of
the available text
manipulations, scored
higher than the other
computer groups.







Substantial increases
in word
recognition/decoding
skills.


Reinking & Schreiner,
1985














Roth & Beck, 1987


Investigate the effect
of CAI on reading
comprehension.












Investigate the effects
of computer-assisted
instruction on word
recognition/decoding
skills and effects of
improved decoding on
comprehension.


N= 104
Grade= 5" 6t
Ability level= some
struggling readers











N= 108
Grades= 4t
Ability level= low
achievement in
reading (mean grade
equivalent score on
California
Achievement Test
Total Reading Score
of 3.7).


Comprehension as
measured by
comprehension probes
and the
comprehension subtest
of the Nelson Reading
Skills Test








Accuracy speed of
word recognition and
comprehension as
measured by the
Woodcock Reading
Mastery Tests
(subtests= word
attack) and the
California
Achievement Test
(subtests= vocabulary
and comprehension)


All passages taken
from Science Research
Associates (SRA).


Construct-A-Word
(CAW and Hint and
Hunt (HH).












Table A-1 continued.
Citation Purpose Participants Dependent Intervention/ Procedures Findings
Variable(s) and manipulation
Measure(s)


Torgesen, Waters
Evaluate the N= 17 Accurac
y and speed of The computer
program


Cohen & Torgesen,
1988


effectiveness of three
variations of a
computer program
designed to increase
sight word reading
vocabulary.


reading individual
words at pre- and
posttest


used was called
"WORDS." Word sets
consisting of 10 words
each were practiced on
versions of the
computer program that
employed either
graphic representation
of words alone (visual
alone), graphic plus
synthetic speech
(visual auditory, or
synthetic speech alone
(auditory alone). The
treatment control
group worked on a
math program.



81 books and 64
stories transferred to
computers and linked
to speech synthesizers
so that speech
feedback could be
provided on difficult
words at the whole-
word, syllable, or sub-
syllable levels.


A multi-element
baseline design with
four treatment
conditions (auditory-
visual, auditory-only,
visual-only, and no
treatment) was used.
Treatment conditions
were alternated on
successive weeks.
Counterbalancing was
used so that
approximately one
fourth of the subjects
learned the first word
list in the auditory-
visual condition, one
fourth responded to
the same list in each of
the other three
conditions.
Participants assigned
to feedback
conditions: 1. whole-
word, 2. syllable, 3.
sub-syllable, 4. a
combination of first
sub-syllable and then
syllable feedback.
Participants read 25
minutes for at least
four times per week.
After being trained for
two weeks on how to
use the program,
students worked
independently.


All three instructional
conditions were
equally effective in
teaching the subjects
to read the list of
words. Pretest average
word reading
accuracy= 17%,
Posttest average word
reading accuracy=
70%.











Not much difference
across treatment
groups. All
experimental
participants showed
significant
improvements in
timed word
recognition-tasks from
comparison to control.
30 participants were
given open ended
questions about most
and least favorite
school subjects, 9
showed positive
changes in attitude
toward reading.


Grades= 1-3
Ability level=
identified with a
learning disability (full
scale IQ above 70 and
a significant
discrepancy (one
standard deviation
difference) between
level of general
intelligence and
reading level).


Wise, Olson, Anstett,
et al., 1989


Explore effect of
computer-assisted
instruction on word
recognition ability and
attitude about reading.


N= 62
Grade= 3-6
Ability level= children
with average verbal or
performance classified
as reading disabled.


Word recognition
ability as measured by
the Peabody
Individualized
Achievement Test for
word recognition, a
220 item timed word
recognition test
developed by the
authors and a non-
word 43 item reading
test created by the
authors.
Attitude about reading
as measured by an
attitude questionnaire
created by the authors.









APPENDIX B
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD DOCUMENT

1. TITLE OF PROTOCOL: Effects of Computer Assisted Instruction and Small Group
Teacher Led Fluency Instruction for Third Grade Students at Risk for Reading Failure

2. PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR(s):
Nicole S. Fenty, M. Ed. Phone: (352) 392-0701 ext. 243
Doctoral Candidate E-mail address: nscarlet@ufl.edu
Department of Special Education Fax: (352) 392-2665
PO Box 117050
Gainesville, FL 32611-7050

3. SUPERVISOR (IF PI IS STUDENT): (Name, campus address, phone #, e-mail & fax)

Holly Lane, Ph.D.
PO Box 117050
G315 Norman Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611-7050
Office Telephone: (352) 392-0701, ext. 246
E-mail address: hlane@coe.ufl.edu
Fax: (352) 392-2665

4. DATES OF PROPOSED PROTOCOL: From September 15, 2006-September 15, 2007

5. SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR THE PROTOCOL: None

6. SCIENTIFIC PURPOSE OF THE INVESTIGATION:
The scientific purpose of this study is to understand how computer assisted instruction compares
to teacher led instruction in oral reading fluency and in on task engagement.

7. DESCRIBE THE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY IN NON-TECHNICAL LANGUAGE.
According to Kiley (2005), the ability to read quickly, accurately and with expression is a
defining characteristic of good reading. Several researchers have discovered that a strong
correlation exists between reading fluency and overall reading achievement (Rasinksi, 2006).
Direct instruction in fluency is most beneficial, especially for students who struggle, to increase
not only reading fluency but also overall reading achievement (Rasinski, 2003).

Participants will become eligible for this study through their Fall scores on the Dynamic
Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS). DIBELS is a measure of oral reading
fluency (See attached sample). The state of Florida mandates that schools assess Kindergarten
through grade three students using DIBELS between three and four times per year (e.g. Fall,
Winter and Spring). Students scoring between the 10th and the 39th percentile or between 35 and
76 words correct per minute will be eligible to participate in this study. Students scoring within
this range on measures of oral reading fluency beginning in second grade are good candidates for
interventions in oral reading fluency development (Hasbrouck & Tindal, 1992).









80 participants will receive 20 minute lessons in fluency instruction three times per week for
eight weeks. Instruction will either be teacher led (i.e. print based) or computer led (i.e. software
based). The same fluency instructional program will be used for both print and software based
instruction. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive either teacher led fluency
instruction or computer led fluency instruction. Once parental consent has been received and
participants have been placed into groups, a standardized group measure of reading achievement,
the Gates Maginitie will be administered to participants by the doctoral student researcher (See
attached sample). Results from the winter administration of DIBELS will be used to help
determine whether differences exist between the teacher led and the computer led groups. The
Gates Maginitie will also be re-administered at the end of the study by the doctoral student
researcher to determine whether differences exist in overall reading achievement across the
teacher led and the computer led groups. Teacher led groups will be taught by a trained graduate
student. Computer led groups will be monitored by a trained graduate student.

In addition, six participants who fall between the 10th and the 39th percentile in oral reading
fluency and who also exhibit high incidences of off task behavior will also be involved in this
study. These participants will receive instruction in both the teacher led and the computer led
groups. They will be observed during each fluency lesson at 10 second intervals using the
attached observation protocol to determine whether differences exist in task engagement across
the teacher led and the computer led groups.

Pretest and posttest DIBELS scores and pretest and posttest Gates Maginitie scores will be
analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) to determine whether
differences exist in oral reading fluency and in overall reading achievement across the teacher
led and computer led groups. Visual analyses of graphical displays of task engagement will be
used to determine whether differences exist in task engagement across the teacher led and
computer led groups.

8. POTENTIAL BENEFITS AND ANTICIPATED RISK.
No more than minimal risk is involved in participating in this proj ect. Participants in this study
could benefit through increases in oral reading fluency as a result of exposure to direct
instruction in reading fluency and as a result of increased engagement during instruction.

9. DESCRIBE HOW PARTICIPANTS) WILL BE RECRUITED, THE NUMBER AND
AGE OF THE PARTICIPANTS, AND PROPOSED COMPENSATION (if any):
Third grade students in two schools, one in Alachua County and one in Levy County, will be
recruited to participate in the study. Parents of the participants who score between the 10th and
the 39th percentile on the DIBELS oral reading fluency will be asked to provide consent to allow
their child to receive either teacher led or computer led instruction in fluency (See attached
letter). Instruction will be provided between September and December of 2006. Each third grade
teacher will also nominate students who exhibit both high and low engagement during reading
instruction. Parents of both high and low nominated students will also be asked to provide
consent to allow their child to be observed to determine participants actual level of task
engagement during reading instruction (See attached letter). The six students (three from each
school) with the highest percentage of off task engagement will be selected to participate in the
study. No compensation will be provided to any of the participants.










10. DESCRIBE THE INFORMED CONSENT PROCESS. INCLUDE A COPY OF THE
INFORMED CONSENT DOCUMENT (if applicablee.
Parents of students who score between the 10h and 39th percentile on DIBELS oral reading
fluency will be given letters of parental informed consent explaining the purpose of the study.
Also, parents of students who exhibit low on task engagement during reading instruction will
also be given letters of parental informed consent explaining the purpose of the study. Letters are
attached.

Please use attachments sparingly.


Principal Investigator's Signature


Supervisor's Signature


I approve this protocol for submission to the UFIRB:




Dept. Chair/Center Director Date









Informed Consent


Protocol Title: Effects of Computer Assisted Instruction and Small Group Teacher Led Fluency
Instruction for Third Grade Students at Risk for Reading Failure

Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study.

Purpose of the research study: The scientific purpose of this study is to understand how
computer assisted instruction in reading fluency compares to teacher led instruction in
reading fluency.

What you will be asked to do in the study: To allow your child to receive instruction in oral
reading fluency via a teacher or a computer for three days per week and 20 minutes per day over
the course of eight weeks during the Fall semester of 2006. If you allow your child to participate,
the same fluency instructional program will be used in the teacher led and in the computer led
groups. If you allow your child to participate, your child will be removed from the classroom
during a scheduled intervention block so your child will not miss any regularly scheduled class
material. Your child was selected for the study based on the most recent administration of the
Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS). In addition to DIBELS which will
be administered by your child's school, you are also being asked to allow your child to take a
standardized measure of reading achievement called the Gates Maginitie. If you agree, the Gates
Maginitie will be administered twice, once at the beginning of the study and again at the end of
the study. Teacher led groups will be taught by a trained graduate student. Computer led groups
will be monitored by a trained graduate student.


Time required: 20 minutes per day for three days per week for eight weeks.

Risks and Benefits: No more than minimal risk is involved in participating in this project.
Participants in this study could benefit through increases in oral reading fluency as a result of
exposure to direct instruction in reading fluency.

Compensation: There is no compensation for participating in this study.

Confidentiality: Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Only the
researcher will have access to the DIBELS and Gates Maginitie measures. The final results will
be included in a Doctoral Dissertation, which may be presented at a conference and may be
submitted to educational journals for possible publication.

Voluntary participation: Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no
penalty for not participating.

Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime
without consequence. You do not have to answer any question you do not want to answer.

Whom to contact if you have questions about the study:
Nicole Fenty, M. Ed., Doctoral Candidate, PO Box 117050, Gainesville, FL 32611-7050 (352)
392-0701 ext. 243










Holly Lane, Ph. D., PO Box 117050, G315 Norman Hall, Gainesville, FL, 32611-7050, (352)
392-0701, ext. 246.

Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study:
UJFIRB Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250; ph 392-0433.


I have read the procedures outlined above. I voluntarily agree to participate in this study
and have received a copy of this description.

Participant' s signature and date:




Principle investigator' s signature and date:









Dear Parent:


I am a doctoral student in the College of Education at the University of Florida. I am conducting
research to determine how computer assisted instruction compares to teacher led instruction in
the oral reading fluency of third grade students. Your child was selected for participation in this
study based on his/her scores on the most recent DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency measure. The
results of this study may help teachers to better understand how to best deliver fluency
instruction to students. With your permission, I would like to ask your child to volunteer for this
research.

Participating students will receive 20 minutes of reading fluency instruction three times per week
over the course of eight weeks. Students will receive either teacher led or computer led
instruction. The same fluency instructional program will be used in the teacher led and in the
computer led groups. If you allow your child to participate, your child will be removed from the
classroom during a scheduled intervention block and so your child will not miss any regularly
scheduled class material. In addition to DIBELS which will be administered by your child's
school, you are also being asked to allow your child to take a standardized measure of reading
achievement called the Gates Maginitie. If you agree, the Gates Maginitie will be administered
twice, once at the beginning of the study and again at the end of the study. Teacher led groups
will be taught by a trained graduate student. Computer led groups will be monitored by a trained
graduate student.

The identity of your child will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Only I will
have access to the data collected, and students will be assigned coded letters and numbers on all
data collection sheets. The data collected will be destroyed at the completion of the proj ect.

There is no known risk for your child's participation in the study. You are free to withdraw
consent to allow your child to participate in this study at any time. There is no compensation for
participation in this study.

If you have any questions regarding the progress of this study, please contact your child' s teacher
or the school's principal, at
If you have any questions about this research protocol, please contact my faculty advisor, Dr.
Holly Lane, at 392-0701. Questions or concerns about your child' s rights as a research
participant may be directed to the UFIRB office, University of Florida, Box 1 12250, Gainesville,
FI 32611-2250; phone (352) 392-0433.

Please sign and return this copy of the consent letter in the enclosed envelope. A second copy is
provided for your records. By signing this letter, you give me permission to report your child's
assessment and results anonymously in the final manuscript to be submitted by me as part of my
course work.

Sincerely,

Nicole S. Fenty, M.Ed

I have read the procedure described above for the study. I give permission for my child to
participate in the study.

Parent Date









Dear Parent:


I am a doctoral student in the College of Education at the University of Florida. I am conducting
research to determine how computer assisted instruction compares to teacher led instruction in
the oral reading fluency and on task engagement of third grade students. Your child was selected
for participation in this study based on his/her scores on the most recent DIBELS Oral Reading
Fluency measure and based on teacher nomination regarding on task engagement during reading
instruction. The results of this study may help teachers to better understand how to best deliver
fluency instruction to students. With your permission, I would like to ask your child to volunteer
for this research.

Participating students will receive 20 minutes of reading fluency instruction per day for three
times per week over the course of eight weeks. Students will receive either teacher led and
computer led instruction. The same fluency instructional program will be used in the teacher led
and in the computer led groups. If you allow your child to participate, your child will be removed
from the classroom during a scheduled intervention block and so your child will not miss any
regularly scheduled class material. In addition to DIBELS which will be administered by your
child's school, you are also being asked to allow your child to take a standardized measure of
reading achievement called the Gates Maginitie. If you agree, the Gates Maginitie will be
administered twice, once at the beginning of the study and again at the end of the study. With
you permission, I would also like to observe your child using an observation protocol to
determine if any differences exist in on task engagement across the teacher led and the computer
led groups. Teacher led groups will be taught by a trained graduate student. Computer led groups
will be monitored by a trained graduate student.

The identity of your child will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Only I will
have access to the data collected, and students will be assigned coded letters and numbers on all
data collection sheets. The data collected will be destroyed at the completion of the proj ect.

There is no known risk for your child's participation in the study. You are free to withdraw
consent to allow your child to participate in this study at any time. There is no compensation for
participation in this study.

If you have any questions regarding the progress of this study, please contact your child' s teacher
or the school's principal, at
If you have any questions about this research protocol, please contact my faculty advisor, Dr.
Holly Lane, at 392-0701. Questions or concerns about your child' s rights as a research
participant may be directed to the UFIRB office, University of Florida, Box 1 12250, Gainesville,
FI 32611-2250; phone (352) 392-0433.

Please sign and return this copy of the consent letter in the enclosed envelope. A second copy is
provided for your records. By signing this letter, you give me permission to report your child's
assessment and results anonymously in the final manuscript to be submitted by me as part of my
course work.

Sincerely,

Nicole S. Fenty, M.Ed


Parent Date









Volunteer Recruitment Script


My name is (researcher states name) and I am a graduate student in the College of Education at
the University of Florida. I am a doctoral student conducting a study to understand how
computer assisted instruction compares to teacher led instruction in the oral reading fluency and
in the on task engagement of third grade students.

I need third grade students who are struggling in oral reading fluency. Specifically, I need
students who fall within the 10th and the 39th percentile on the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early
Literacy Skills. If you agree to participate, I would like to ask the permission of the parents of
these students to provide either teacher led or computer led instruction in oral reading fluency. At
the beginning and again at the end of the study, I would also like to administer a standardized
measure of overall reading achievement called the Gates Maginitie to students. Teacher led
groups will be taught by a trained graduate student. Computer led groups will be monitored by a
trained graduate student.


Additionally, you will be asked to nominate a subset of students from your reading class who not
only experience difficulty with oral reading fluency but who also experience difficulty remaining
on task during reading instruction. These students will receive instruction in both the teacher led
and the computer led groups. These students will be observed daily to determine whether
differences in task engagement exist across groups.

Students' identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Only I will have access
to the data collected through standardized measures of oral reading fluency, reading achievement
and the on task engagement observation protocol. The final results will be presented at a
conference and may be submitted to educational journals for possible publication.

No more than minimal risk is involved in this study. Participants in this study could benefit
through increases in oral reading fluency as a result of exposure to direct instruction in reading
fluency and as a result of increased engagement during instruction. You and your students'
participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. You
have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence.

Would you like to allow your students participate?









Child Assent Script/Form


I want to see if you would be willing to help me with a research proj ect. I am from the University
of Florida and I am trying to help your teacher figure out how to teach students to learn to read
better. If you decide to be take part in the proj ect, you will be taught reading by a teacher and/or
by a computer. If you decide to participate, you will be taught for 20 minutes per day for three
times per week of eight weeks.

It is okay if you do not want to take part in the proj ect. If you say yes to taking part, you can
stop being apart of project at any time. Your parents) know that I am asking you to take part in
the proj ect.

Do you have any questions? Would you be willing to do the proj ect with me?









APPENDIX C
DATA COLLECTION FORMS

Table C-1. Sample of Behavior Rating Scale For Study Pre-Qualification
Teacher.

Activity Total
Pays Always Often Sometimes Never
attention 3 points 2 points 1 point 0 points
Listens Always Often Sometimes Never
carefully 3 points 2 points 1 point 0 points
Listens Always Often Sometimes Never
attetvl 3 points 2 points 1 point 0 points
Listens to Always Often Sometimes Never
directions 3_points 2 points 1 point 0 points
Remains Always Often Sometimes Never
on-task 3 points 2 points 1 point 0 points
during
independent
work
Actively Always Often Sometimes Never
pricipates 3 points 2 points 1 point 0 points


129













Intervals Target Behaviors

1 asking a question about eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to
the lesson contribute to the lesson
pointing to words in the reading the text responding to a writing responses to
text question questions
2 asking a question about eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to
the lesson contribute to the lesson
pointing to words in the reading the text responding to a writing responses to
text qusin uetons
3 asking a question about eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to
the lesson contribute to the lesson
pointing to words in the reading the text responding to a writing responses to
text qusin uetons
4 asking a question about eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to
the lesson contribute to the lesson
pointing to words in the reading the text responding to a writing responses to
text qusin uetons
5 asking a question about eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to
the lesson contribute to the lesson
pointing to words in the reading the text responding to a writing responses to
text qusin uetons
6 asking a question about eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to
the lesson contribute to the lesson
pointing to words in the reading the text responding to a writing responses to
text qusin questions
7 asking a question about eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to
the lesson contribute to the lesson
pointing to words in the reading the text responding to a writing responses to
text qusin questions
8 asking a question about eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to
the lesson contribute to the lesson
pointing to words in the reading the text responding to a writing responses to
text qusin questions
9 asking a question about eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to
the lesson contribute to the lesson
pointing to words in the reading the text responding to a writing responses to
text qusin questions
10 asking a question about eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to
the lesson contribute to the lesson
pointing to words in the reading the text responding to a writing responses to
text qusin questions


Table C-2. Sample of Data Collection Sheet Used During Baseline Condition


utS dent Code Name:


Date:


Percent On-task:









Table C-3. Sample of Data Collection Sheet Used During Treatment Conditions
Student Code Name:
Observer (Primary/Secondary):
Print or Computer (Circle one):
Date:
10 20 30 40 50 60
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20











Percent On-task:












































Sources: Carroll, J.B., Davis, P., and Richman, B. Word Frequency Book. Boston, MA:
Houghton Mifflin, 1971. Zeno, S.M., Ivens, S.H., Milliard, R.T., & Duvvuri, R. (1995). The
Educator' s Word Frequency Guide. New York: Touchstone Applied Science Associates, Inc.


APPENDIX D
SUMMARY OF THE QUICK READS PROGRAM


Proj ected Words Read
Per Minute
Book 1: 80 words
Book 2: 90 words
Book 3: 100 words



Book 1: 90 words
Book 2: 100 words
Book 3: 110 words



Book 1: 100 words
Book 2: 110 words
Book 3: 120 words
Book 1: 110 words
Book 2: 120words
Book 3: 130 words
Book 1: 120 words
Book 2: 130 words
Book 3: 140 words
Book 1: 130 words
Book 2: 140 words
Book 3: 150 words


Table D-1. Overview of the Quick Reads Progran
High Frequency
Words
Level A 300 most frequently
(2nd grade curriculum) used words


Phonics Patterns


Single syllable words
with regular short
and long vowel
patterns and
consistent spelling
patterns
Single syllable words
regular short and
long vowel patterns,
r-controlled vowels,
and consistent
spelling patterns
Vowel patterns in
single syllable
words
Multi-syllable words
with inflected
endings
Multi syllable word
with inflected
endings
Multi syllable words
with inflected
endings


Level B
(2nd grade curriculum)




Level C
(3rd grade curriculum)

Level D
(4th grade curriculum)

Level E
(5th grade curriculum)

Level F
(6th grade curriculum)


500 most frequently
used words





1,000 most frequently
used words

1,000 most frequently
used words

2,500 most frequently
used words

5,000 most frequently
used words










Table D-2. Sample Quick Reads Script for Print-based Instruction
Step 1: The teacher begins by browsing the title, picture and caption with students.

Teacher says: "Before we read this new passage lets think about this topic. First let us begin by
reading the title. Now let us look at the picture and the caption that accompanies it."

Step 2: The teacher uses a graphic organizer to help students to make predictions about what
might occur in the passage (see Appendix H-1).

Teacher says: "Do you have any predictions about what this passage might be about? Let us
write down some of your predictions. We will come back to your predictions at the end of the
passage."

Step 3: The teacher then reads the passage as students follow along silently.

Teacher says: "Please read along silently as I read the passage aloud. Be sure that you are
showing me that you are following along by using your pointer Einger or a pencil to point to the
words as I read."

Step 4: Students then choral read the passage.

Teacher says: "Now we will read the passage together. Be sure to use your pointer Einger or a
pencil to point to each word as we read."

Step 5: Students practice the passage by reading with a partner.

Teacher says: "Now you are going to read this passage with your partner. Remember, you are to
help your partner with the words that they have trouble with and provide your partner with a
compliment about their reading when they are finished."

Step 6: The teacher then times the student for one minute.

Teacher says: "Now it is time to do your one minute timing. If you are waiting to be timed you
may go ahead and work on the questions that accompany this passage at the end of the unit."
To student who is being timed: "We are going to do a timing of the passage we have practiced
today. Be sure to do your best reading... ready... begin."

Step 7: The teacher and student chart the number of word correctly per minute.

Teacher says: "That was wonderful reading. Let us turn to the back of the book and mark how
many words you read today."

Step 8: As students wait to be time, they respond to the comprehension questions that
accompany a particular passage. Review the comprehension questions with students.










Teacher says: "Now let us review the questions that accompanied this passage. Let us read the
first question together. What is the correct answer to that question? Let us read the second
question together. What is the correct answer to that question? Let us read the third question
together. What is the correct answer to that question?"













Table E-1. Pilot Study
Student DIBELS Pretest DIBELS Posttest
1 70 73
2 55 56
3 52 74
4 42 53
5 77 63
6 60 94
7 63 72
8 80 104
9 51 61
10 83 79
11 75 not available
12 89 not available
Group Average DIBELS Pretest Average DIBELS Posttest
Print-based 63 71.6
Conaputer-based 63.6 74.2


APPENDIX E
RESULTS OF PILOT STUDY













Table F-1. Treatment Integrity Scale for Teacher-led Print Group
Teacher:
Date:
Treatment Integrity Rating Scale (Print Group)
No = Implementation does not match with expected activity and method in most ways.
Yes = Implementation matches well with expected activity and method in most ways.
Step, Rating. Comment
1. The teacher begins by Yes No
browsing the title, picture
and caption with
students .
2. The teacher uses a Yes No
graphic organizer to help
students to make
predictions about what
might occur in the

3. The teacher then reads Yes No
the passage as students
follow along. silently
4. Students then choral read Yes No
the passage.
5. Students practice the Yes No
passage by reading with a
partner.
6. The teacher then times Yes No
the student for one
minute.
7. The teacher and student Yes No
chart the number of word
correctly per minute.
8. As students wait to be Yes No
time, they respond to the
comprehension questions
that accompany a
particular passage.
Review the
comprehension questions
with students.


APPENDIX F
TREATMENT INTEGRITY SCALES










Table F-2. Treatment Integrity Scale for Teacher-led Computer Group
Teacher:
Date:
Treatment Integrity Rating Scale (Computer Group)
No = Implementation does not match with expected activity and method in most ways.
Yes = Implementation matches well with expected activity and method in most ways.
Step, Rating Comment
1. Teacher has software and Yes No
microphone headphone
ready before students
enter the room.
2. Students know what to do Yes No
upon entering. the room.
3. Teacher monitors to Yes No
ensure that students
remain on-task.
4. Teacher redirects Yes No
students to ensure that
students remain on-task.
5. Teacher directs Yes No
time-equivalent group to
continue to the next

6. Teacher directs Yes No
text-equivalent group to
go on to a math program.















Activity
Establish relationship with target schools
DIBELS pretest
Analyze DIBELS scores and select participants
Send home consent letters
Randomly assign participants
GATES MacGinitie pretest
Begin Instruction
Gates MacGinitie posttest


APPENDIX G
STUDY TIMELINE BY MONTH AND WEEK


Table G-1. Study Timeline by Month


Month of...
July/August 2006
Early September 2006
Mid September 2006
Mid September 2006
Mid September 2006
End of September 2006
Beginning of October 2006
Beginning of December
2006
Beginning of December
2006


DIBELS posttest










Table G-2. Study Timeline by Week
Week of...
August 28th

September 4th

September 11Ith



September 18th

September 25th




October 2nd
October 9th

October 16th

October 23rd

November 6th

November 13th

November 20th

November 27th

December 4th


Activity
Finalize relationships with schools, recruit
graduate student teachers
DIBELS pretest, recruit graduate student
teachers
DIBELS pretest, have teachers nominate
students with engagement problems, select
students within the 10th and the 39th
percentile
Send home consent letters, Train graduate
student teachers
Observe teacher nominated students,
administer Gates MacGinitie pretest,
randomly assign students, decide on
small-group configurations for students in
the print-based groups, train students
Instruction begins, begin treatment integrity
Instruction, treatment integrity, watch and code
video
Instruction, treatment integrity, watch and code
video
Instruction, treatment integrity, watch and code
video
Instruction, treatment integrity, watch and code
video
Instruction, treatment integrity, watch and code
video
Instruction, treatment integrity, watch and code
video
Instruction, treatment integrity, watch and code
video, Gates MacGinitie posttest
DIBELS posttest, Gates MacGinitie posttest





APPENDIX H
GRAPHIC ORGANIZER FOR PREDICTIONS


My prediction about the selection:


Figure H-1. Graphic Organizer for Pre-reading Discussion. [Reprinted with permission
from Mailbox Books]. Mailbox Books (2006) Graphic Organizers: Over 50
Easy to Adapt Reproducible Graphic Organizers, p. 5. The Mailbox.
Greensboro, NC.









APPENDIX I
SCREEN SHOT EXAMPLES OF QUICK READS


Figure I-1. Quick Reads Title Screen Page. [Reprinted with permission from Pearson Education
Inc].Hiebert, E.H. (2005). Quick Reads Technology Edition Version 3: Student
Charting Page. Pearson Learning Group. Parsippany, NJ.















































I -
Figure I-2. Quick Reads Definition Page. [Reprinted with permission from Pearson Education
Inc].Hiebert, E.H. (2005). Quick Reads Technology Edition Version 3: Student
Charting Page. Pearson Learning Group. Parsippany, NJ.


things that stand for other things

A flag Is one of the symbols of a country


Symbols of the United States

You havec seen the flag tlying at .orur
sch~oo. Yoau can see pictures of the bald male
on money The flag and the bald egleare
slmnbol of the United States. When we see
these symbols, we think about things that are
unportant to our county.
Fengian was unportant to the people wba
started this country They wanted frodom for
cveryone. When we see symbols Wle the tlag
and the bald cash, ue think about things that
are unportant to the people of the Uruled
States, like fredm


shaki ~


0br~


n..ng ~


Sel -Cec



B1ckrd


wbr m
I Detng F













aNi~onal Symbols


Symbols of the United States

~~ You hav~e seen the Bag flyng at your
school. Yoau can see pictures of the bald eagle
on money rTheflag and thebald eagle ar
symbobs of the Umited States. When we see
these symbols, we think about things that are
~Z~ O IImpolrtanl to our country.


A Freedom wuas Important to the people whlo
stared hiscoutryThc)waned reeomor The main idea of "Symbdol of the United
everyone. When we see synbals Ilke the flag States" la that
n...lans.X~ and he bald egle. *e thmkabout thingsthat A the fa ~at school has a bal
are important to the peopic of the U'nited egeo t
States, Itke Freedom. B every country needs a flag.

C. the bald eagle la the only
self-Chec s ym~bl of the United States.

I I ~D. symbols make usthink about
things that are important.




Figure I-3. Quick Reads Comprehension Questions Page. [Reprinted with permission from
Pearson Education Inc]. Hiebert, E.H. (2005). Quick Reads Technology Edition
Version 3: Student Charting Page. Pearson Learning Group. Parsippany, NJ.
















Scores for holly Pana
Title: Symbols of the United States Total Review Quesrtions: 2

Words Defined

93 Freedom
Symbols



SSpanish sepon m was passed
RemyT Il I Reviewr Words
"" J~r rFirst Reading


++ Freedom

FhluenfcyWCPM) 43 64
msceascone rOO La Reading
un~ar8y fy

importnt
Illke





Figure I-4. Quick Reads Progress Monitoring Page. [Reprinted with permission from Pearson
Education Inc]. Hiebert, E.H. (2005). Quick Reads Technology Edition Version 3:
Student Charting Page. Pearson Learning Group. Parsippany, NJ.










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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Nicole Scarlett Fenty was born on January 4, 1979, in Jamaica, West Indies. She moved to

the Lauderdale Lakes, FI with her parents at age nine and graduated from Boyd Anderson High

School in 1996. She earned her bachelor' s degree in psychology from the University of South

Florida in 2000 and her master' s degree in special education from the University of Florida in

2003. She has served as a child care attendant, teacher' s aide and teacher of students with

learning disabilities for over 4 years in Hillsborough and Alachua counties.

Nicole began her doctoral studies in 2003, with a focus in reading and behavior

difficulties. She was supported by two federally funded grants, including an EBD leadership

grant and Proj ect PASS: Promoting Academic and Social Success.

Upon completion of her doctoral program, Nicole and her husband will relocate to

Louisville, Kentucky where she will begin her career as an Assistant Professor of Special

Education at the University of Louisville. Nicole has been married to her husband, Sean Fenty,

for four years.





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1 EFFECTS OF COMPUTER-BASED AND PRINT-BASED FLUENCY INSTRUCTION ON STUDENTS AT RISK FOR READING FAILURE By NICOLE S. FENTY A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO TH E GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2007

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2 2007 Nicole Fenty

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3 For Sean, Mom, Dad, and Kemuel Thank you for your love, encouragement, and humor

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I want to thank all the people that made the completion of this dissertation study possible. I received a great deal of emotional and physical support throughout this process and for this I am truly grateful. I want to thank Dr. Holly Lane, who chaired my committee. Dr. Lane encouraged me to enter the doctoral program and provided emotional and financial support throughout my program. I want to thank Dr. Terry Scott who has not only been a great mentor but who has helped me to broaden my professional intere sts. Thanks go to Dr. Christie Cavanaugh for mentoring me throughout the writing process and fo r helping me grow in my teaching at the college level. I also thank Dr. Martha League who, pre-dating the doctoral program, has been a wonderful mentor. A special thanks to Dr. Maur een Conroy who has helped me become a better writer throughout the program. I want to also thank Ms. Andreea Cimoca, Ms. Julie Harvill, Ms. Ann Vilcheck, and everyone else at Quick Reads for providing a ll the materials for this study. Without their generosity this study would have been impossible to complete. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the administrators, teachers, and students at the three schools that assisted me in completi ng my study. Thank go to Dr. Hayes, Ms. Ramirez, Mr. Steffens, Mrs. Smith, Ms. Spratling, Mrs. Bu tts, Mrs. Garcia, Ms. Lake, Mrs. Cowart, Ms. VanSickle, Ms. Thomas, Mrs. Homan, Ms. Bon, Ms. Lewis, Ms. Carlisle, Ms. Rogers, Ms. Nobles, Ms. Mitchell, and Mrs. White for allowing me the opportunity to work with all the great students in your schools. I want to also thank the three students w ho assisted in providi ng instruction to the participants in my study. Brooke Longshore, Chan tel Nelson, and Catherine Beaunae treated this

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5 study as if it were your own. I would also like to thank all the doctoral students past and present, near and far who provided their wisdom, support, and guidance. Thanks go to Dr. Cyndi Garvan, Ms. Elizab eth Wang, and Ms. Evelyn Chiang for helping me with my data analysis. They helped me to handle my fear of statis tics. I thank my mom and dad for being loving and supportive parents who always encouraged me to shoot for the stars. I thank Kemuel for inspiring me to become a teacher. Finally, thanks go to Sean for keeping me sane throughout this insane proce ss with humor, patience, and reason.

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........8 LIST OF FIGURES................................................................................................................ .........9 ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... ............10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................12 Fluency........................................................................................................................ ...........12 Students with Reading Difficulties.........................................................................................16 Students with Beha vior Difficulties........................................................................................16 The Reading-Behavior Connection........................................................................................17 Intervention Strategies in Reading and Behavior...................................................................18 Engagement and Reading Difficulties....................................................................................19 Computer Technology in Schools: A Historical Perspective.................................................21 Computer Technology as an Intervention Strategy................................................................21 Opportunities to Respond.......................................................................................................23 Rationale for the Study........................................................................................................ ...24 Summary........................................................................................................................ .........26 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................27 Methods........................................................................................................................ ..........27 Results........................................................................................................................ .............28 Discussion..................................................................................................................... ..........28 Implications for Future Research............................................................................................44 Summary of the Review of the Literature..............................................................................47 3 METHODS........................................................................................................................ .....52 Purpose........................................................................................................................ ...........52 Research Questions............................................................................................................. ....56 Design and Instructional Setting.............................................................................................57 Group Study.................................................................................................................... ........59 Single Subject Study........................................................................................................... ....73 Summary........................................................................................................................ .........79 4 RESULTS........................................................................................................................ .......80 Preliminary Analyses........................................................................................................... ...80 Research Questions............................................................................................................. ....81

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7 5 DISCUSSION..................................................................................................................... ....89 Fluency........................................................................................................................ ...........89 Computer-Assisted Instruction...............................................................................................90 Discussion of Findings......................................................................................................... ..91 Interpretation of Findings..................................................................................................... ..97 Limitations and Delimitations..............................................................................................100 Implications for Future Research..........................................................................................104 Summary........................................................................................................................ .......108 APPENDIX A SUMMARY OF STUDIES..................................................................................................111 B INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD DOCUMENT.........................................................120 C DATA COLLECTION FORMS...........................................................................................129 D SUMMARY OF THE QUI CK READS PROGRAM..........................................................132 E RESULTS OF PILOT STUDY............................................................................................135 F TREATMENT INTEGRITY SCALES................................................................................136 G STUDY TIMELINE BY MONTH AND WEEK.................................................................138 H GRAPHIC ORGANIZER FOR PREDICTIONS.................................................................140 I SCREEN SHOT EXAMPLES OF QUICK READS............................................................141 LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................145 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................154

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8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 Demographic Data for All Study Participants by School..................................................61 3-2 Quick Reads Steps: Print...................................................................................................64 3-3 Quick Reads Steps: Co mputer: Text-equivalent................................................................65 3-4 Quick Reads Steps: Computer: Time-equivalent...............................................................66 3-5 Percentiles and Matching Levels.......................................................................................68 3-6 Average On-task Behavior.................................................................................................76 4-1 Descriptive Statistics by Group.........................................................................................81 4-2 Comparison of Pretest Means by Group............................................................................81 4-3 Comparison of Posttest Means by Group..........................................................................82 4-4 Frequency of Grouped Number of Sessions......................................................................83 4-5 Participant Number of Sessions Across Groups................................................................83 5-1 Estimated Quick Reads Per Pupil Expenditures Per Year...............................................107 A-1 Summary of Reading and Technolog y Studies in Elementary Settings..........................112 C-1 Sample of Behavior Rating S cale for Study Pre-Qualification.......................................129 C-2 Sample of Data Collection Sh eet Used During Baseline Condition................................130 C-3 Sample of Data Collection Sheet Used During Treatment Conditions............................131 D-1 Overview of the Quick Reads Program...........................................................................132 D-2 Sample Quick Reads Script for Print-based Instruction..................................................133 E-1 Pilot Study................................................................................................................ ........135 F-1 Treatment Integrity Scale for Teacher-led Print Group...................................................136 F-2 Treatment Integrity Scale for Teacher-led Computer Group...........................................137 G-1 Study Timeline by Month................................................................................................138 G-2 Study Timeline by Week.................................................................................................139

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9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1-1 Model of the Impact of Computer-Assisted Instruc tion on Social and Academic Achievement.................................................................................................................... ..25 3-1 Overview of the Group a nd Single Subject Designs.........................................................58 4-1 Daryls Percentage of Intervals On-T ask Across Baseline and Treatment Conditions.....85 4-2 Sams Percentage of Intervals On-Tas k Across Baseline and Treatment Conditions.......86 4-3 Jays Percentage of Intervals On-Tas k Across Baseline and Treatment Conditions.........87 I-1 Quick Reads Title Screen Page........................................................................................141 I-2 Quick Reads Definition Page...........................................................................................142 I-3 Quick Reads Comprehension Questions Page.................................................................143 I-4 Quick Reads Progress Monitoring Page..........................................................................144

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10 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy EFFECTS OF COMPUTER-BASED AND PRINT-BASED FLUENCY INSTRUCTION ON STUDENTS AT RISK FOR READING FAILURE By Nicole S. Fenty August 2007 Chair: Holly Lane Major: Special Education The purpose of this study was to determine wh ether computer-assisted fluency instruction is as effective as print-based teacher-led fluenc y instruction for third-gr ade students experiencing delayed fluency development. An experimental pretest posttest group design was paired with a changing treatments single-subject design to answ er several research ques tions. Participants in the group portion of the study (N = 50) were rand omly assigned to one of three conditions: a print group, a computer-assisted text-equivalent group, and a computer-assisted time-equivalent group. The text-equivalent group was equivalent to the print group in that both groups were exposed to one fluency passage in a given 20minute session. The time-equivalent group was equivalent to the print group in that both groups experienced flue ncy instruction during a given 20-minute period. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed no significant differences across groups on two of the three outcome measures (i.e ., fluency and compre hension). An ANCOVA indicated significant differences between two of the three treatment groups in the area of vocabulary. Differences between the two computer treatment groups (i.e ., text-equivalent and time-equivalent) favoring the time-equivalent group, may have occurred because participants in

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11 the time-equivalent group received more exposure to vocabulary words than those students in the text-equivalent group. Participants in the single subject portion of the study (N = 3) were exposed to all three conditions. Visual analysis of data from the three participants who were exposed to all three conditions yielded varied results. Two of the three students experienced increased rates of on-task behavior across all three treatment groups. The remaining student was more responsive to the time equivalent co mputer-assisted conditi on than the other two conditions. The results from the three particip ants who were involved in the single subject portion of the study suggest that different students vary in how they engage with computer-assisted instruction. Implications for future research include: designing systematic evaluations of the characte ristics of students who exhi bit high engagement with computer-assisted instruction (CA I), evaluating the cost effectiveness of CAI as compared to more traditional forms of instruc tion, and evaluating the use of CAI as a supplemental form of instruction.

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12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Reading achievement is essential for overall school and societal success (Adams, 1990; Brandt, 2001; Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). G ood readers experience an advantage over poor readers in that they are more lik ely to also do well in content areas such as mathematics, science, and social studies (Hall, Hughe s, & Filbert, 2000). School success significantly influences the extent to which students are ab le to advance socially and economically once they enter into society (Snow, et al., 1998). Because of the posi tive long term effects of reading success, it is important to know what instruct ional factors contribute to goo d reading. The National Reading Panel (NRP) (2000) has established five key components of reading instruction and makes recommendations for best instructional practices in each of the components. Fluency The ultimate purpose for learning to read is to comprehend text. Reading comprehension has been identified as essential to both acad emic and life-long learni ng (National Reading Panel, 2000, p. 4-1) and is listed as one of the NRPs five key components of reading instruction. Although, the remaining four components of re ading instruction (e.g., phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency and vocabulary) also make significant contributions to comprehension development, many researchers have found that r eading fluency is most highly correlated with comprehension (Chard, Vaughn, & Tyler, 2002; Fuchs, Fuchs, Hosp, & Jenkins, 2001; Torgesen & Hudson, 2006) especially in the primary grades (Schatschneider, et al., 2005). Reading fluency can be defined as reading e ffortlessly (rate), accura tely (accuracy), and with proper expression (prosody) (Meyer & Felto n, 1999). Reading rate refers to how quickly one reads, reading accuracy refers to the correct identification of words in connected text, and reading prosody refers to read ing expressively using correct tone and intonation. Reading

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13 fluency acts as a bridge between word recogni tion and comprehension (Johns & Berglund, 2002; Kuhn, 2004/2005; Kuhn, 2005; Schwanenflugel, et al ., 2006). Because fluent readers do not focus their attention on decoding words it allows them to focus on text comprehension (NRP, 2000). Snow, Burns, and Griffin (1998) and Kuhn and Stahl (2003), attrib ute our ability to acquire meaning from printed te xt to quick and accurate word recognition ability and reading fluency. In addition to increased comprehension, the ab ility to read quickly, accurately and with expression is a defining characte ristic of good overall reading (Kiley, 2005). According to Kuhn and Stahl (2003) and Rasinski (2006) a strong correlation exists between reading fluency and overall reading achievement. Rasinski has al so found that students who score well on standardized measures of oral reading fluency also score well on standardized measures of overall reading achievement such as the Nati onal Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Because of the relationship that exists betw een oral reading fluency and overall reading achievement, Johns and Berglund (2002) and Ra sinski have recommended that students, especially those who struggle, receive explicit instruction in oral reading fluency. This instruction can lead to increases in both readi ng fluency and in overall reading achievement. A History of Oral Reading Fluency Instruction Oral reading fluency instruction can be traced back to the colonial period (Rasinski, 2006). During that time, it was not uncommon to find that only one member of a household could read. Because of this, it was crucial th at the person who could read be able to read aloud expressively to the rest of the family. At around the beginning of the 20th century, however, the push for oral reading began to dwindle (Rasinski). At this time, reading materials became more readily accessible than they had been in the past. In ad dition, reading scholars began to argue that oral reading resulted in too much emphasis being pl aced on the mechanics of reading which took

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14 away from the meaning of the text (Rasinski). The increased likelihood th at more members of a household could read and the decreased need for oral expressive reading led to an increased emphasis on silent reading. This emphasis remained unchallenged until 1974 when a revolutionary theory, the theory of automatic information processing, was deve loped by Laberge and Samuels (Rasinski, 2006). According to this theory, str uggling readers differ from good readers in some very fundamental ways. When struggling readers rea d, they spend the majority of th eir time trying to decode words which leaves little time for the actual understand ing of text. Good readers, on the other hand, are more automatic in their decoding and word reco gnition ability. This allows for more time for actual understanding of the text. The theory of information processing brought about a significant question. Since successf ul reading fluency leads to increased comprehension, how can we help struggling readers improve their read ing fluency? Researchers have found that direct oral reading fluency instruction in the form of repeated readings, fluent models, assisted reading, and partner reading could have a significant imp act on the reading fluency of struggling readers (Kuhn & Stahl, 2003; Rasinski, 2000; Samuels, 1979). Oral Reading Fluency Instruction Today A recent study performed by the National A ssessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) found that 44% of a representative sample of the nations fourth graders scored low in fluency (NRP, 2000). Students who scored low in fluency also scored low in comprehension (NRP). According the NRP, students, especially thos e who struggle with r eading, need explicit instruction in oral reading fluency. This instruct ion should begin at around the end of first grade when students have basic word recognition and decoding skills (Rasinsk i, 2003). Oral reading fluency instruction should take the form of guided repeated oral reading which involves re-reading text with guidance and fe edback from a fluent model.

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15 Guided repeated oral reading has been li nked to increases in word recognition, speed, accuracy and overall reading fluency (Rasinski, 2003). It can be practiced through the use of a variety of activities includi ngadult modeling, partne r reading, and computer-assisted reading. Adult modeling can be facilitated by a parent, teac her, aide, or tutor. It involves the teacher modeling fluent reading of text for students and then providing guidance and feedback during student readings of that same text. Adult modeling has been linked to increases in reading accuracy, rate, and prosody (Kuhn & Stahl, 2003). Pa rtner reading can also help to facilitate increases in reading fluency. Part ner reading can take on two forms. First, a more fluent reader can be paired with a less fluent reader. The more fluent reader reads the text first and acts as the fluent model. The less fluent reader then reads. While the less fluent reader is reading, the more fluent reader provides guidance and feedback to the less fluent reader. Rasinski (2000) suggests that this form of partner read ing is beneficial for both partne rs. The second kind of partner reading pairs readers who have the same reading ab ility. After hearing an a dult fluent model read a piece of text, partners are sent off to take turn s reading that same piece of text. The partner who listens and follows along provides guidance a nd feedback to the partner who is reading. Computer-assisted reading can also help provide fluency instructi on and practice to students. The computer can not only provide a model of fluent reading but it can also provide students with guidance and immediate feedback. The computer a llows students to work on fluency passages at an individualized pace and can help students to chart their progress. Many software programs allow students to request speech feedback on pr onunciation of specific words. Researchers who have evaluated the effects of computer-assisted reading on fluency skills have found significant increases not only in reading flue ncy but also in overall reading achievement (Florida Center for Reading Research, 2003).

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16 Fluency instruction is most effective when st udents are provided with opportunities to read text repeatedly with guidance and feedback fr om a fluent model (Samuels, 2002). This guidance and feedback is best provided to students individually (Osborn, Lehr, & Hiebert, 2003). Individualized instruction provide s students, especially those who struggle, with the opportunity to master skills at their own pace. However, with recent increases in teacher shortages and increases in under-qualified teacher s, it is often difficult to de liver appropriate levels of instruction to children at risk for reading failure. Students with Reading Difficulties Approximately 3% of all school age children have been diagnose d with a reading disability (Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). Different types of students experience reading difficulties, including students from low income backgrounds students who have cognitive disabilities, students with learning disabilities, and student s who experience behavior difficulties. These students often struggle with one or more of the critical aspects of reading: phonemic awareness, decoding, word recognition, fluency, or co mprehension (Anderson-Inman & Horney, 1998; Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). Students often str uggle due to one or a co mbination of factors including inadequate or inappropr iate reading instruction in sc hool, inadequate preparation or parental support, and cognitive or physical disabilities that may interfere with reading (Anderson-Inman & Horney; Snow, Burns & Griffi n). Researchers have implemented a variety of interventions to combat reading difficu lties which include the use of supplemental basals/textbooks, mainstreaming students with learning disabilities, enhancing home literacy environments, and computer software (U.S. Department of Education, 2002). Students with Behavior Difficulties Students with behavior difficulties pose a range of dynamic challenges for education. Some students exhibit externalizing (e.g., low task engagement, disruption, and aggression)

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17 problems while others experience problems that manifest themselves internally (anxiety, depression, withdrawal). There are, however, some characteristics that all of these students share. According to Coleman and Vaughn (2000), stude nts with behavior challenges experience emotional variability, fear of failure, lack of trus t and an inability to remain engaged and on-task. Some if not all of these variab les may have an effect on stude nts ability to learn (Kauffman, Cullinan & Epstein, 1987). The Reading-Behavior Connection Researchers have found that stud ents who have or who are at risk for behavior difficulties are also inclined to lack academic skills (Glassberg, Hooper & Matt ison, 1999; Gunter & Denny, 1998; Kauffman, Cullinan & Epstein, 1987, Snow, Bu rns, & Griffin, 1998). In a sample of 233 students newly identified as having behavior challenges, Gl assberg, Hooper and Mattison (1999) found 53.2% of them met at least one of the requirements for learning disabilities. The requirements set by Glassberg et al. (1999) included a disc repancy between ability and achievement of at least 22 points, a regressi on-based ability-achievement discrepancy of 1.5 standard errors or more, and low achievement of at least 1.5 standard deviations below the mean in either math, reading or written language. Gunter and Denny (1998), found that students with behavior challenges had lower gr ade point averages, had failed more courses, had failed more grade level competency exams and were less likely to finish school than other groups of students with disabilities. Kauffman, Cullinan and Epstei n (1987) found that only 30% of students with behavior difficulties were rated by their teachers as performing at or above grade level in the areas of reading, mathema tics and written language. Students with behavior difficulties tend to ha ve the most trouble in reading and written language (Rock & Fessler, 1997). Many researchers ha ve concentrated their efforts on reading because reading provides access to other learning a nd a student who is unable to read or who has

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18 reading difficulties is highly likely to expe rience school failure, school dropout, unemployment and crime (National Institute of Literac y, 1998; Snow, Burn & Griffin,1998). In addition, Hinshaw (1992a) states that student s with behavior challenges have had the most difficulty in the areas of decoding and reading comprehension. Intervention Strategies in Reading and Behavior Interventions that have been implemented for students who exhibit a comorbidity for reading and behavior difficulties take on a variety of approaches. An examination of the literature over the last decade has yielded interesting results. Some researchers examined the effect of one type of intervention (reading or be havioral) on both reading and behavior outcomes. Other researchers evaluated the effect of a combination of both a reading and behavior intervention on reading and behavior outcomes. Instructional readi ng strategies consisted mostly of prepackaged programs such as the Phonologica l Awareness Training for Reading (PATR) and the Wallach and Wallach tutoring program, whic h assists students with blending, segmenting, and spelling skills (Lane, 1999; Ra biner & Malone, 2004). Others have used such programs as the Reading Mastery series and the Open Court re ading series which both us e explicit instruction to teach decoding and comprehension skills (Miao, Darch, & Rabre n, 2002; Wehby, Falk, Barton-Arwood, Lane, & Cooley, 2003). Behavior al instructional stra tegies included both prepackaged programs such as the Social Skills Intervention Guide along with more generalized strategies such as pr e-correction (Lane, 1999; Miao et al., 2002). Researchers who examined reading interven tions in isolation, found few significant improvements associated with social behavior (Lane, 1999; Rabiner & Malone, 2004; Wehby et al., 2003). Interestingly, researcher s who evaluated the effects of a reading intervention coupled with a behavior intervention, f ound significant increases in both r eading and social behavior. The results of these intervention studies might suggest that academic interventions alone might not be

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19 enough to fully help students who suffer from bot h reading and behavior difficulties. However, it is important to remember that the character istics of challenging behaviors range along a spectrum from mild (e.g., easily distracted) to mo re severe challenges (e.g., aggression). The success of an intervention strategy might be depe ndent on the severity of the social behavior problem. Based on the evaluation of recent studies, researchers have not yet begun to take these factors into considerat ion when choosing participants for a study or when drawing conclusions from the results of a study. In addition, it is difficult to conclude from the aforementioned findi ngs that significant effects occur only in the presence of combined interventions. The read ing intervention programs used in the Lane (1999), Rabiner and Mal one (2004), and Wehby, Fal k, Barton-Arwood, Lane, and Cooley (2003) studies may have only been significantly successful in improving reading and not behavior problems because they were not designe d to serve a dual purpose. It is possible that one intervention that serves a dual purpose can have a significant imp act on both reading and behavior difficulties. The use of a highly inte ractive computer-based reading program, for instance, could provide an impetus for both re ading achievement and increased engagement which could result in a reducti on in reading and behavior chal lenges (Kamil, Intrator, & Kim, 2000; Maddux, 2000). Engagement and Reading Difficulties Reading difficulties has emerged as one of the academic areas most significantly associated with behavior challenges. In fact Kauffman, Cullinan and Epstein (1987) found that low achievement in reading is related to aggr ession, defiance of aut hority, and breaking school rules. Some researchers have found that certain behavior problems can be directly linked to reading difficulties. According to Rabiner (2000), of all the types of emotional and behavioral problems, low task engagement can most signifi cantly be connected to reading difficulties. Low

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20 task engagement can be defined as engaging in off task behaviors such as manipulating objects not related to academic tasks, talking to a nother student, looking around the room, and talking about issues unrelated to an academic task (R ieth & Semmel, 1991). In a study that involved over 200 students, Rabiner found that level of task engagement at the begi nning of first grade to be a strong predictor of reading scores at the end of first grad e. Students who exhibit low task engagement may display both externalizing (disru ption) and internalizi ng (withdrawal) behavior problems. Regardless of the symptom, Rabiner has called for research that evaluates the effects of reading interventions that promote increa sed engagement to reading related tasks. Engaged readers are attentive during reading instruction becau se they are curious about reading, they effectively use specific strategies to help them comprehend text, are confident in their reading, and use text as a means of social interaction (Guthrie, 2005). According to Guthrie and Wigfield (2000) there is a strong positiv e correlation between reading engagement and reading achievement. The asserti ons above are consistent with the Matthew Effect in reading (Stanovich, 1986). Stanovich (1986) set forth th e hypothesis that good readers become better readers while struggling readers continue to read poorly. Students who read well are more inclined to be engaged during reading and are th erefore more likely to become better at reading. Conversely, students who struggle w ith reading are more inclined to disengage and become less able readers. The challenge is to increase the task engagement of students who struggle with reading and attention during instruction. Readers will be more engaged when reading is a more interactive process, when reading is neither too easy nor too difficult, and when read ing is perceived as being a less serious and a more creative process (Reinking, 200 0). Increasing the ta sk engagement of students who struggle requires a variety of instructional models. To begin, because students become more engaged

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21 when learning is more hands on, Guthrie a nd Wigfield (2000) have recommended infusing content area subjects, which usua lly involve more hands on activ ities, into reading related instruction. Guthrie and Wigfield also suggest incorporating a wide variety of texts into reading instruction (i.e. narrative and expository), providi ng students with strategy instruction (e.g. direct instruction, scaffolding, and guide d practice) and providing student s with specific praise and relevant reinforcers. Computer Technology in Schools: A Historical Perspective In the early 1960s, a group of researchers fr om Stanford University, Patrick Suppes and Richard Atkinson, developed comput er-assisted instruction as an alternative for students who needed more than traditional whole-group clas sroom instruction (Molnar, 1997). Because the computer is able to provide individually pace d instruction, immediate and corrective feedback and extensive rehearsals of cu rriculum materials, it quickly grew in popularity and emerged as the ideal teaching assistant (Rieth & Semmel, 1991) As a result, the numbe r of students at the K-12 level who had access to computer technology in their schools grew fr om about one percent in the late 1960s to about 55% in the mid 1970s. By the la te 1970s, the introduction of microcomputers revolutionized th e computer as an instructional tool in classrooms across the country (Molnar, 1997). Computer Technology as an Intervention Strategy Technology in schools can take on a variety of forms (video cameras, digital cameras, and smart boards). Perhaps the most common is com puter technology (Maddux, 2000). Over the past several decades, the use of computer technol ogy in schools has grown tremendously (e.g., from a student to computer ratio of 125 to 1 in 1983 to a ratio of about 10 to 1 in 1996) (Maddux, 2000). The increasing trend is partly due to the hypothe sized potential impact of the use of computer technology on student achievement. Since comput ers allow students to have an interactive

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22 experience with school materials, they have been found to incr ease student motivation, interest, enjoyment, persistence and e ngagement with assigned tasks (Kamil, Intrator, & Kim, 2000; Laffey, Espinosa, Moore, & Lodree, 2003; L ee & Vail, 2005; Maddux, 2000; Wissick, 1996). In fact, in the presence of instruction that in corporates computer t echnology, students are more engaged and are more likely to recall information after instruction is complete, than they are in more traditional learning environments (Blank enship, Ayers, Langone, 2005; Kamil et al., 2000; Wilson, Majsterek, & Simmons, 1996). Because of the importance of lite racy to overall school and life success, many researchers have specifi cally evaluated the impact of technology on students motivation, interest, a nd engagement during reading re lated tasks and activities. Many researchers have theorized about the possible impact of computer technology on overall student reading achievement and more specifically on the achievement of struggling readers. Because computers feature simulative and interactive environments, they have the ability to scaffold student learning, encourag e self-motivation, and increase interest and productivity in both average achieving and at ri sk students (Blankenship et al., 2005; Hauser & Malouf, 1996; Kamil et al., 2000; Laffey et al., 2003). Many of the naturally occurring features of computer technology th at foster reading achievement, also help students with mild to moderate behavior problems. Children who experience disruptive behaviors ( poor attention, hyperac tivity, and noncompliance) early in their childhood are more likely to experience general academic difficulties, reading problems and school failure in later childhood (Laffey et al., 2003). The interactive nature of computer technology provides immediate feedback and engagi ng visuals which help to increase the task engagement of students so that they may expe rience academic achievement (Laffey et al., 2003).

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23 Opportunities to Respond When students receive more opportunities to respond (OTR) to curriculum content, the results include increased engagement, increased academic achievement and decreased rates of disruptive behaviors (Christle & Schuster, 2003; Heward et al., 1996; Sutherland, 2001). Increased OTR also allows for ongoing assessment of student progress which in turn provides information for instructional adjustments. B ecause of these positive outcomes, the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) (1987) ha s developed a series of recommendations that outlines the optimal number of OTR teachers should provide students during instruction. According to CEC, during the presentation of new material, teachers should allo w for active student responding between 4 and 6 times per minute. When reviewing information that has al ready been presented, opportunities for active student re sponding should range from 8 to 12 times per minute (CEC). Student achievement is maximized when high rates of active responding are accompanied by high rates of accurate responding (CEC). Providing the appropriate amount of OTR to st udents can be difficult for teachers because much of the instruction in ge neral education settings and in creasingly in special education settings occurs in a whole-group format. This d ecreases the likelihood that students will receive an adequate amount of OTR (Christle & Sc huster, 2003; Sutherland, 2001). Lower achieving students are at the greatest ri sk because higher achieving stud ents are much more likely to volunteer responses during classroo m instruction (Christle & Schuste r). Teachers have attempted to increase student OTR by using a variety of strategies. Currently, some research exists on the use of class-wide peer tutoring, choral responding, and response cards as viable methods of increasing OTR (Armendiaz & Umbreit, 1999; Ch ristle & Schuster; Greenwood, Delquadri & Hall, 1984). Some researchers have found class-wide peer tutoring to be problematic for students who lack social skills because these students have trouble maintaining consistent positive

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24 unsupervised interactions with classmates. Othe r researchers have found that choral responding and response cards do not allow for consistent individualized feedb ack (Sutherland, 2001; Sutherland, Alder, & Gunter, 2003). Because th ere are weaknesses in many of the current strategies (e.g., whole-group hand ra ising, and class-wide peer tutori ng), more research is needed to examine how best to achieve and maintain hi gh rates of active stude nt responding (Heward et al., 1996; Sutherland, 2001). The ideal strategy would provide students with high rates of opportunities to respond, encourage high rates of active responding, and provide consistent individual corrective feedback. Because the computer can provide individua lly paced instruction to students, it can overcome many of the obstacles to OTR that ar e present in traditional whole-group instruction. Unlike class-wide peer tutoring, computer-assisted instruction (C AI) allows students who have social skills deficits to expe rience increased ra tes of opportunities to respond without the added need to monitor students for behavior problem s among students. Unlike choral responding and response cards, the computer allows individual students to benefit from more active responding. The responses that a particular student provides are met with specific praise and/or corrective feedback. CAI scaffolds instruction for indivi dual students based on con tinual assessment of individual student responses. When increase d OTR is accompanied by active student responding and followed by praise or corrective feedback, this results in increases in social and academic achievement (Christle & Schuster, 20 03; Sutherland, 2001) (See Figure 1-1). Rationale for the Study Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) may be th e most viable altern ative to print-based, teacher-led fluency instruction. CAI has proven effective in teach ing a variety of reading skills including phonological awarene ss and comprehension (Blankenship et al., 2005; Hauser & Malouf, 1996; Kamil et al., 2000; Laffey et al ., 2003). Limited research exists that has

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25 Figure 1-1. Model of the Impact of Compute r-Assisted Instruction on Social and Academic Achievement investigated whether CAI is as effective in increasing fluenc y as print-based teacher-led instruction. Also, very little res earch exists on the impact of CAI on student task engagement during instruction. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of print-based, teacher-led instruction and CAI on the reading fluency and over all reading skills of child ren with deficits in reading fluency. The study also evaluated the eff ects of CAI on the task engagement of a subset of the larger sample. The same fluency skil ls were taught in each treatment group. Some variables (e.g., fluency program) were identical while others (e .g., duration of da ily instruction and number of passages instructed per day) diffe red. The primary difference across the treatment groups was the medium used for instructional delivery. Evaluating the results of CAI and Computer-assisted Instruction Active Responding Achievement Active Responding Praise and/or Corrective Feedback Opportunities To Respond Social Academic

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26 teacher-led instruction allowed conclusions to be drawn about the relative effectiveness of the different modes of instructional delivery. If stude nts learn as well as or better when instructed by computer software, teachers may be justified in providing CAI as an alternative method for increasing fluency skills. Also, if students are enga ged as well as or better when instructed by the computer, teachers may be justified in providing CAI as an alternative method of instructional delivery. Summary The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of teache r-led instruction and computer-assisted instruction on the fluency skills reading ability and task engagement of third grade students. The literature review provides a review of the relevant literature on computer-assisted instruction. The methods section describes the procedures that were used to conduct the study and analyze the resulting data. Th e results section reports the outcomes of the study. The discussion section provides an evalua tion of study results, study limitations, and implications for future research.

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27 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW The purpose of this literature review is to examine the existing literature on the use of computer-assisted instruction as a method fo r improving reading attitude, engagement and achievement in elementary school settings. Specif ically, this review repo rts and evaluates such elements as participant charac teristics, dependent measures, procedures for implementing interventions and the results of using various forms of computer-assisted instruction with elementary age children. Methods The following electronic database s were searched beginning in 1990 and up to the present: Academic Search Premier, ERIC, E-Journals, PsychINFO, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, and Sociological Coll ection using the following search terms: technology, computer technology, reading difficulties, reading disabili ties, reading problems, attention problems, distractibility, hyperactivity, enga gement. An ancestral search wa s also conducted using articles retrieved during the initial se arch. A hand search of the Journal of Special Education Technology and the Journal of Computing in Childhood Education was also conducted beginning in 1990 and up to the present. All ar ticles whose abstracts discusse d a connection between technology and reading or a connection between t echnology and engagement were collected. Because the development of reading fluency in the elementary grades was the focus of this study, studies that featured stude nts at the secondary level were excluded. This review only includes studies that examined the use of comput er technology as an inte rvention tool for early childhood and elementary age students. Studies incl uded in this review incorporated computer technology as an intervention strategy to co mbat either reading and/or behavior (e.g., engagement and attitude) difficulties. Studies that did not include struggling readers were

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28 excluded from the review. Articles included obser vational, single subject, quasi-experimental and true experimental studies. Th eoretical pieces were kept and used for background material in the introduction and discussion sections of the review. Results The resulting literature review included 23 st udies that evaluated the use of computer technology on reading and/or beha vior problems. Of the reviewed 23 studies, 14 evaluated multiple research questions. The studies were divided in the following manner: 12 examined the effects of computer technology on word recogn ition, while eight examined the effect of computer technology on early reading skills including phonologi cal awareness and letter recognition, seven examined the effects of comp uter technology on reading fluency at the word and passage levels, four examined the effects of computer technology on text comprehension, two examined the effect of computer t echnology on vocabulary and decoding skills, two examined the effects of computer technology on spelling skills, one examined whether or not students use metacognitive strategies when using computer-assisted instruction, and one examined how computer technology affects overall reading achievement (Boone & Higgins, 1993). Discussion The discussion that follows examines the afor ementioned studies thr ough a series of six themes. Many of the studies were categorized according to more than one theme. Five studies evaluated the effects of computer-assisted inst ruction (CAI) on student attitude, motivation and engagement. Three studies examined the use of CA I as a form of supplem ental instruction. Five studies examined the effects of CAI on students of varying ability levels. Three studies evaluated the cost effectiveness of CAI in reading inst ruction. Three studies examined the effects of

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29 varying levels of speech feedback on reading achievement. Five st udies compared the effects of CAI with traditional forms of reading instruction. Attitude, Motivation and Engagement The more students read, the better they become at reading. Students who are more motivated to read become better readers because not only do they have a positive attitude toward reading but they also tend to be more engage d during reading in struction. Poor readers, on the other hand, are often unmotivated to read and therefore do not progress (Stanovich, 1986). Because the computer can provide instruction in an interactive, multimedia, game-like format, it should easily motivate students. Several rese archers have tested the above theory. Lewin (2000) explored the effects of varyi ng levels of computer enhancements on the motivation and self confidence of students in grades five and six. Th e researcher pretested students using the Salford Sentence Reading and Burt Word Reading Tests. Teachers were also asked to rate each childs motivation level on a sc ale from 1 (negative) to 5 (positive). Sixteen students were assigned to a B asic condition and 16 were assi gned to an Enhanced condition. The students who experienced the Basic version of the computer program were provided with word pronunciation feedback while those who experienced the Enhanced version also experienced illustrations, initial sound feedbac k, and word meaning feedback. Interventions occurred 15 minutes daily over th e course of four weeks. Pa rticipants and teachers were posttested using the same measures as at pretes t. Surprisingly, a tally of teacher ratings of students motivation levels revealed that en hancements only positively affected students who were already motivated to read. more surprising ly, students who started the study as unmotivated readers viewed both the Basic and Enhanced computer tasks as tedious and academic. Similarly, Wise et al. (1989) used varying le vels of speech feedback with 62 students in grades three through six in an attempt to im prove their word recognition abilities and their

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30 attitude toward reading. Researcher s transferred 64 stories to speech synthesizers so that speech feedback could be provided on difficult words. Students were asked to complete a questionnaire at the onset of the study which evaluated their most and least favorite subjects in school. Researchers then assigned stude nts to one of four feedback conditions (e.g., whole word, syllable, sub-syllable, or a combination of sy llable and sub-syllable). At the end of the study, students were posttested using the same questionna ire as the pretest. Wh en researchers tallied student responses, they found that nine out of the thirty participants in the treatment group showed positive changes in their attitude to ward reading. Although, these findings are more encouraging than Lewins findings, it is uncertain as to whether a change of 30 percent across participants is enough to support the hypothesis that computer-ass isted instruction can improve students attitudes. In a similar study, Cole and Hilliard (2006) ex amined the benefits of using the web-based reading curriculum program, Reading Upgrade, on the motivation and engagement of struggling third grade readers. Reading Upgrade provi des practice in decoding, fluency, phonics, and phonemic awareness and is accompanied by several technological enhancements such as music and graphics. A 12-item questionnaire was used to assess th ree facets of reading motivation including: avoidance (e.g., whether students view reading to be negative and subsequently make attempts to avoid it), recognition (e.g., whethe r students read to receive someth ing tangible such as a treat or a grade), or satisfaction (e.g., whether students r ead because they enjoy acquiring information). Students were also observed so that researchers could evaluate other aspe cts of engagement and motivation such as percent of intervals on-tas k, enthusiasm, and frustration. Researchers found a correlation, although not statisti cally significant, between lo w reading performance and

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31 avoidance and recognition motiva tion. This finding suggests that students who are intrinsically motivated to read reap the greatest benefits from reading. Th e finding also supports the theory of the Matthew Effect in reading which states th at good readers get bett er because they are motivated to do so. In addition to the questionnaire re sults, direct observations rev ealed that a majority of the students remained enthusiastic about the computer program throughout the study. Researchers also found that students were actively engaged du ring both the instructional and game portions of the study. Observers recorded the following comm ents made by researchers working directly with the students: Ayana had a smile on her fa ce I didnt remember seeing her smile before [the first day of working with Reading Upgrad e], and Tyrone sung along with the software very loudly. He cheered when he got an an swer right (Cole & H illiard, 2006, p. 369). Although these findings seem to be more encouragi ng than Lewin (2000) a nd Wise et al. (1989), conclusions and comparisons must be drawn cautious ly. Unlike the other two sets of researchers, Cole and Hilliard do not report specific numbers or percentage s of students who were observed to be actively engaged or motivated. In a related study, Clarfield a nd Stoner (2005) evaluated the effects of com puter-assisted instruction on three kindergarten and first grad e students experiencing tr ouble with reading and engagement during instruction. Each of the stude nts was officially diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Part icipants were pretested using th e Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) as well as the Behavior Observation of Students in Schools (BOSS). The study ranged from eight to ten 30 mi nute sessions depending on the student. Visual analysis of changes in level and trend from baseline to inte rvention revealed a significant decrease in off task behaviors across all three participants. Before the study, students off task

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32 behaviors ranged from 24% to 49%. At the comp letion of the 10 session study, students off task behaviors decreased drastically to a range of 3% to 6%. Bangert-Drowns and Pyke (2001) examined enga gement in a way that was different from all the aforementioned studies by investigating th e issue of multiple levels of engagement. The researchers established a continuum that ranged from disengagement to what they consider to be the ultimate level of engagementliteral thinking. Bangert-Drowns and Pyke define literal thinking as the conscious awareness of the c ognitive processes involve d with reading including the tendency to integrate personal values and belie fs while interacting with text (p. 214). After observing 43 students during 78 half hour sessions in the school labora tory, researchers found that although students were rarely disengaged they also rarely exhibited literal thinking while interacting with the computer software. Bangert-Drowns and Pyke found that most students performed toward the middle of the engagement continuum in that students navigational interests were dictated by the software in terface as opposed to stude nts allowing their own interests to dictate how they used the software These findings may have been affected by the fact that many of the particip ants in this study were, as Co le and Hilliard (2006) suggest, exhibiting two of the three facets of read ing motivation avoidance and recognition. Because motivation to read, attitude towa rds reading and engagement during reading instruction are all related concepts, one might expect similar findings across the five studies. According to Guthrie and Wigfield, 2000, attitude and motivation are intrinsically linked to engagement because they are what force us to act. One possible explanation for the disparity across the studies is the differe nce in age groups. Clarfield and Stoner perhaps found significance across participants because the students in th eir study were younger which may have decreased the likelihood that they had nega tive experiences with reading and were therefore more easily

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33 affected by computer enhancements. Another possi ble explanation could be that the inherent quality of certain computer enhancements (e.g., speech feedback and graphics) lends themselves to increased motivation, attitude and engagement Cole and Hilliard (2006), for instance, report using popular music to enhance text and their study yielded positive findings. Motivation plays a signifi cant role in reading achievem ent (Guthrie & Wigfield, 2000). The use of computer-assisted in struction has been linked to in creased reading achievement and increased self-confidence (Mioduser, Tur-Kaspa & Leitner, 2000). Base d on all of the above findings, it seems that perhaps st udents in the later elementary years may not be as easily impacted by computer enhancements. More research is needed to determine if the effect of computer-assisted instruction on student attit ude, motivation and engagement is affected by students age. It also seems that the quality of technology enhancements may have an effect on student motivation, attitude and engagement. More research is needed to determine which kinds of enhancements lead to the most positive outcomes. Supplemental Instruction Using the computer as a supplem ent to traditional classroom in struction is id eal. It allows students to receive individualized rehearsal of information that has already been presented. In a longitudinal study spanning three years, Higgi ns and Boone (1991) and Boone and Higgins (1993) examined the impact of adapting basal read ers so that computer software incorporated learning goals specific to 300 students in ki ndergarten through thir d grade classrooms. Researchers enhanced a Macmillan Basal Reader by creating software that displayed computerized pictures, animated graphic seque nces, definitions, synonyms and digitized speech linked to words and pictures from the original basal text. They examined the impact of integrating computer software on decoding and overall reading achievement. The Macmillan Standardized Reading Achievement Test was used as both a pre and posttest measure.

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34 Interventions, on average, i nvolved 10 minute sessions over the course of a school year. An Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) revealed si gnificant differences between treatment and control groups across all thr ee years in both decoding and ov erall reading achievement. Similarly, Boone, Higgins, Notari, and Stump (1996) examined the impact of adapting Macmillan basal series materials to computer so ftware on the letter recognition skills of 143 kindergarten students. Lessons i nvolved links from words to pi ctures, speech, graphics and animated sequences. Participants were pretested and posttested using the Macmillan Standardized Reading Achievement Test. Afte r seven and a half minute sessions over three years, an ANCOVA revealed significant differe nces between treatmen t and control groups. It would seem from the resu lts of the above studies that the use of computer-assisted instruction as a supplement to traditional classroom instruction is worthwhile. Unfortunately, unless traditional basals provide so ftware as part of their core pr ograms, it would be difficult for teachers to coordinate or crea te computer software that s upplements traditional classroom instruction. More resear ch is needed to determine how be st to go about coordinating and/or creating software to supplement traditional classroom instruction. Students at Varying Ability Levels Originally, computer-assisted instruction was developed as a method of remediation for struggling students (Molnar, 1997). As the use of computers grew more prevalent, schools began to vary their instructional use. Now computers are not only used for drill and prac tice instruction, but also for strategy inst ruction and simulation purposes. Deve lopers have enhanced each of the three different types of instruc tional software (e.g., drill and pr actice, strategy, and simulation) with speech, visuals, animation, and multimedia enhancements. Many researchers have evaluated whether computer-assisted instru ctional enhancements have diffe rent effects on students at varying ability levels. Some of th e researchers featured in this re view have evaluated the use of

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35 computer-assisted instruction with students at low, medium, and high reading ability levels. Current findings regarding the most effective computer enhancements for low achieving students are mixed. Lewin (2000) investigated the effectiveness of a Basic versus an Enhanced version of computer-assisted instruction on 32 fifth and sixt h grade students. Students in low, medium and high ability groups were randomly assigned to either of the two versions. Through the use of an ANCOVA, Lewin found that reader s with the lowest ability made the highest gains in word recognition. In addition, Lewin found that the word pronunciati on enhancement used in the Basic version of th e computer program was most bene ficial for struggling readers. Interestingly, Lewin also found that the extr a enhancements (e.g., initial sound production and meaning) provided by the Enhanced version were most effective for improving word recognition skills in medium and high ability students. Boone et al. (1996) evaluated th e use of hypermedia, the use of a combination of visuals, animation, speech and multimedia software, on the letter recognition skills of 143 kindergarten students. After using an ANCOVA to compare th e effect of computer-assisted instruction on low, medium, and high ability level students, researchers found no significant improvements for at risk students. Like Lewin (2000), however, middle and high ability students did exhibit significant improvements in letter recognition skills. Like Boone et al. (1996) and Lewin (2000), Nicolson, Fawcett, and Nicolson (2000) examined the use of a computer software pr ogram on the word reading ability of 32 low, medium and high achieving readers who ranged in age from six to eight Participants were ranked based on their scores on the Wechsler Objective Reading Dimension (WORD), matched for age and reading ability and then randomly a ssigned to either a treatment or control group.

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36 The 16 students in the treatment group received the Readers Interact ive Teaching Assistant (RITA) which uses pictures, graphics and speech feedback to assist with word reading. The remaining 16 students were placed in the cont rol group. Sessions occurred bi-weekly for 30 minutes. An ANCOVA revealed that the lowest achieving students made the least amount of progress in word reading at the conclusion of the study. In a study slightly different study, Mathes, Torgesen, and Torgesen (2001) examined the effect of pairing Peer Assisted Learning Strate gies (PALS) with additional computer-assisted instruction in phonological awareness on 183 first gr ade students. Students in low, average, and high ability groups were randomly assigned to receive PALS either with or without an accompanying phonological awareness software program (e.g., Daisys Quest or Daisys Castle). An Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) revealed that low achieving stude nts gained the most benefit from PALS instruction regardless of whet her they received additional computer-assisted instruction. Overall, the additi on of CAI had no statistically significant effect on students phonological awareness. The findings across studies can be attributed to a variety of factors. To begin, the lack of improvement in the Boone et al. (1996) study coul d be partly attributed to the amount of time allocated, 7.5 minutes per day, to computer-assisted instruction. It is possible students needed more daily exposure to materials. In addition, the findings reported by Lewin (2000) may help to explain the results of the Nicols on et al. (2000) and Ma thes et al, (2001) st udies. Lewin reports that struggling readers are best served by minimal or Basic com puter-assisted enhancements. It is possible that the extra enhancements provided to students in the Nicolson et al. and Mathes et al. studies were a hindrance to thos e students in the low ability group.

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37 The above hypothesis can be supported by the findings of an observational study performed by Lewis (1999). Lewis observed si x learning disabled students as they read electronic storybooks at varying enhancement le vels including graphics, embedded games, and glossary features. Lewis preteste d students using a word list she created. Each student used three different types of programs for two hours over the course of four days. The first set of enhancements involved six programs with high text interactivity, no embedded games, and graphics, the second involved six programs with varying text interactiv ity and embedded games and the third involved six programs with varyin g text interactivity, a nd glossary features. Posttests involved the original word list, a re telling of each of the stor ies, and responses to comprehension questions. Like Lewin (2000), Le wis found the average student gain in word recognition to be low and that stude nts spent an average of 40% of their time interacting with the non-essential features of the computer program. Lewis concluded that struggling readers needed to engage in highly structured activities with minimal enhancements to reap benefits from computer-assisted instruction. Cost Effectiveness Researchers have often speculated about the cost effectiveness of computer-assisted instruction. To analyze cost effectiveness, one must take into account a variety of elements including the cost of computer hardware and software, th e cost of traditional instructional curriculum materials, the amount of time it takes teachers and students to be trained to use computer hardware and software, as well as se t up costs (Jones, Torgesen, & Sexton, 2001; Roth & Beck, 1987). The studies evaluated in this re view were all in agreement about the cost effectiveness of comput er-assisted instruction. Torgesen, Waters, Cohen, and Waters (1988 ) evaluated the effectiveness of three variations of a computer program designed to increase sight word recognition in 17 learning

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38 disabled students who were in grades one thr ough three. Participants were pretested using a timed computerized word reading test. Torgesen et al. (1989) used the program Words to provide student enhancements that included graphic representation of words and speech feedback. Researchers used a multi-element de sign with four treatment conditions where students received either a graphi c representation of words, speech feedback, a combination of graphic representation and speech fe edback, or no treatment. Participants were involved in daily 15 minutes sessions for eight weeks and were pos ttested using the same measure used for the pretest. After being exposed to ea ch of the four treatment groups, a tally of the change in total words read from pre to posttest demonstrated equal effects across conditions in improving the sight word recognition of students. Researchers us ed these findings to make decisions about the cost effectiveness of the WORDS program. Torg esen et al. concluded that since WORDS is an inexpensive program, provides pictures and sound enhancements and is easily adaptable so that more words can be added to students lists, th at this particular program was a cost effective method of computer-assisted instruction. In a similar study, Nicolson et al. (2000) eval uated the use of the Readers Interactive Teaching Assistant (RITA) on the word recogniti on of 16 students. RITA incorporates pictures, graphics and speech feedback during instruction. When researchers found significant differences in word reading between treatmen t and control, they performed systematic calculations of the cost effectiveness of the RITA program. Nicols on et al. factored in teacher time for both computer-assisted and traditional instruction as well as software costs and determined that RITA is more cost effective than traditional methods of support. Jones, Torgesen, and Sexton (2001) also evalua ted cost effectivene ss in their study which investigated the effect of com puter-assisted instruction on the i ndividual word and text fluency

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39 of elementary age students. Participants were pretested on their speed a nd accuracy on a group of target words and randomly assigned to one of two groups. Ten students were assigned to use the Hint and Hunt program which is enhanced by speech feedback and provides practice in phonological awareness. The remain ing ten students were assigne d to use a spelling program. After daily 15 minute sessions over the cour se of 10 weeks, an ANCOVA revealed that participants in the experimental group improved the speed and accuracy of their word reading. These students were also able to generalize their word reading ability to similar sets of words. Torgesen et al. used these findings to help determine the cost effe ctiveness of the Hint and Hunt software program. They concluded that the benef its of educational effectiveness balance the high expense ($180) of the Hint and Hunt program. It would seem based on preliminary assessmen ts regarding the cost effectiveness of computer-assisted instruction that the potential e ducational benefits either balance or out weigh the high cost of some forms of computer softwa re. In addition, the declin ing cost of computer hardware and increased access to software on the in ternet, has led to increas ed growth in the use of computer-assisted instruction. Speech Feedback Speech feedback refers to the use of sound to deliver task instructions and to provide corrective feedback. Sound is one of the most co mmon enhancements used for computer-assisted instruction. Speech feedback has been associated with increased engagement and word learning in elementary age students (Kim & Kamil, 2001). Se veral of the studies that were examined in the current review explicitly evaluated the e ffects of speech feedback on student progress. Researchers who have evaluated the use of speech feedback have found that, in general, it leads to increases in varying aspects of reading. Although, speech feedback can be provided at a

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40 number of levels including the word, syllable and s ub-syllable levels, inconsistencies have arisen when researchers have attempted to examine th e effects of different kinds of feedback. A study performed by Lewin (2000) compared th e effects of speech feedback on the word recognition skills of 32 intermediate elementary students. Feedback included a Basic version which provided word pronunciation and an Enh anced version which, in addition to word pronunciation, included initial s ound production and meaning enhancements. Through the use of an ANOVA, Lewin concluded that whole word pronunciation was most be neficial for improving student word recognition. In contrast, when Wise et al (1989) evaluated the effects of speech feedback on improving the word recognition and phonological awareness of 62 students in the intermediate grades, they found different results. After us ing an ANOVA to evaluate speech feedback at the whole word, syllable and sub-syllable levels, Wise et al. (1989) concluded that segmented speech feedback (feedback at the syllable or sub-syllable leve l) was most beneficial for improving phonological awareness. Because phonological awareness involve s manipulating language at the syllable and sub-syllable levels, the finding is a logical one. Wise et al. made no conclusive assertions about the best method of speech feedback for the improvement of word recognition. Finally, Chera and Wood (2002) examined th e effects of whole word and segmented speech feedback on the development of phonol ogical awareness and word reading in 30 pre-kindergarten through first grade students stru ggling to develop emergent literacy skills. After pretesting students using the Bri tish Ability Scales Word Test, Chera and Wood assigned fifteen of the participants to use Bangers and Mash an animated multimedia talking book that provided students with both whole word and segmented sp eech feedback. The remaining fifteen students served as the studys contro l. Participants were posttested usi ng the same measure as the pretest.

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41 Through the use of a Mann Whitney U test, Cher a and Wood found that whole word feedback led to increases in phonological awareness and ne ither whole word nor segmented feedback led to increases in word reading. Because Lewin only evaluated the use of init ial sound and not segmented feedback, it is difficult to compare this study to the Chera and Wood and Wise et al. studies. Also the, Chera and Wood study differs from both the Lewin and Wi se et al. studies in that Chera and Wood examined emergent readers. The literacy and computer experiences of young struggling readers could differ markedly from older intermediate readers. In addition, it may be that the effectiveness of the different levels of feedback may vary based on the reading skills being practiced. Speech feedback at the word level may be best when practicing word recognition skills while feedback at the syllable or sub-syllable levels may be best when practicing phonological awareness. In other words, statistica lly insignificant findings way have resulted due to a mismatch between the type of speech feedback and the reading skill being practiced. Computer-Assisted versus Traditional Instruction Because of the benefits of computer-assist ed instruction (e.g., individually paced instruction and extensive rehearsals) it is important to determine whether the computer is at least as good an instructional tool as effective methods of traditional instruction. The studies that have been analyzed in this review reveal consistent findings. In a study conducted by Mioduser, Tur-Kaspa, and Leitner (2000), 46 five and six year olds at risk for reading disabili ties were provided with the progra m I have a secret I can read to help improve phonological awareness, lette r naming, and word recognition skills. The program consists of two components involving both computer and printed materials. After being pretested using a standardized test of phonol ogical awareness, word recognition, and letter

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42 naming, participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups. Group one received both print and computer-based materi als, group two received only pr int-based materials, and group three received regular special education programming without special reading training. After engaging in an unspecified number of session, resear chers posttested studen ts using the measures used during the pretest. Through the use of a Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA), Mioduser et al. (2000) found that the participants in the co mputer/print-based group made significant gains in phonological awareness, word recognition, and letter naming skills when compared to print-based and no formal instruction groups. In a similar study, Mitchell and Fox (2001) compared the effectiveness of a computer-based method of instruction (Daisys Ca stle) to a traditional teacher-led method on the phonological awareness of 72 kinderg arten and first grade students After being pretested using the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Te st (PPVT-III) and the Literacy In itiative for Everyone (LIFE), twenty four participants were assigned to one of three experimental conditions. The first condition consisted of the computer-assisted in struction, Daisys Castle, the second condition consisted of the teacher delivered instructi on (e.g., explicit instruct ion using a phonological awareness kit) and the third condition consiste d of a treatment control condition, drawing and math software. After four weeks of daily 20 minute intervention sessions participants were posttested using the same measures as pretest. Unlike the Mioduser et al. (2000) study, an ANCOVA revealed no significant differences between the teach er and the computer groups. Both groups, however, exhibited significant im provements over the treatment control group. Lewandowski, Begeny, and Rogers (2006) also ex amined the effect of a computer-assisted program and a tutor on the word recognition of a group of 63 third grade students struggling with reading. Students were pretested using a research er created assessment of word recognition and a

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43 curriculum based measure of reading fluency. The intervention lasted for three ten-minute sessions and consisted of practice with a lis t of individual words followed by a timing of connected text. Students were rando mly assigned to one of three groups (i.e., computer, tutor, or control). Students in the computer group receiv ed assistance with indi vidual words from the computer while students in tutor group received assistance with individual words from a tutor. Students in the control group were required to read the word list on their own. Posttesting involved an alternate version of the pretest. Like Mitchell and Fox ( 2001), Lewandowski, et al. (2006) found significant differences between the computer and tu tor groups and the control group. The computer and tutor groups both expe rienced significant improvements in word recognition and fluency. The control group did not make significant gains. Hinitikka, Aro, and Lynntinen (2005) compared the effectiveness of computerized versus print-based training on letter knowledge and letter sound correspondence of 44 primary age struggling readers. Students were pretested using a researcher crea ted test of le tter naming, letter sound correspondence, spelling and a standardized Finnish test of reading fluency. Participants were randomly assigned to an experimental gro up that received the sa me training in a print format. Sessions ranged from 10 to 20 minutes an d were provided three times per week over a period of six weeks. After analyzing the data using an ANOVA, resear chers found no significant differences in the dependent variables (lette r knowledge, letter sound correspondence, spelling, and reading) between the computer and print groups. In addition to examining the effects of we b-based learning on student motivation and engagement, Cole and Hilliard (2006) also eval uated its effects on reading achievement. They studied 36 third graders who were performing at least two years below grade level in reading. The intervention program consiste d of a computer-based interv ention program, Reading Upgrade

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44 which was used to enhance students decoding, fluency, phonics and phonemic awareness skills. The control group received the schools traditional reading en richment program. After being pretested using standardized m easures of decoding, fluency, co mprehension, letter and word recognition, participants were ra ndomly assigned to either the in tervention or control groups. After 180 minutes of instruction over the course of eight weeks, researchers posttested students using alternate forms of the pretest measures. A One-Way ANOVA, yielded promising results. Like Mioduser et al. (2000), Cole and Hilliard co ncluded that there were significant differences favoring the intervention group in the areas of decoding, fluency, phonics, and phonemic awareness. Perhaps one of the reasons the Cole and Hilliard and Mioduser et al. studies yielded results that were more favorable to CAI is becaus e that study consisted of the appropriate amount of enhancements to maintain student enga gement and increase student outcomes. Whether computer-assisted instruction is as eff ective as traditional classroom instruction is an important question. Computers are more capable of providing individual attention to students. Naturally occurring elements of computer-assisted instruction such as individualized corrective feedback increases individual student accountabilit y. This increased accoun tability often leads to increased engagement which in turn leads to increased achievement (Balajthy, 1989; Guthrie & Wigfield., 2000). Approximately 70% of the studies that compared computer -assisted instruction to print-based instruction found the computer to be at least as effective as print-based instruction. These findings could have a significant impact on the kinds methods used to provide reading instruction in the future. Implications for Future Research The use of computer-assisted in struction has increased over the last several decades. This has occurred primarily because the naturally occu rring features of comput er-assisted instruction allows for individually paced instruction, im mediate and instructive feedback, extensive

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45 rehearsals and repetition, teaches in small increm ents, and is often presented in a game like or alternative format to traditional instruc tion (Cotton, 2001; Rieth & Semmel, 1991). Some researchers have theorized that these features could positively impact the achievement of students who struggle, especially those who struggle with readi ng. A review of the literature on the use of computer-ass isted instruction with struggling r eaders has yielded a great deal of uncertainty regarding a number of issues. To begin, some researchers have found comput er-assisted instruction to be motivating and engaging for students. More research is needed to determine the extent to which CAI helps students to be motivated and engaged during reading instruction. More research is also needed to determine the impact of this increased mo tivation and engagement on overall student achievement (Guthrie & Wigfield, 2000). In addition, researchers who have evaluated th e concept of cost e ffectiveness have only done so with respect to money. Ve ry little research has evaluated the cost effectiveness of CAI with respect to time (i.e., the amount of time it ta kes teachers and students to be trained to use computer hardware and software, the amount of ti me the computer allows students to be exposed to materials, and the amount of time the computer can devote to individual students). Oftentimes, teachers have very little time to provide str uggling readers with the type of individualized instruction and feedback that they need. More research is needed to determin e how instruction in CAI compares to more traditional forms of print-based reading instruction. More specifically, more research is needed to determine whether CA I is more cost effective than traditional forms of instruction with re spect to time (Jones, Torgesen, & Sexton, 2001). Also, some researchers are unclear about th e effect of the enhancements provided by computer-assisted instruction on low achieving reader s. There is some evidence to suggest that a

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46 minimal amount of enhancements may be most bene ficial for struggling re aders. More research is needed to determine which types of enhan cements have the greate st impact on struggling readers. Furthermore, some researchers are still unc lear about how differ ent types of speech feedback, feedback at the whole word, syllable or sub-syllable levels, aff ect the word recognition skills of struggling students. The development of word recognition skills is significant to fluency, comprehension and overall reading achievement sk ills (NRP, 2000). More research is needed to determine how best to use the speech feedback features of computers to help improve word reading skills. Although research ers emphasize the benefits of speech feedback, they also recommend that future research examine each of the different forms of feedback on students at different ages and at a va riety of reading levels. Finally, the available research that has compar ed computer and print-based instruction has yielded mixed results. In most cases no significa nt differences were f ound between computer and print-based instructional met hods. However, there were cases in which computer-based instruction led to more significant improvements. Mo re research is needed to compare the effects of print-based teacher-led and computer-assisted instruction. The results of this research could increase our understanding of instructiona l efficacy (Wilson, Majsterek, & Simmons, 1996). Research questions for the current study, whic h will be presented in the chapter that follows, arose from two of the six themes examin ed in this literature review (i.e., attitude motivation, and engagement and co mputer-assisted versus tradit ional instruction). The first surrounds the influence of CAI on student motiv ation during reading instruction. The second surrounds a comparison of the effects of print-ba sed instruction with CAI. Specifically, an evaluation of questions involving the extent to which CAI aff ects motivation and engagement

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47 during reading instruction and the instructi onal efficacy of CAI as a method of fluency instruction are presented. Summary of the Review of the Literature Participants A total of 1,644 students participated in the studi es evaluated in this literature review. The number of participants in each study ranged fr om 3 to 300. Participants in the review were primarily elementary age students ranging from pr e-kindergarten to sixt h grade. Two studies included both early childhood and a primary age st udents (pre-k through firs t grade), ten studies were conducted with primary age students alone (K -3), five studies investigated students who were in both primary and intermediate grades (K-5), five studies were conducted with participants in the intermediate grades only, a nd two studies did not specify a particular grade level. All studies focused on the effect of comput er-assisted instruction on students who were at risk for or who had already been diagnosed with a reading or learning disa bility. Sixteen studies focused on students who were at ri sk for a reading or a learning disability while seven studies used participants who had a diagnosed learning and/or reading disability (see Appendix A). Dependent Variables and Measures Dependent variables included phonological awar eness, letter recognition, fluency, text comprehension, vocabulary, decoding skills, spelling, overall reading achievement, task engagement and attitude. Outcome assessments for these variables included standardized measures such as the Woodcock Johnson Reading Mastery Test (WRMT) and the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) as well as assessments created by the researchers for a particular study. Eighteen of the 23 studies used st andardized measures while the remaining five used measures created by the studys author (s ee Appendix A). Many of the measures created for a particular study were used to assess behavior al outcomes such as stude nt task engagement

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48 Interventions Interventions varied across st udies. Eight studies used a co mputer adapted version of traditional basal readers while the remaining fifteen used pre-packaged software programs (see Appendix A). The two most commonly used pre-p ackaged software programs were Hint and Hunt (incorporated into three st udies) and Daisys Quest (incorporat ed into two studies). Both of these programs are designed to enhance phonolog ical awareness. All of the interventions provided either oral and/or vi sual feedback (see Appendix A) Oral feedback involves the computer voicing information and visual fee dback involves the com puter providing written information to students. Procedures Studies incorporated either single subj ect, observational, quasi-experimental or experimental designs. Two of the studies used a single subject design, five used an observational design, and sixteen studies used either a qua si-experimental or experimental design. The quasi-experimental and experimental designs cons isted of either two ( one treatment and one control), three (two treatment and one control), or four (thr ee treatment and one control) conditions with the two treatmen t condition (12 out of 16 studies) being used most frequently (see Appendix A). Some researchers specifically stated that they trained students to use the computer software incorporated into their study. Training ranged from a few hours to two weeks. Other researchers did not report providing training for students or re ported providing students with training but did not specify the duration of th e training. After training was co mplete, with th e exception of occasional adult monitoring, students in each of th e 23 studies were expected to work with the software programs individually wi th little adult assistance.

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49 The amount of time spent on inte rventions per day in the stud ies reviewed ranged from 7.5 minutes to 35 minutes, with 20 minutes per day being most common (six studies) (See Appendix A). One study did not specify the number of minutes spent on in terventions per day. The amount of time spent per week ranged from two hours to five days, with three days being most common (seven studies). Two studies did not specify the amount of time spent on interventions each week. The duration of the studies ranged from three days to three years. The most common study duration times included: four weeks (three studies), eight weeks (four studies), and ten weeks (three studies). Three st udies did not specify their st udy duration time in weeks. Most researchers used interventions that were separate from student s daily curriculum. A total of three studies reported connecting the computer-assisted intervention to the daily curriculum (see Appendix A). In all three cases the computer was used to reinforce the same or similar types of material being covered by the traditional curriculum. In one case, the intervention was even incorporated into a sm all-group instructional ro tation (see Appendix A). Findings Of the 18 studies that used an experimental or single subject resear ch design, researchers report significant overall diffe rences between treatment and control groups or baseline and intervention phases for 15 studies (see Appendi x A). In reading, researchers found significant improvements in the areas of phonological awareness, word re cognition, fluency, spelling and letter naming. In behavior, researchers found impr ovements in student engagement and attitude towards reading. Overall, researchers conclude d that explicit compute r-assisted instruction involving oral and visual correc tive feedback, a game-like environment, animated sequences, graphic representations, and text manipulation/interac tivity, can provide e ffective results for students. Researchers also concl uded that some of these elements were most beneficial for low achieving students.

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50 Themes The purpose of this chapter has been to summar ize and analyze the literature examining the impact of computer-assisted in struction on reading ability. Com puter-assisted instruction has grown in popularity in recent decad es. This has occurred primarily because of the computers ability to provide readers, es pecially those who struggle, w ith individualiz ed instruction, instructive and corrective feedb ack, and extensive repe tition and rehearsals (Rieth & Semmel, 1991; Wilson, Majsterek, & Simmons, 1996). The l ogistics of traditional classroom instruction requires more prevalent use of whole-group a nd some small-group instruction, both of which result in decreased opportunities for indi vidualization (Cotto n, 2001). Based on the aforementioned characteristics, researchers and other educational stakeholders have hypothesized that the computer has a great deal of potential to aid in the development of reading. The dependent variables in this literature review included phonologi cal awareness, letter recognition, fluency, text comprehension, vocabular y, decoding skills, spelling, overall reading achievement, motivation, task engagement, and attitude. Careful analysis of research results yielded a series of themes including the use of the computer as a motivational tool, the use of computer-assisted instruction as a supplement to traditional classroom instruction, the use of the computer to assist readers at varying ability le vels, the cost effectiveness of computer-assisted instruction, the use of different types of sp eech feedback enhancements, and the use of computer-assisted instruction when compared to more traditional forms of instruction. Based on the results of this review it is uncl ear as to whether the use of CAI results in improvements in the attitude, motivation and enga gement of struggling re aders. Results suggest that CAI is most effective when used as a supplem ent to more traditional forms of instruction. In addition, CAI that includes a gr eat number of enhancements (i.e., games, animation, and sound) may be more beneficial to highe r achieving readers. Results also suggest that CAI may be at

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51 least as cost effective as trad itional forms of instruction. Als o, the results of speech feedback vary based the focus of reading instruc tion (e.g., phonological awareness versus word recognition). Finally, it is unclear as to whether computer-assiste d instruction is at least as effective as traditional forms of reading inst ruction. The purpose of the current study, which will be presented and discussed in the remaining chapte rs, is to increase the re search base for two of the six themes discussed in this literature review (i.e., attit ude, motivation, and engagement and computer-assisted versus traditional instruction). The result of the current literature surrounding these two themes is mixed and more research is needed to provide conclusive evidence regarding the use of CAI in these areas.

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52 CHAPTER 3 METHODS Purpose The purpose of this research was twofold. The first purpose was to investigate the effects of two methods of fluency inst ruction (i.e., print and compute r) on oral reading fluency and overall reading achievement. The second purpose was to examine the effects of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) on student engagement. To accomplish these goals, two complimentary studies were designed and im plemented using a mixed methods approach. Fluency Because of its contribution to reading comp rehension and overall reading achievement, there is agreement among reading experts that re ading fluency is an important component of a comprehensive reading curriculum (Kuhn, 2004/ 2005; Kuhn & Stahl, 2003; Rasinski, 2004). Despite the fact that it is one of the five key components of reading development, fluency instruction continues to be overlooked in the general read ing curriculum (Allington, 1983; Kuhn). Leading experts in the field of reading have attributed this neglect to such factors as a failure on the part of universitie s and school districts to train pre-service and in-service teachers how to provide explicit fluency instruction to st udents, the assumption th at decoding instruction automatically leads to increases in reading fl uency, and questions surrounding how to provide individualized support to st udents (Allington; Fleisher, Je nkins, & Pany, 1979/1980; Kiley, 2005; Kuhn). Fluency instruction is most effective when students are provided with opportunities to repeatedly read text with guidance and feedb ack from a fluent model (Samuels, 2002). This guidance and feedback is best provided to stud ents individually (Osbor n, Lehr, & Hiebert, 2003). Teachers and researchers are often seeking ways to provide struggling readers with

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53 individualized support from a fl uent model. Because it is of ten difficult to provide quality individualized guidance and feedback to students, teachers have turned to alternative forms of instructional delivery including: paired reading, tape assisted reading and computer-assisted instruction (Osborn, Lehr, & Hiebert). Because com puter-assisted instructi on has the capacity to provide students with individually paced inst ruction, extensive rehearsals, immediate and corrective feedback and distributed presentati on of new material (Rieth & Semmel, 1991); it could potentially be the most viable of the three alternativ es for providing students with individualized guidance and feedback which is crucial to fluency development (Cotton, 2001; Rieth & Semmel). There is a dearth of research-based information regarding specifics of how computer-assisted instruction can impact a str uggling reader (Hall, H ughes, & Filbert, 2000). Hall et al., 2000 has called for studies that evaluate the use of CAI for the instruction of each of the five key elements of reading instruc tion (i.e., phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension). Tomlinson (2001) s uggests increased evaluation of how CAI can assist teachers with differentiating instructi on to meet the varying needs of students. In this study, three groups were compared. Th ree groups were estab lished instead of two because the results of a pilot study, which will be discussed later in this chapter, revealed that a simple comparison between print and computer al one may yield inconclusi ve results. It could have been argued that the instruct ional nature of the software ve rsion of the fluency program was not equivalent to the print version of the program. Theref ore two computer groups were established. One group was equivalent to the prin t group in the amount of text presented in a given session and the other group was equivalent to the print group in the amount of time students received to complete a given session. Participants in the print group received a

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54 print-based method of fluency in struction led by a graduate stude nt teacher, a student completing the requirements for a masters degree in education. Participants in the text and time equivalent groups received one-on-one computer-assisted fl uency instruction. The primary purpose of the proposed study was to compare the effects of computer-assisted instruction with small-group teacher-led print-based instructi on on the fluency and overall reading skills of beginning third grade students who have dem onstrated delayed fluency. Task Engagement Guthrie and Wigfield (2000) and Kuhn a nd Stahl (2003) have found that student engagement during academic tasks is crucial to overall academic achievement. Engagement can be defined as an observable manifestation of achievement motivation (Monzo & Rueda, 2000, p. 2). Students can demonstrate engagement by engaging in on-task behaviors such as maintaining eye contact, either with the teach er or with the materials being used during instruction. Just as with overall academic achieve ment, engagement is strongly related to reading achievement. A national research study involving students of ages nine, thirteen and seventeen revealed that more highly engaged readers demons trated higher achieveme nt than less engaged readers (Campbell, Voelkl, & Donahue, 1997). In f act, Guthrie, Schafer, and Huang (2001), have found that high engagement during reading can overcome such obstacles as a low income/education and family background. For many years, researchers and practitioners have had difficulty finding ways to help increase student engagement. The individualizati on provided by CAI could assist teachers with increasing student engagement. In the CAI envi ronment each student receives individualized feedback on each response. This individualizatio n provides students with increased opportunities to respond and holds students more accountable, thus leading to increased engagement during instruction. (Balajthy, 1989). In addition to ev aluating the effects of CAI on fluency skills, the

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55 purpose of the proposed study was to also compar e levels of task engagement among students who had difficulty remaining on-task during inst ruction using CAI and a print-based teacher-led method of instructional delivery. Because this study directly ev aluated the effects of CAI on student engagement, a single subject component was incorporated to allow for the systematic evaluation of a subset of the larger group population. The use of a single subject design was appr opriate for this investigation for three main reasons. First, on e of the strengths of single subject research designs is the ability to demonstrate a reliable functional relationshi p between dependent and independent variables with individual subjects in natu ral settings (Tawney & Gast, 1984). This project involved applied interventions which required that formative data-based changes be made in the levels of the independent variables. It was important to care fully monitor and account for the unique variables frequently present in applied settings. Single su bject research methodology a llows high levels of precision and flexibility, while at the same ti me, providing excellent control for threats to internal validity (i.e.,, factor s that would impede the abil ity to demonstrate functional relationships) (Kazdin, 1982; Tawney & Gast, 19 84). In addition, Baer, Wolf, and Risley (1968) noted that systematic replication of behavioral research is necessa ry if we are to understand the parameters associated with a particular method or procedure. Second, single subject designs are useful when the number of available and appropriate subjects is limited. The improbab ility of obtaining sufficient numb ers of subjects displaying both challenging behaviors and reading de ficits in a single controlled setting was a major difficulty in planning group comparison designs for this investig ation. These low numbers were due in part to (a) relatively low incidence rates of students who exhibit a comorb idity for low task engagement and reading deficits (U.S. Depa rtment of Education, 1994) and (b ) wide variety of behavioral

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56 topographies displayed within this population of students. However, power and effect-size conventions of traditional group re search designs would dictate that much larger samples be used to achieve reliable findings (Keppel, 1991; Kr aemer & Thiemann, 1987). These facts exemplify the impracticality of attempting to select and assign students to groups of sufficient size to facilitate parametric designs. Third, although generalizations typically are limited by the small number of subjects used in single subject studies, external validity can be enhanced thr ough the repeated demonstrations of experimental control across different subjects and settings (Kazdin, 1982; Tawney & Gast, 1984). The ability to characterize subjects for whom a given interv ention is found to be effective is an important feature of the single subject methodology and a key purpose of this research project. This study evaluated the effects of CAI and teacher-led instruction on student engagement by comparing three interventions th at were replicated across three individual students. Research Questions The processes and procedures described herein are designed to provide information to answer six specific research questions. Research Question 1 : Is a computer-based method of instruction as effective as a print-based method of instru ction in improving the fluenc y skills of children who demonstrate delayed fluency development? Research Question 2 : Is a computer-based method of instruction as effective as a print-based method of instruc tion in improving the general r eading skills (i.e., vocabulary and comprehension) of children who dem onstrate delayed fluency development? Research Question 3 : Is the number of sessions of in struction related to the fluency development of children who demonstrate delayed fluency development? Research Question 4 : Is the number of sessions of in struction related to the reading development (i.e., vocabulary and comprehens ion) of children who demonstrate delayed fluency development?

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57 Research Question 5 : When students are not limited in the amount of text they read, do they read more? Research Question 6 : Is there a clear func tional relationship betw een method of fluency instruction and task engagement for student s who demonstrate delayed development in on-task engagement? Data from two dependent measures (i.e., a st andardized measure of oral reading fluency and a standardized measure of overall reading ac hievement) were analyzed to answer research questions one through four concerning the eff ects of the print-based, text-equivalent, and time-equivalent instruction on the oral reading fl uency and overall reading skills of participants. Data provided by the fluency softwa re program were analyzed to answer research question five concerning whether students took advantage of th e opportunity to read multiple passages in a given session. Visual analysis of graphs of students on-ta sk engagement during reading instruction was analyzed to answer research que stion six concerning the ex istence of a functional relationship between fluency inst ruction and task engagement. Design and Instructional Setting Because the purpose of the current study was tw ofold, two studies were performed using a mixed methods approach. A descrip tion of both research designs is illustrated in Figure 3-1. A description of the inst ructional settings for both designs is also included in this section. Experimental Design: Group An experimental pretest postte st design was used in this study. This design allowed for the assessment of changes in the dependent vari able over time. Because this study included third grade participants who were being prepared to take statewide high stak es tests, a treatment control group was not feasible. Each of the schools that were involved in this study, planned on providing struggling students who did not partic ipate in this study with their own forms of supplementary fluency instruction. Limitations wi ll be discussed. Participants were randomly

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58 assigned by school to one of the three treatm ent groups. Random assignment controlled for threats to internal validity in cluding: selection an d regression toward the mean (Dooley, 2001). Experimental Design: Single Subject A changing conditions single subj ect design was used to evalua te the on-task engagement of the three participan ts within the larger group study. This design allo wed the researcher to compare participants on-task engagement acro ss the three treatment conditions (Kazdin, 1982). A changing treatments design allows for the comparison of multiple treatments without associating the treatments with a particular stimulus (Kazdin, p. 177). Figure 3-1. Overview of the Gr oup and Single Subject Designs Instructional Settings Three elementary schools located in north cen tral Florida were chosen as sites for this study. All three schools were chosen because a prior relationship exis ted between each school and the graduate student researcher. Two of the schools were also chosen because they had large Group Design: examine reading achievement in each group Print-Based Fluency Instruction Computer-Based Fluency Instruction Print Time: 20 min Text: 1 passage Text Equivalent Time: not monitored Text: 1 passage Time Equivalent Time: 20 min Text: monitored Single-Subject Design: examin e task engagement in each condition

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59 populations of students at the thir d grade level who also struggle in oral reading fluency. One school served primarily a rural population while the other two schools represented a more urban population. Two of the three schools served children in pre-kinderg arten through fifth grade. One of the schools served a kindergarten through tw elfth grade population. Table 3-1 provides descriptive statistics for the so cioeconomic status of the schools and the socioeconomic status of study participants by school. An important factor when selecting schools wa s the availability of adequate computer resources. This study required computers with the following minimum system requirements: Windows 98 or Mac OS X. In two of the three schools, the computer-ass isted instruction groups, time and text controlled, received their instruction in the scho ol computer laboratory. It was therefore critical that these schools had a com puter laboratory with a minimum capacity of 15 students. The small-group teacher-led instructio n group, group A, took place in a quiet area (e.g., the school conference room or an unus ed classroom) provided by each school. Group Study In this section, methods of subject selection, the inst ruments and materials, the instructional procedures, and methods of data analysis for the group de sign portion of the study are discussed. Subject Selection All third grade students in the three elemen tary schools were assessed using the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS), an individually administered standardized measure of oral reading fluency. The test was ad ministered by the teachers and reading coaches in each of the schools. Students who scored between the 10th and 39th percentile or between 35-76 words correct per minute (wcpm) according to benchmark goals and indicators of risk provided by the test manual qualified for the study (Hasbrouck & Tindal, 1992). The 10th to 39th

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60 percentile range was chosen because Hasbrouck and Tindal (1992) suggest that students scoring within this range on measures of oral read ing fluency beginning in second grade are good candidates for interventions in oral reading fluency development. This is because students scoring at this level are more likely to have the basic foundational skills (e.g., phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, word recognition) needed to be ready for fluency instruction (Rasinski, 2004). Students who score below the 10th percentile would have needed substantial interventions beyond the scope of this st udy and students who scored above the 39th percentile were considered normally achievi ng readers (Hasbrouck & Tindal). All other students scoring within the 10th and 39th percentile were given letters of parental informed consent explaining the purpose of the st udy as required by the Un iversity of Floridas Institutional Review Board (see Appendix B). The participants w ho returned letters of consent were included in the study. With in each research site, students were randomly assigned to one of the three experimental groups using a random nu mber table. Each participant was assigned a number and grouped using an electronic random numb er generator. Because participants in the computer group worked individually, whether random assignment yielded heterogeneous or homogenous groupings was irrelevant Participants in the print-ba sed groups were placed in instructional groupings that were as close to homogenous as possible after the random assignment process. Once participants were finalized, frequencie s were tabulated for demographic variables (age, gender, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity ) (See Table 3-1). Strugg ling students at school one who were not involved in the st udy received small group print based Quick Reads fluency instruction. Struggling students in schools two and three who di d not participate in the study received computer based Read Naturally fluency instruction.

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61 Instruments and Materials In this section, the research instrumentation is described. This section includes information about the screening measure used to select the participants in the study. The pretest and posttest measures used to assess the effect s of training are also described. Screening measure The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS), a set of standardized measures that includes an oral reading fluency measure, has been widely used Table 3-1. Demographic Data for All Study Participants by School School 1 (N = 6) School 2 (N = 26) School 3 (N = 21) Frequency Percent Frequency Percent Frequency Percent Age 8 1 16 12 46 3 14 9 4 67 13 50 11 52 10 1 16 1 4 7 33 Gender Male 3 50 14 54 9 43 Female 3 50 12 46 12 57 SES Free/Reduce d 2 33 21 81 18 86 Full Pay 4 66 5 19 3 14 Ethnicity Black 2 33 13 50 3 14 White 4 67 10 38 15 71 Hispanic 0 0 2 7 3 14 Mixed Race 0 0 1 4 0 0 across the country as a tool for screening, di agnosis and progress monitoring (Good & Kaminski, 2002). DIBELS oral reading fluency (ORF) is a measure that is individually administered beginning in the winter semester of first grade. It is used to measure the accuracy and rate at which students are able to read connected text at their grade level. Students performance is reported as the number of words read correctly in one minute. It consists of a set of three timed standardized reading passages that students read orally. Errors include omissions, substitutions, and hesitations of more then th ree seconds. Self correc tions within three seconds are counted as

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62 accurate. The median score among the three pass ages comprises the students oral reading fluency score. Students are usuall y tested approximately three tim es per year (e.g., fall, winter, spring). The most observable manifestation of skillful reading is the speed at which text is transferred into spoken language (Adams, 1990). It is therefore not surpri sing that oral reading fluency is highly correlated with overall readi ng achievement (Fuchs, Fuchs, Hosp, & Jenkins, 2001). In fact, Fuchs et al. (2001) have found oral reading fluency to be more strongly associated with the ability to read and respond to text than more direct measures of reading comprehension. In addition, student performance on measures of oral r eading fluency in the early grades is highly predic tive of later overall reading achievement (Good, Simmons, & Kameenui, 2001). DIBELS was chosen as the screen ing instrument in this study because it has been shown to be a reliable and valid measure fo r identifying children at risk for reading failure. The reliability of the screening instrument used in this study is important to ensure consistent measurement of the skills being studied (Salkind, 2004). Ther e are four types of reliability including: test-retest, parallel forms, internal consistency, and interrater reliability (Salkind). Two of the four types of reliability have been established fo r DIBELS: test-retest and alternate forms reliability. Both of which are quite high. The test-retest reliability for elementary age students ranges from .92 to .97; and the alte rnate forms reliability ranges from .89 to .94. The validity of the screening in strument used in this study is important to establish to ensure that the assessment tool measures the constr uct that it claims to measure (Gay & Airasian, 2000). There are four types of validity including: content, criterion-related, construct, and consequential validity (Gay & Airasian). One of the four types of validit y has been established for DIBELS: criterion validity. The criter ion validity ranges from .52 to .91.

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63 Outcome measures In addition to using DIBELS as a screening tool for students at risk for reading failure, it was also used as an outco me measure for oral read ing fluency. Pretest (i.e., fall assessment scores) and pos ttest (i.e.,. winter assessment scores) data were compared. DIBELS was chosen as an outcome measure because it has been shown to be a reliable and valid instrument for predicting student re sponse to training in fluency skills. Because DIBELS is not designed to serve as a comprehensive reading assessment tool (Good, Simmons, & Kameenui, 2001), the Gates MacG initie Reading Test Level threeFourth Edition was also used as an outcome measur e for overall reading achievement. The Gates MacGinitie is a group administered assessment that, at the third gr ade level, specifically assesses vocabulary and comprehension. The vocabulary porti on consists of 45 questi ons and is timed for 20 minutes. The comprehension portion consists of 48 questions and is timed for 35 minutes. In the vocabulary portion, students are provided with a sentence or phras e that consists of a target word. The sentence or phrase and target word are followed by a list of possible synonyms for the target word. Students are required to choose the synonym that ma tches the target word within the context of the sentence. In the comprehension sec tion, students are provided with a short passage followed by a list of questions related to the passa ge. Two of the four types of reliability that have been established for the Gates MacGinitie Reading test include: internal reliability and alternate forms reliability. The internal reliabili ty ranges from .88 to .96; and the alternate forms reliability ranges from .74 to .95. Materials Quick Reads is an instructional program used to build oral reading fluency (Hiebert, 2005). The program uses controlled grade level appropriate vocabulary. The books are based on non-fiction science and social studies topics and are thematically grouped. The program consists of four levels: A-F (see Appendix D-1) Each level consists of three books and each

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64 book contains 30 texts (90 texts pe r level). Text length corresponds to grade level reading rate for one minute. Quick Reads comes in both a print and a software format. Both formats involve the same passages. See Table 3-2 for the st eps that guide the print version of the Quick Reads program. The software version of the program allows students to receive speech feedback on the vocabulary of pre-selected words in a passa ge, speech feedback on the pronunciation of all words in a passage, and also comes equipped wi th voice recognition software so that students may read passages to the computer and receive feedback. The software places the locus of Table 3-2. Quick Reads Steps: Print Step Number Action 1 The teacher begins by browsing the titl e, picture and caption with students. 2 The teacher uses a graphic organizer to help students to make predictions about what might occur in the passage (see Appendix H-1). 3 The teacher then reads the passage as students follow along silently. 4 Students then choral read the passage. 5 Students practice the passage by reading with a partner. 6 The teacher then times the student for one minute. 7 The teacher and student chart the number of words read correctly per minute. 8 As students wait to be time, they res pond to the comprehension questions that accompany a particular passage. Revi ew the comprehension questions with students. control with the student so that the student is in charge of the order of the steps for instruction. The student can choose to have the computer read first or the student can choose to read first. In the print-based version of instru ction, the order is pr e-set. No matter the order, the computer requires that (1) the studen t be read to by the computer at least twice, (2) that the student read to the computer at least twice, and (3) that the student answer the comprehension questions that accompany the passage before moving to another passage. See Tables 3-3 and 3-4 for the steps that guide the computer versions of the Quick Reads program. Appendix I provides screen shot examples of the software version of the Quick Reads program.

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65 Each passage of both versions of the program includes an introduction page which shows a figure and an accompanying caption which is designed to be used as a pre-reading activity. In the print version of the program, the fluency passage is on the adjacent page. In the software version, the fluency passage is hyperlinked to the in troduction page. Comprehe nsion questions also accompany both versions of the program. In the print version, questions can be found at the end of a series of passages. In the software version, questions appear after tw o readings of the same passage have been completed. In the print version, a page to chart student progress appears at the very end of a book. In the software version, the charting page app ears after each reading. Table 3-3. Quick Reads Steps: Computer: Text-equivalent Step Number Action 1 The student logs into the program. 2 The student tests the microphone. 3 The student logs into the reading passage. 4 The student chooses at le ast two vocabulary words. 5 The student chooses to have the computer read or to read to the computer. 6 The student chooses to have the comput er read or to read to the computer. 7 The student chooses to have the comput er read or to read to the computer. 8 The student chooses to have the comput er read or to read to the computer. 9 The student responds to comprehension questions. 10 The student begins a math program. Instructional Procedures In the following sections, procedures for pla nning and delivering inst ruction are described. The training of graduate student s who served as instructors of the print group and as supervisors of the computer-assisted instruct ion groups is discussed. A descri ption of the computer-assisted and teacher-led instruction interventions is also provided. Personnel training Graduate students in education were trained to supervise the students in the computer-assisted groups and to teach stud ents in the teacher-led instruction group. All three graduate students were able to commit enough time to th e study to supervise both the computer-assisted and the teacher-led groups.

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66 Training for the graduate students who taught the teacher-led group was conducted by the researcher. The graduate students received a review of the concept of fluency and its relationship to reading. Fluency skills were defined and de monstrated, and interventions were explained. Scripts for up to 30 lessons were provided to each of the graduate students (see Appendix D-2). The number of sessions for this study varied base d on such circumstances as start date and end date of the study, holidays, and student absences The researcher modeled procedures for one lesson. The graduate students practiced in pairs until they became comfortable using the scripts. The researcher observed each graduate stude nt and provided correc tive feedback on all procedures as needed. The training of the graduate students who supervised the computer-assisted groups was conducted by the researcher. The researcher taug ht the graduate students how to operate the Quick Reads (2005) software program. The graduate stude nts were allowed to view the tutorial and to practice navigating through di fferent sections of the program. Table 3-4. Quick Reads Steps: Computer: Time-equivalent Step Number Action 1 The student logs into the program. 2 The student tests the microphone. 3 The student logs into the reading passage. 4 The student chooses at le ast two vocabulary words. 5 The student chooses to have the computer read or to read to the computer. 6 The student chooses to have the comput er read or to read to the computer. 7 The student chooses to have the comput er read or to read to the computer. 8 The student chooses to have the comput er read or to read to the computer. 9 The student responds to comprehension questions. 10 The student moves on to another passage (if time). Participant training: com puter-assisted instruction Participants in the CAI groups were trained to use the Quick Reads software program before the study began. Participants were allowed to view the tutorial that accompanied the software program. Then participants got an opportunity to practice several pr ocedures that were necessary for daily use of the program

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67 including: accessing the me nu of stories, accessing the individu al stories, testing and using the microphone, requesting speech feedback on the vocabulary of target words, and pronunciation of individual words. Pilot Study A pilot study was conducted over the course of three weeks dur ing a summer reading enrichment program. All 12 students invol ved in the study scored within the 10th and the 38th percentile (i.e., 48-89 wcpm) on the end of the year 2nd grade DIBELS ORF. Six students were randomly assigned to receive print-based Quic k Reads instruction and six students were randomly assigned to receive computer-based Quick Reads instruc tion. Students received instruction over the course of three weeks for five days per we ek at 30 minutes per day. There were no significant differences in increases in means across both groups. Appendix E-1 displays individual and average increases fr om pretest to posttest (i.e., end of the year scores to end of summer program scores) for both groups. The six students in the computer group varied in the number of fluency passages read in each allotted 30 minute session. Some students were only able to complete one passage in a session while others averaged over two passages in a session. In the pilot study, it was difficult to draw conclusions about the differences between the print and computer groups because of the confounding variables associated with the number of passages participants in the computer group were able to read in a given session. The result was the establis hment of two computer groups for the current study. Description of intervention: teacher-led instruction Participants were grouped based on their DIBELS ORF scores. Participants with sim ilar ORF scores were placed in the same group. Once grouped, the researcher again used DIBELS scores to determine the Quick Reads level at which to begin instruction. The researcher used a specified DIBELS OR F percentile range to

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68 determine the level at which to begin instructi on (see Table 3-5). Student s in this study were either placed in Quick Reads level A or in level B. Quick Reads Level C is meant to be used with students who are reading on a third grade level. Quick Reads Levels D-F are meant to be used with students who are reading above a third grad e level. Group size ranged from three to five students. Students began the study at the beginn ing (i.e., the first stor y) of each level and continued within that level thr oughout the entirety of the study. The fact that there are three books in each Quick Reads level with over 20 stories in each book prevented any student from increasing to a higher level w ithin the intervention period. As a method of insuring procedural integrit y, the researcher provi ded graduate students with scripts to follow to ensure consistency ac ross the teacher-led in structional groups (see Appendix D-2). Each lesson invol ved eight steps (see Table 3-2) and took approximately 20 minutes per day to complete. Students completed one passage per day and received instruction for three days per week across a period of ten week s. Instructional time in this study reflected the fact that effective fluency instruction must be frequent (i.e., between three to five times per week) (Johns & Berglund, 2002). Posttests (DIB ELS ORF Winter) were administered by the researcher and the graduate students within one week after the completion of the study. Table 3-5. Percentiles and Matching Levels DIBELS ORF Percentile Quick Reads Level 10th-28th A 29th-39th B Description of intervention: text -equivalent computer-assisted group Similar to the teacher-led group, DIBELS percentile ranges were used to determine the Quick Reads level at which to begin instruction for the CAI group. E ach student in the text-equivalent CAI group began in either level A or level B. The Quick Reads software allows students to request speech feedback on the definitions of pre-selected words and on the pronunciation of individual words

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69 throughout the passage. However, the software program requires that participants have the computer read the passage to them at least twice, that participants read to the computer at least twice, and that participants respond to the co mprehension questions that accompany the passage. Once these requirements have been fulfilled then participants can choose to move to another passage or choose to read to the computer again to try to improve their score. Several controls were implemented to limit the differences between groups to the variables of interest. Because participants in the teacher-led group engaged in predicting to activate prior knowledge, participants in the text-equivalent CAI group were required to request speech feedback on at least two target vocabulary word s. This requirement helped to serve as a pre-reading activity for participan ts in the text-equivalent group. In addition, because participants in the teacher-led group only had the opportunity to h ear a fluent model twice and to read the text twice before an official timing and charting of th eir scores then particip ants in this group were not be allowed the option of listening to the computer more than twice or reading to the computer more than twice. On ce participants completed the requirements for a given session including: requesting at least two target vocabulary words, lis tening while the computer read twice, reading to the comput er twice, and completing the comprehension questions that accompany the passage; participants were requir ed to complete their session. A completed session meant that practice of a particular passage was complete. Participants in this group were only allowed to complete one passage in a gi ven daily 20 minute instructional session. Description of intervention: time -equivalent computer-assisted group Similar to the teacher-led group and the text-equivalent comp uter-assisted group, DIBELS percentile ranges were used to determine the Quick Reads level at which to set the in struction for participants in the CAI time-equivalent group. Recall that the Quick Reads software program allows students to

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70 request speech feedback on the definitions of pre-selected words and on the pronunciation of individual words throughout the pa ssage. Also, the program require s that participants have the computer read the passage to them at least twice, that participants read to the computer at least twice, and that participants respond to the co mprehension questions that accompany the passage. Once these requirements have been fulfilled then participants can choose to move to another passage or read to the computer again to try to improve their score. Just like participants in the teacher-led and text-equivalent CAI groups, participants in the time-equivalent CAI group were required to re quest speech feedback on at least two target vocabulary words. This requirement helped to serve as a pre-reading activity for participants in the time-equivalent group. Also like the participants in the teacher-led and the text-equivalent groups, participants in the time-e quivalent group were not be allowed the option of listening to or reading to the computer more than twice. Sim ilar to conditions in the text-equivalent group, once participants completed the requirements for a given session including: re questing at least two target vocabulary words, listening while the com puter reads twice, reading to the computer twice, and completing the comprehension questi ons that accompany the passage; participants were required to complete their session. To i nvestigate the full effects of using CAI during fluency instruction, if participants in this group completed a passage within the allotted 20 minute instructional period, they were allowed to move to another passage. However, to ensure that students had fulfilled all the completion re quirements, participants in this group were required to check in with a graduate student be fore moving on to a new passage. The graduate student ensured that participants fulfilled all of the requirements that were needed to complete a session and move to the next passage.

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71 Treatment integrity. Because this research study wa s conducted in three different schools, it was important to ensure that inst ructional content was delivered reliably across schools. The procedures implemented to ensure consistency of instru ction throughout the study are discussed. Treatment integrity is the extent to which an intervention is implemented as planned (Gresham, 1989). Examining treatment in tegrity was important in this study because it helped to decipher whether the intervention did or did not work due to th e actual intervention and not because of variations in how the intervention was implemented. Treatment integrity in this study involved an observer rating scale (see Appendix F-1 and F-2). This method of collecting treatment integrity helped to avoid the bias of a self report and also helped the researcher to determine not just whether each step was implemented but also the degree to which each step was implemented. Th e researcher observed each graduate student teacher using the observer rating scale at least on ce per week or the equivalent of approximately 30% of the instructional sessions. The rating scales were tailored to match the requirements for conducting print and computer grou ps. For the print group the focus was on the graduate student teachers ability to follow each sc ripted step of the program and to also maintain student focus throughout each session. For the computer group th e focus was on the graduate student teachers ability to prepare and manage the software and to also assist students in navigating the software. Each observation was followed by a debriefing wh ere graduate students were informed about how they performed on each aspe ct of the treatmen t integrity rating scale. If necessary, debriefings were followed by re-teaching a nd modeling. Re-teaching and modeling was led by the primary researcher. Data Analysis The purpose of this study was to compare CAI with small-group teacher-led instruction in fluency for third grade students with below average skills in fluency. To evaluate the effects of

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72 computer delivered and teacher-led instruction, six hypotheses were constructed. At the end of the study, all pretests were re-administered to all participants in the group design. Because students in the single subject design were experi encing all three conditions, it was not possible to compare the effects of the treatments on their fluency or reading achievement (i.e., vocabulary and comprehension). An Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) approach was used to evaluate differences in oral reading fluency across the three groups. ANCOVA was used in this study to remove predictable individual differences from the dependent variable (i.e., pretest scores) which, in turn, provided a more precise estimate of experimental erro r than a repeated meas ures ANOVA (Shavelson, 1996). ANCOVA removes selection bias whic h strengthens internal validity. Any variable that is correla ted with the dependent variable can be controlled for using covariance (Gay & Airasian, 2000, p. 501). In the case of the current study, the ANCOVA adjusted posttest scores for initial differences in pretest scores and compared the adjusted scores. The use of an ANCOVA was an attempt to diminish the variation in posttest scores that can be attributed to other variables not related to the treatment. The pretest is called the covariate. The data was analyzed to determine if main effects existed. Main effects refer to whether the independent variable (i.e., instructional met hod) has a significant effect on the outcome or dependent variables (i.e., oral reading fluency and overall read ing achievement). It was also analyzed to determine if treatm ent effects, whether the separate effects of levels of the independent variable (i.e., printbased instruction versus comput er-based instruction) had an impact on the dependent variable (e.g., oral r eading fluency and overall reading achievement), existed. Post hoc tests which included Tukeys HS D and Scheffes method were used to measure

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73 significant treatment effects. Both tests allow fo r comparisons of pairs of means and of complex combinations (i.e., more than two) of means. Single Subject Study Methods of subject selection, the instrume nts and materials used, the instructional procedures used, and methods of data analysis for the single subject design portion of the study are discussed in this section. Subject Selection At the onset of the study, the researcher as ked teachers of students who qualify (hereafter known as participant teachers) fo r the larger group st udy to nominate from among those students, individuals who also had diffi culty remaining engaged during instruction. Engagement was defined as an overt interaction with an instructiona l task (Rieth & Simmel, 1991) such as a verbal response, reading aloud, or writing an answ er on a piece of paper. All teacher nominated students received letters of pare ntal informed consent explaining the purpose of this portion of the study as required by the University of Florida s Institutional Review Board. The participants who returned the letters of cons ent were included in this porti on of the study. The participant teachers were asked to complete a behavior rating scale (see Appendix C-1) to determine the extent to which the teacher nominated students actually had difficulty remaining engaged during reading instruction. The purpose of the behavior rating scale was to act as a second level of screening and provide teachers with the specific targ et behaviors that were to be evaluated in the study. Completing the behavior rating scale clarified for some teachers the nature of the target behaviors. In fact, after viewi ng the rating scale, some teacher s removed several students from the initial nomination list because they exhibited disruptive but not off task behaviors. The rating scale required participant teachers to rate st udents on a scale of zero to three with three representing whether the student always performed a specified activity and zero representing

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74 whether the student never pe rformed a specified activity. The activities on the rating scale included: paying attention, listening to dire ctions, remaining on-task while working independently, and actively partic ipating. Students with the lowe st scores on the rating scale qualified for the single subject portion of the stud y. Each nominated participant was also observed by the researcher using an observation prot ocol. Because the logistics of this portion of the study were somewhat complex, all participants were chosen from the same school. Five students were initially selected to participate in this portion of the study, however, one participant was eliminated duri ng baseline observations because he already exhibited very high rates of engagement during whole-group instruc tion and independent seat work. The remaining four students were randomly assigned to each of the three treatment groups. One of these four students was eliminated toward the end of the study due to a large number of absences. A description of each of the remaining three students follows. Daryl Daryl was a 10 year old white male enrolled in a general education th ird grade classroom. He spent approximately 40% of the school day in a special education reso urce room. Daryl often engaged in off task behaviors wh ich hindered his readi ng development. These off task behaviors included distracting others, leav ing his assigned seat during inde pendent academic work, failing to pay attention during whole-group instruction, faili ng to listen carefully to directions, failing to remain on-task during independent work, and failing to complete independent academic work. Sam Sam was a 9 year old Hispanic male who was enrolled in a general education third grade classroom. Sam often engaged in off task behavi ors which hindered his reading development.

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75 These off task behaviors included: failing to pay attention during whol e-group instruction and failing to complete independe nt academic assignments. Jay Jay was a 9 year old white male who was en rolled in a general education third grade classroom. He often engaged in off task behaviors which hinder ed his reading development. These off task behaviors included distracti ng others, leaving his assigned seat during independent seat work, and inapprop riate use of assigned materials. Instruments and Materials In this section, the research instrumentation for the single subject po rtion of the study is described. This section includes information about the screening measure used to select the participants for this por tion of the study, the outcome measures used to assess the effects of the changing conditions, the materials used to capture student behavi or, the methods used to train personnel, and a descripti on of the intervention. Screening measure An observation protocol created by the researcher (see Appendix C-2) was used to determine the extent to wh ich the teacher nominated students actually had difficulty remaining engaged during reading in struction. Target behaviors on the observation protocol used for screening stude nts included: eyes on the teacher, eyes on the text, hand raised to contribute to a lesson, pointing to the text, reading the text, respondi ng to a question, writing responses to questions, and asking the teacher or other students questions about the lesson. Outcome measure In addition to being used as a sc reening tool, the researcher created observation protocol was also used as an outcome measure. The percentage of intervals in which on-task behavior was observed was tabulated during each condition of the study. Average on-task behavior percentages for each of the three conditions are presented fo r all participants in Table 3-6.

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76 Table 3-6. Average On-task Behavior Student % of On-task Behavior Baseline % of On-task Behavior Print % of On-task Behavior Text-Controlled % of On-task Behavior Time-Controlled Daryl 34.0 73.3 89.5 85.3 Sam 40.3 78.0 75.1 86.0 Jay 47.6 51.8 63.8 93.8 Materials In addition to the materials used in the group design portion of the study, a video camera was used to capture each of the th ree students to provide a permanent record from which engagement data was collected at a late r time. The researcher and a trained graduate student used the tapes for training and th e development of interrater reliability. Personnel training One of the graduate students pr ovided assistance du ring the single subject design portion of the st udy. Personnel training for this por tion of the study consisted of teaching the graduate student how to set up the vi deo camera to capture the target students and how to assist the researcher in observing for th e presence of on-task engagement behavior. To train the graduate student how to observe target students the researcher provided the graduate student with an operational definition of the target behavior (i.e., engagement). The graduate student was trained on the definition of the target behavior and then practiced using written examples of the target behavior. The gra duate student then used knowledge of the target behavior to practice by watching and coding videotapes of classroom scenarios comparable to those that were experienced dur ing actual coding. The graduate assistant practiced with the researcher using the tapes until 80% inter-observer agreement for three consecutive sessions was reached. Description of intervention During the baseline condition, students were observed during whole-group reading instructi on. During the treatment conditions when students were in the print group, they were observed during small-gr oup instruction, and when they were in the

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77 computer group, they were observed during one-onone reading instructio n. During baseline, the researcher observed each of the selected partic ipants for 20 minutes at ten second intervals using a researcher created observation protocol on thre e different occasions during reading instruction. It is best practice in single subject design to collect at least three st able data points during baseline (Kazdin, 1982). Data reco rding sheets consisted of twenty minute sessions divided into ten second intervals (see Appendix C-2 and C-3) For each ten second interval, the researcher recorded a check ( ) to represent on-task behavior or a da sh () to represent off task behavior. The researcher used partial interval recording to measure task engagement. Participants were recorded as off task if they exhibited offtask behaviors at any time during the 10-second interval. Partial interval recording was used for this intervention program because it provides a more accurate estimate of low rate behaviors and provides a simple conversion into a percentage which can be easily communicated to others (Kazdin). The intervention period of the study employed a changing conditions design with the three treatment conditions (print-based, text-equival ent CAI and time-equivale nt CAI) alternated on successive weeks. In a changing conditions desi gn participants are exposed to a number of different treatments within the intervention phase to determine if a clea r functional relationship exists between a particular treatment (i.e., prin t-based, text-equivalent CAI and time-equivalent CAI) and the target behavior (i.e., task enga gement). Counterbalanc ing occurred so that approximately one third of the participants received print-based inst ruction and one third received instruction in each of the other two conditions. Originally, the researcher had planned for participants to be exposed to the three cond itions in succession for two cycles, so that they could experience each condition at least twice. However, time constraints only allowed each participant to be exposed to one of the three conditions at least twice.

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78 During the treatment conditions, the definition of on-task engagement varied somewhat based on whether students were in the print or in one of the computer groups. For the print group, the definition of on-task behavior included: eyes on the teacher during instruction, eyes on another student if that student was actively part icipating in group discussion, active participation in group discussion, eyes on the text, or enga ging in a written pr oduct during independent academic work. For the computer groups, the definition of on-task behavior included: eyes on the computer screen, active inte raction with the computer (i.e., speaking into the microphone), or hand-raising to signal teacher assistance. Data Analysis Percentage of time on-task was calculated by dividing the total numbe r of intervals that each student remained on-task by the total numbe r of observed intervals. The data was also analyzed to determine whether any changes in trend, variability, and/or level existed. Visual inspection was used to examine changes in tr end (i.e., accelerating and decelerating) and variability across treatment c onditions. Evaluating changes in trend allows researchers to examine the direction of data points within each phase and ac ross phases (Kazdin). The concept of variability is important because it allows the researcher to draw conclusions about the treatment (Kazdin). Less variability in the data al lows for increased confidence on the part of the researcher about the kinds of conclusions that ca n be made. To evaluate changes in level, the researcher compared an average of the data poin ts in the baseline condition with an average of the data points in the interventi on conditions (i.e., print and co mputer). Evaluating changes in level helps to determine whether the data, from one condition to the next, has continued on the same general level as was seen in the last phase or has suddenly jumped to a distinctly different level (Kazdin, 1982).

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79 Summary The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of teacher-led and computer-assisted instruction on third grade students who demonstr ated delayed development of fluency skills and on-task engagement. Six hypotheses regarding the acquisition of fluency skills and the on-task engagement of struggling students were tested through complementary studies using a mixed design (i.e., group and single subject). All part icipants qualified for both studies by scoring between the 10th and 39th percentiles on DIBELS ORF. Partic ipants in the group design were randomly assigned to one of three groups. Particip ants received a print or software version of Quick Reads a fluency instruction program. Teachers and students received training led by the researcher on how to use study materials. Part icipants in the print group received small-group teacher-led instruction in fluenc y. Participants in the text-equiva lent group received instruction equivalent to the print group in the amount of text presented in a gi ven 20 minute session. Participants in the time-equivalent group were eq uivalent to the print group in the amount of time allotted to instruction for each session. Depe ndent measures of instructional effectiveness were statistically examined to compare the effects of group on th e fluency and reading skills of the students. In addition, to being initially qua lified for the group desi gn study through the use of DIBELS, students in the single subject design stu dy also qualified based on teacher nomination. Unlike in the group design, students in the single subject study experien ced each of the three conditions. Dependent measures of social effectiveness were visu ally analyzed to compare the effects of group on on-task engagement. A timelin e of the study is attached (Appendix G-1 and G-2).

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80 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS A description of preliminary analyses (i .e., equivalency of groups and within group analyses) is included in this sec tion. Results of the analyses of each of the six research presented in the previous chapter are also presented. Preliminary Analyses Statistical analyses were conducted to exam ine the initial equiva lency of the three intervention groups. Within group an alysis was also conducted to de termine whether participants in each of the groups exhibited significant differen ces from pre to posttest on each of the three dependent measures. Equivalency of Instruction Groups Pretest means on the dependent measures (i .e., fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension) for all groups were calculated. An ANOVA was used to make comparisons across the three groups. No statistically significant differences were found on the Gates MacGinitie vocabulary and comprehension subtest pretest measures. Th ere were, however, statistically significant differences found on the DIBELS ORF pretest measures [F (2,49) = 3.281, p = .046]. Tukeys HSD revealed that pretest differences existed between the print and text-equivalent groups (p = .032) and the print and time-equivalent groups (p = .045). Despite random assignment, the print group scored significantly lower that both the text and time-e quivalent groups on the DIBELS ORF pretest measure. Specifica lly, the print-based groups scor ed approximately nine points below the text-equivalent and time-equivalent groups on the standardi zed measure of oral reading fluency.

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81 Within Group Analysis Analysis of posttest scores reveal a significan t main effect for method of instruction on DIBELS ORF [F (1,49) = 42.349 p < .001], the Gates MacGinitie vocabulary [F (1,49) = 67.675 p < .001] and the Gates MacGinitie comprehension [F (1,49) = 18.554 p <. 001] subtests. Research Questions The primary research questions in this st udy asked whether a computer-based method of instruction is as effective as a print-based method of instructi on in improving the fluency, overall reading achievement (i.e., vocabulary and comp rehension), and engagement of children who demonstrate delayed fluency development. To an swer these questions, each student in the study was pre and posttested using alternate forms of two measures of reading (i.e., DIBELS ORF and the Gates MacGinitie). The resulting data were analyzed. Descriptive statistics for all three groups are reported in Tables 4-1, 4-2, a nd 4-3. Scores for fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension were analyzed using an anal ysis of covariance w ith group (i.e. print, text-equivalent, and time-equivale nt) as the independent factor and the mean posttest scores on DIBELS and the Gates MacGinitie as the dependent factors. Table 4-1. Descriptiv e Statistics by Group Print (N=17) Text-equivalent (N=17) Time-equivalent (N=16) Mean Mean Mean Pre Post IncreasePre Post IncreasePre Post Increase ORF 52.94 69.59 16.65 61.1982.5921.40 61.63 83.5621.93 Vocabulary 417.12 439.53 22.41 433.30441.35 8.05 429.19 453.8824.69 Comprehension 409.94 432.24 22.30 407.41425.0617.65 404.44 429.7525.31 Table 4-2. Comparison of Pretest Means by Group Dependent Measure Print Group Text-equivalent Group Time-Control Group F df p Fluency 52.94 61.19 61.63 3.28 2 .389 Vocabulary 417.12 433.30 429.19 0.96 2 .742 Comprehension 409.94 407.41 404.44 0.30 2 .046

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82 Research Question 1 Is a computer-based method of instruction as effective as a print-based method of instruction in improving the fluency skills of children who demonstrate delayed fluency development? Posttest fluency scores were analyzed acr oss the three groups through an ANCOVA using the pretest scores as the covari ate. No significant differences were found across the three groups, [F (2, 49 = 1.08, p = .350.] Table 4-3. Comparison of Posttest Means by Group Dependent Measure Print Group Text-equivalent Group Time-Control Group F df p Fluency 69.59 82.59 83.56 1.08 2 .350 Vocabulary 439.53 441.35 453.88 3.76 2 .031 Comprehension 432.24 425.06 429.75 1.06 2 .357 Research Question 2 Is a computer-based method of instruction as effective as a print-based method of instruction in improving the gene ral reading skills of children who demonstrate delayed fluency development? Posttest Gates MacGinitie subtest scores (i.e., vocabulary and comprehension) were analyzed across the three groups through an ANCOVA using pretest scores as the covariate. No significant differences were found across the three groups on the comprehension subtest [F (2,49) = 1.06, p =.357]. However, significant differences were found on the vocabulary subtest [F (2,49) = 3.76, p = .034]. A post hoc analysis was subsequently performed using Tukeys HSD. Post hoc analysis revealed th at significant differences in vocabulary existe d between the text-equivalent and the time-equivalent computer groups (p = .034) with the differences favoring the time-equivalent group.

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83 Research Question 3 Is the number of sessions of in struction related to the fluenc y development of children who demonstrate delayed fluency development? The number of instructional se ssions ranged from 12 to 23. In general, students missed sessions because they were absent from school, because of school functions (e.g., plays and pep rallies), or because they were required to rema in in their homerooms to take standardized state practice tests. Number of instru ctional sessions were categorized into three groups (See Tables 4-4 and 4-5). Posttest scores were analyzed us ing an ANCOVA with instructional sessions used as the independent variable. No signifi cant differences were found across sessions [F (2, 49) = 1.14, p = .330]. Table 4-4. Frequency of Gr ouped Number of Sessions Number of Sessions (Groupe d) Number of Students 12-15 7 16-19 15 20-23 27 Table 4-5. Participant Number of Sessions Across Groups Sessions 12-15 16-19 20-23 Print Group 0 4 13 Text-equivalent Group 4 7 6 Time-equivalent Group 3 5 8 Research Question 4 Is the number of sessions of instruction related to the reading development (i.e., vocabulary and comprehension) of children w ho demonstrate delayed fluency development? Posttest scores on the Gates MacGinitie were analyzed across instru ctional sessions using an ANCOVA. No significant differences were found in vocabulary [F (2,49) = 1.08, p = .348], or in comprehension across sessions [F (2,49) = 2.59, p = .089].

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84 Research Question 5 When students are not limited in the amount of text they read, do they read more? Students in the time control group ranged fr om 1 to 2.4 passages on average per day. Forty-six percent of students averaged two or more passages per day. The number of passages read in the time-equivalent group averaged 1.9. Research Question 6 Is there a clear functional relationship betw een method of fluency instruction and task engagement for students who demonstrate de layed development in on-task engagement? The results presented here for each student desc ribes the percent of in tervals within each condition that the student was on-task. Anecdotal comments will also be made regarding any changes in the data related to tr end, level, or variability. For gra phic representation of this data see Figures 4-1, 4-2 and 4-3. Daryl During three days of baseline data collection, Daryls on-task behavior remained low and was approximately 34% (range 30 to 40%). When moved to the time-equivalent group, Daryl exhibited an increased change in the level in hi s rate of responding. His average percentage of intervals on-task in the time-equivalent condi tion was approximately 87% (range 82 to 93%). When placed in the print group, his average rate of responding decreased to approximately 73% (range 53 to 91%). Upon being placed in the text-controlled condition, his average rate of responding improved to a stable rate and aver aged approximately 90 % (range 85 to 95%). Daryls average rate of respondi ng when returned to the time-c ontrolled group decreased but was relatively stable at 84% (range 80 to 88%).

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85 Figure 4-1. Daryls Percentage of Intervals On -Task Across Baseline and Treatment Conditions Sam During three days of baseline data colle ction, Sams on-task behavior averaged approximately 48% (range 43 to 53%). Sam co mpleted the baseline condition on a downward trend and began the text-equivalent condition with an increased change in level. He averaged approximately 73% (range 63 to 87%) during th e text-equivalent condition and ended on an upward trend. Sam experienced the highest average rate of responding during the time-equivalent condition at 86% (range 78 to 92%). When placed in the print condition, his average rate of responding decreased slightly to 78% (range 60 to 96%). His behavior was also more variable during the print condition than dur ing other conditions. Finally, when he was again placed in the text-equivalent condition, Sa ms average rate of responding averaged approximately 77% (68 to 91%) and he ended the condition on an upward trend. Jay During the three days of baseline data co llection, Jays on-task behavior averaged approximately 40% (range 23 to 53%). Upon placement in the print group, Jays rate of responding immediately increased bu t steadily decreased on subse quent days within the print

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86 Figure 4-2. Sams Percentage of Intervals On-T ask Across Baseline and Treatment Conditions intervention condition. Jays averag e during the initial print group condition was just slightly higher than baseline at 50% (range 32 to 68%). When placed in the time-equivalent condition, Jays behavior increased significantly and remained stable resulting in a positive change in level and trend in the data points. His rate of responding duri ng the time-equivalent condition averaged approximately 94% (rang e 90 to 97). When Jay moved to the text-equivalent condition his average rate of responding decreased to ap proximately 64% (range 48 to 78%). The move from the time-equivalent to the text-equivalent condition resulted in a ne gative change in level and trend in the data points. Finally, when placed in the prin t condition, Jays percentage of intervals on-task decreased even fu rther to 54% (range 44 to 63%). Interobserver agreement Interobserver agreement wa s assessed on 30% of the behavioral observations for each of the three participants. Se e Appendix C-1 for a list of the target behaviors that guided the behavioral obs ervations in this study. The primary observer was the researcher while the seconda ry observer was a trained gr aduate student. Interobserver agreement was calculated on an interval by interval basis by dividing the nu mber of agreements

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87 Figure 4-3. Jays Percentage of Intervals On -Task Across Baseline and Treatment Conditions by the total number of intervals, with the di vidend multiplied by 100%. Interobserver agreement is important in single subject design because it mi nimizes the biases that any individual observer may have. It also helps to ensure that the target behavior is we ll defined (Kazdin, 1982). Traditionally, acceptable levels of agreement begin at 80% (Kazdin, 1982). The overall mean agreement in this study was 95.1% with a range of 88% to 97%. Summary The results of statistical and vi sual data analyses from this study have been presented in this chapter. Preliminary analyses with regard to equivalency across the three instructional groups revealed that despite random assignmen t, participants in the print group scored significantly lower on the pretest oral reading fluency measure than those in the text and time-equivalent groups. Examination of within group differences yielded significant increases from pretest to posttest on all outcome measures across all treatment gr oups. Also, each of the six research question were addressed. There we re no significant differe nces across the three treatment groups from pretest to posttest for two of the three dependent variables (i.e., oral reading fluency and comprehension). Signifi cant differences across treatment groups on

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88 vocabulary posttest scores were discovered. Visual analysis of the data from the three students who participated in the single s ubject portion of the study yielded mixed results. Two of the three participants exhibited in creased rates of on-task behavior in all three treatment conditions. The remaining student only exhibited co nsistent increased rates of on-ta sk behavior when placed in the time-equivalent condition. Conclusions and impli cations for these findings will be discussed in the subsequent chapter.

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89 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The purpose of this discussion is to evaluate the results of the findi ngs in the current study. The six research questions rega rding the effects of print and computer-based methods of a fluency instructional program on student reading and task engagement will be used to guide the discussion. Implications for future research and study limitations are also presented. Fluency Reading fluently means reading effortle ssly, accurately, and w ith proper expression (Meyer & Felton, 1999). As students become more fluent readers, their ability to comprehend text increases (Johns & Berglund, 2002; K uhn, 2004/2005). Comprehension is the ultimate reason for reading so creating interventions to help those students who are struggling with reading fluency is worthwhile. Johns and Be rglund and Rasinski ( 2006) suggest that the interventions that are used to help improve reading fluency shoul d be explicit and systematic. A comprehensive fluency instructional program incl udes multiple opportunities for students to hear text read by a fluent model, mu ltiple opportunities to read the same text, and to measure the rate at which they are reading text. The fluency program used in this study, Quick Reads consisted of all the components of a comprehensive fluency instructional program. Both the print and software versions provided students with several opportunities to listen to a fluent model and to re-read text. The program even provided comprehension questions at the e nd of each passage. In fact, in the software version of the program students were prevented from advancing to the next passage before completing the accompanying comprehension questions.

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90 Computer-Assisted Instruction Whole-group instruction remains a common gro uping practice in todays classrooms. This is due in part to a lack of time and a lack of resources (i.e., additional personnel). During whole-group instruction, it is diffi cult to meet the needs of dive rse learners. In this setting, students are less likely to receive multiple opport unities to respond and frequent individualized feedback. Increased oppor tunities to respond and specific feed back and correction have been highly correlated with increased academic achieve ment (Christle & Schuster, 2003; Heward et al., 1996; Sutherland, 2001). Computer-assisted inst ruction decrease s the ratio of students to teacher. The results include increases in oppor tunities to respond, active responding, praise and/or corrective feedback, and school and post-school outcomes. These characteristics should allow CAI to meet the needs of struggling and di verse learners in a more efficient way than larger grouping formats. The purpose of the current study was to determ ine whether a computer-based version of a fluency program would be as effective as a pr int version of the same program. Students were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: a print-based, time equivalent, and a text-equivalent group. The printbased group received small-group fluency instruction led by a graduate student teacher. St udents in text-equivalent gr oup received computer-assisted instruction and completed the sa me amount of text as the prin t-based group. Students in the time-equivalent group also received computer-ass isted instruction and sp ent the same amount of time receiving instruction as the print-based group. Students were pre and posttested on a measure of oral reading fluency and a measure of reading achievement. The primary goal of the study was to determine whether CAI could provide a viable alternative to whole and small-group methods of fluency instruction.

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91 Discussion of Findings In this section of the discussion and the findings of each research question will be examined. Research Question 1 Is a computer-based method of instruction as effective as a print-based method of instruction in improving the fluency skills of children who demonstrate delayed fluency development? The computer-based methods were found to be as effective as the print-based teacher-led method. The results of this study is similar to th e results of other stud ies performed by such researchers as Mitchell and F ox (2001), Lewandowski et al. (2006) and Hinitikka et al. (2005). These results support the notion th at CAI is a viable alterna tive method of instruction to print-based teacher-led instructi on. The consistent occurrence of no significant differences across print and computer-based groups in various studies may be attributed to a variety of factors. Best practice in fluency instruction dict ates that students hear text read by a fluent model. The nature of teacher-led fluency instruction is such that students may be more likely to listen to the text being read in the presence of an actual person than in the pres ence of a computer because the computer is unable to provide verbal redirection to maintain on-task behavior. Best practice in fluency instruction also dictates that students be provided with multiple opportunities to practice re-reading passages. The one-on-one nature of co mputer-based fluency instruction allows for more opportunities for individual students to prac tice re-reading passages. It is possible that the positive and negative aspects of both forms of inst ruction lead to a balance (i.e., no significant differences) in student outcomes.

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92 Research Question 2 Is a computer-based method of instruction as effective as a print-based method of instruction in improving the gene ral reading skills of children who demonstrate delayed fluency development? The results of this study showed significan t differences between the text-equivalent and time-equivalent groups in the area of vocabular y with the time-equivale nt group surpassing the text-equivalent group. To better und erstand why a difference in vo cabulary could have occurred between these two groups, it is necessary to ex amine the fundamental differences between the treatment conditions. In both the text and time-equivalent groups students were required to access at least two vocabulary words before begi nning a new passage. This was an attempt to provide the students in the CAI group with a pre-reading activity similar to the kind of activity that was provided to students in the print gr oup. Students in the text-equivalent group, however, were only allowed to read one passage per sessio n whereas students in the time-equivalent group were not restricted as to the number of passage s they could read in a given session. The studys design allowed for the participants assigned to the time-equivalent condition to receive more exposure to vocabulary words than the particip ants in the text-equiv alent condition. Baumann and Kameenui (2004) and Beck, McKeown, a nd Kucan (2002) have found that increased exposure to vocabulary words leads to increased vocabulary knowledge. No differences in vocabulary were found be tween the time-equivalent and print groups. This may have occurred because the pre-readi ng activity in the print group involved discussion of target words. Baumann and Kameenui ( 2004) and Beck, McKeown, and Kucan (2002) have found that vocabulary instructi on is most effective when st udents are provided with the opportunity to interact with and discuss word s. The fact that the time-equivalent group experienced increased exposure to words may have been tempered by the fact that the print

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93 group received more meaningful exposure to word s. Because the students in the print group had the opportunity to engage in pr e-reading discussions that involved a graphic organizer and discussions during and after the r eadings, these students received mo re in-depth exposure to text. Research Question 3 Is the number of sessions of in struction related to the fluenc y development of children who demonstrate delayed fluency development? Based on the results of this study, no differe nces in posttest fluency scores can be attributed to the number of inst ructional sessions the participants received. More specifically, there were no mean differences on the DIBELS oral reading fluency outcome measure between participants who received 12 to 15 sessions, 16 to 19 sessions, and 20 to 23 sessions. There are several possible reasons for the lack of differences across sessions. First, lack of differences may have occurred due to a lack of equality in the number of participants in each category. There were almost three times as many students, fo r example, who received 20 to 23 sessions than students who received 12 to 15 sessions. It is always best to maintain equal numbers across groups because this ensures great er sensitivity of tests of si gnificance and because potential distortions due to departures from assumptions underlying such tests are minimized (Pedhazur & Schmelkin, 1991, p. 473). One solution to this coul d have been to catego rize the number of sessions according to halves instead of thirds (e.g., 12 to 17 and 18 to 23 sessions). This solution, however, would not have rectified the issue of inequality because one half would still consist of twice as many participants as the other half. Closer examination of the data yielded an in teresting finding that c ould also account for the lack of differences across sessions. No partic ipants in the print condition fell into the lowest category of number of sessions (i.e ., 12 to 15 sessions). Over 75% of the participants in the print group received more than 20 sessions. Convers ely, over half of the students in both the

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94 text-equivalent and time-equivalent conditions received less than 20 sessions. It seems, at least based on the results of this study, even though stud ents in the CAI groups received, on average, less instruction than students in the print group this did not have a significant effect on students fluency skills. Research Question 4 Is the number of sessions of instruction related to the reading development (i.e., vocabulary and comprehension) of children w ho demonstrate delayed fluency development? Based on the results of this study, no differe nces in posttest scores in vocabulary and comprehension can be attributed to the number of sessions participants received. In other words, there were no mean differences on the Ga tes MacGinitie vocabulary and comprehension outcome measures between partic ipants who received 12 to 15, 16 to 19, or 20 to 23 sessions. As in the case of oral reading fluency, lack of di fferences may have occurred due to a lack of equality in the number of partic ipants in each category. Differences could also be attributed to the fact that many of the participants who received fewer sessions were receiving computer-assisted instruction. It is possible that students in the CAI conditions did not need as many sessions to make significant gains in th e areas of vocabulary and comprehension. Research Question 5 When students are not limited in the amount of text they read, do they read more? Students in the time-equivalent group were allowed to read as many passages as they could, under the guidelines of the study (e.g., reading to the computer twice and being read to by the computer twice), within the allotted 20 mi nute session. Approximately half the students in this were able to take advantage of the opportuni ty to read multiple passages in a session. There are a variety of reasons why the remaining half of the students were unable to complete multiple passages in a given session incl uding: technological problems arriving late to the lab,

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95 distractions in the lab, and the motivation to complete multiple passages. In addition, there were several students who were assigned to the text-equivalent group who, if the given the opportunity, would have completed multiple passag es in the allotted time. Ideally, in a less structured research setting, students who coul d take advantage of reading multiple passages would be given the opportunity to do so. Inte restingly, those students who averaged multiple passages scored higher on average on all postte st outcome measures than those students who averaged less than two passages per session. Research Question 6 Is there a clear functional relationship betw een method of fluency instruction and task engagement for students who demonstrate de layed development in on-task engagement? Daryl experienced high averag e rates of responding across all the treatment conditions. Although his data points were more stable dur ing the CAI conditions, decreases in rates of responding during the print condition occurred after consecutive days of absences. Perhaps missing school for an extended period of time aff ected Daryls ability to re-settle into daily school routines. Overall, based on the data it s eems that Daryl benefited from both small-group print-based instruction and co mputer-assisted instruction. Sam, like Daryl, benefited from both CAI a nd print-based instruction. Sams data was most stable and his highest av erage rates of responding occu rred during the time-equivalent condition. Variable rates of responding in the text-equivalent condition may have occurred because when in this condition, Sam was surrounde d by others in the same condition. To assist the graduate student in charge of monitoring the pa rticipants in the lab to keep track of how to direct students, the lab was or ganized so that students in th e text-equivalent condition were placed in one part of the room and students in the time-equivalent condition were placed in

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96 another part of the room. When students in the text-equivalent condition complete the requirements for one passage they are required to spend the rest of the session working on a math program. In many instances, Sam became distract ed by the math program being played by his neighbors. Jay experienced a downward trend in his ra te of responding throughout the study with the exception of when he was placed in the timeequivalent condition. In this condition, he experienced a significant increase in rate of responding. It se emed the print condition was the least effective at maintaining Jays engageme nt. While observing Jay during the print condition, the researcher found him to be eas ily distracted and unfocused on the print material both in and out of the presence of the gradua te student teacher. When Jay was placed in the text-equivalent condition he was able to focus more on the so ftware version of the program, however, he experienced frequent fluctuati ons in his rate of responding. This was in large part because similarly to Sam, Jay often became distracted when his neighbor was playing a math program. This had an effect on the stability of Jay s rate of responding duri ng the text-equivalent condition. During the time-equivalent condition, Jay was surrounded by others who remained focused on the Quick Reads program throughout the entire se ssion. All of these variables may have had an impact on the differe nces in Jays rate of responding. In general, across all three pa rticipants, the highest and most stable rates of responding occurred during CAI conditions. Th is may have occurred becaus e during these conditions these students worked individually with the computer which created less opportu nity for distracting stimuli. Daryl and Sam also experienced increas ed rates of responding during the print condition. For them the close teacher proximity and incr eased teacher attention that resulted from small-group instruction was enough to lead to in creased rates of responding. Researchers have

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97 theorized that small-group inst ruction when compared to wh ole-group instruction increases student rates of opportunities to respond which decreases the li kelihood of off task behaviors (Kamps, Dugan, Leonard. & Daoust, 1994; Malmg ren, 1999; Wolery, Ault, Doyle, & Gast, 1992). Interestingly, Daryl and Sam experienced hi gher average posttest scores across the three outcomes variables (i.e., fluency, vocabular y, and comprehension) than Jay did. Interpretation of Findings The results of the current study are consistent with the results of si milar previous studies (Cole & Hilliard, 2006; Lewandow ski, Begeny, & Rogers, 2006; Hinitikka, Aro, Lyyntinen, 2005; Mioduser, Tur-Kaspa, & Leitner, 2000; Mitchell & Fox, 2001). Implementing CAI resulted in increases in varying aspects of reading achievement including reading fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary. More specifically, the current study yielded similar findings and can be compared to the study performed by Lewandowski et al. (2006). Although Lewandowski et al. only included one computer-based groups, both studies examined th e effects of CAI on third graders struggling with reading, examined fluency as an outcome variable, and compared the same program for both software and print-based versions. The resu lts across the two studies suggest that CAI can be as effective as traditional te acher-led instruction in providing fluency instruction to struggling readers. The current study was also similar to the st udy performed by Cole and Hilliard (2006) in that both studies examined the effects of CAI on the fluency of struggling third grade readers. However, the findings of the current study differe d from Cole and Hilliards findings. Cole and Hilliard discovered significant differences, favor ing CAI, between the CAI and print groups on fluency outcomes. There are severa l reasons why this could be. Firs t, Cole and Hilliard may have used more sensitive measures. Also, Cole and Hi lliard made comparisons between two different

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98 instructional programs as opposed to different versions of the sa me program. In this case, the software program may have been inherently more powerful an intervention (e.g., engaging, intensity, appropriate enhancement levels, appr opriate levels of speech feedback) than the print-based program. The authors do not provide details regardi ng similarities and differences between the two programs. Positive Aspects of Computer-Assisted Instruction Computer-assisted instruction can be used w ith students who have a variety of learning needs. It seems that CAI would be most beneficial for students who have needs toward the more extreme ends of the learning continuum (e.g., students who struggle or students who are advanced). CAI can be tailored to students with learning rates that differ from average learning rates. Conventional instruction primarily focuse s on the needs of student s with average learning rates (Cotton, 2001). Because CAI provides individua lized instruction, student s can work at their own pace, receive consistent specific feedbac k, and feel a sense of control over their own learning. CAI also lacks some human characterist ics that a can be detrimental to students learning. Unlike humans, the computer is infinite ly patient, never gets tired, and never gets frustrated or angry (Cotton, 2001, p.4). The Quick Reads software program used in th is study provided the necessary accommodations to promote the success of str uggling readers. Once trained, students were expected to follow a series of procedures including logging into the program, testing the microphone that accompanies the software, accessi ng the correct passage, and selecting two or more highlighted vocabulary words. Unlike th e students who received the small-group print version of the program. Students who received the software version were given the flexibility to begin and end the study on different fluency passages. Logisticall y, students in each small-group had to remain on the same fluency passage. To ac hieve parity, some standardization had to be

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99 established across groups, howev er, beyond the scope of this st udy any student in the CAI group who wanted to read the same passage across multipl e sessions or to read multiple passages in a given session could do so. Although both the print and software versions allowed students to chart their reading progr ess, the charting in the software version was much more elaborate. Students in the CAI condition received feedback after each reading of a passage. The softwares built in timing mechanism allowed students to receive immediate and specific corrective feedback on words read correctly, words read in correctly, and words read correctly per minute. This allowed students to chart their progress several times in a given session. This increased feedback can be extrinsically re warding to students which is a crucial ingredient for keeping struggling students engaged during instruction (Cole & Hilliard, 2006). Unlike the students in the software condition, students in the print condition could only r eceive one timing at the end of each session. Finally, the software version of the program provided more opportunities for individual students to respond. St udents who received instruction in small-groups had to share opportunities to respond. Increased opportunities to respond that re sult in active re sponding have been correlated with increas ed student achievement (Chris tle & Schuster, 2003; Sutherland, Alder, Gunter, 2003). Positive Aspects of Print-Based Instruction Although CAI seems to be tailor made for students who struggle, there are several limitations, most of which are conn ected to the fact that CAI lack s human attributes. To begin, in the current study, there was no way for the software version of the program to equate the kinds of pre-reading activities that the print-based teacher-led groups experienced. Pre-reading activities assist in activat ing background knowledge. Activating background knowledge is crucial to enhancing compre hension of text (Adams, 1990; Pressley, Johnson, Symons, McGoldrick, & Kurita, 1989). Also, the quality of the interactions that occurred between the

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100 teacher and students during pre-reading activities c ould not have been duplicated by the software version. In addition, although the voice recogniti on technology used to create the software seemed quite advanced, students who deviated fr om the norm in their speech (e.g., had a speech impediment or an accent) were often erroneously corrected by the computer. A human would be better able to differentiate between whether a wo rd was said correctly or incorrectly. Finally, increased use of CAI coul d result in reduced student interactions with peers. One of the goals of schooling is to help students to master social in teractions. School success is not only determined by the ability to achieve academic success, but al so by the ability to achieve social success (Wager & Rutherford, 1993). Limitations and Delimitations Delimitations Participants were third grade students identifi ed by a standardized measure of oral reading fluency as having deficiencies in fluency skills. Student s who scored between the 10th and 39th percentile on DIBELS ORF and wh ose parent or guardian provide d permission for participation in the study were admitted to the study and pretested on a measure of overall reading achievement. Participants were randomly assi gned to one of three groups. All three groups received instruction in fluency from either a teacher or via the computer. Because this study involved working with third grad e students and third grade student s are heavily involved in high stakes testing, a control group was not feasible for this study. Al so, a subset of the larger sample was observed to examine the effect of CAI and teacher-led instruction on task engagement. These students were used to evaluate differences in task engagement and were not evaluated for differences in fluency. The research settings in cluded three elementary schools in north central Florida.

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101 Limitations Because of the nature of conducting applied re search in schools, several limitations are noted within this secti on. To begin, the findings of this study are only generalizable to the 50 third grade students in the three elementary sc hools who participated in the study. In addition, students in all three groups made improvements on all measures from pre to posttest. Despite these results, with the studys lack of contro l group, it is difficult to determine whether the increase can be attributed to the Quick Reads program, to time, or to a combination of both. Because participants were struggl ing readers at a critical stage in their reading development, establishing a control group w ould have been difficult. In addition, comparisons to non-study participants would have proven complex because all participating schools provided intervention instruction to a majority of the struggling readers who were not involved in the study. The aforementioned factors made it difficult to dr aw conclusions about the efficacy of the interventions used in this study. In the absence of a control group, comparisons can be made to average growth norms in fluency. According to Fuchs, Fuchs, Hamlett, Walz, & Germann (1993), with instruction, normally achieving readers gain an average of 2.5 words correct per week. The struggling readers in this study gain ed an average of 1.6, 2.0, and 2.1 words correct per week in the print, text, and time-equivalent groups respectively. The methods of instructional delivery used in this study garnered similar incr eases for struggling readers in words correct per week as normally achieving readers. In addition, the effects of the software program used in this study ma y not be generalizable to other software programs because of such e ffects as instructional design and delivery. The print-based, teacher-led conditi on took place outside of the regular classroom environment and thus the results of the print-based group may not be generalizable to inst ruction that may take place within regular classroom environments. In addition, because of the short duration of this

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102 study, ten weeks, it is difficult to extrapolat e and make assumptions about the longitudinal effects of the intervention. This intervention pe riod may have also been negatively affected by such realities of everyday schooli ng as holidays, school plays, pr actice tests in preparation for statewide assessments, make up tests related to th e regular curriculum, and early release days. As a result, the maximum number of instructional sessions was only 23. The original goal for the study was 25 to 30 sessions. It is possible that the reduction in the number of sessions may have negatively impacted one or all outco me measures. Also, issues of school effects may have had an impact on this study. A pre-existing relationship between the researcher and teachers in schools one and two decreased the likelihood that student s in these schools missed sessions due to school factors within teachers control (e.g., scheduled activities such as standardized exam practice or chapter tests). These pre-existing relationships also were important w ith regard to student absences. Teachers in schools one and two were flexible in permitting make-up sessions. Without a pre-existing relationship with the teac hers in school three, there was less teacher buy-in to the study. This result ed in more scheduling difficulti es, and school three was more reluctant to provide alternative da ys and times for make-up sessions. Text factors may have added a limitation to the study. The genre of the fluency passages used during Quick Reads instruction may have had an im pact on students DIBELS scores. Given that DIBELS passages are in a narrative format, practicing with Quick Reads expository passages may not have prepared students to perform well on DIBELS. Use of an expository fluency measure might alleviate this limitation. Several technology problems may have hindere d students ability to use the software program as prescribed (i.e., three days per w eek, 20 minutes per day). These problems included the computer erroneously correcti ng student dialect as well as ch allenges testing the softwares

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103 microphone. The software does not allow students to begin working with fluency passages until they have tested the microphone. There were se veral instances when it took students several minutes to check the microphone. This task shoul d only take a few seconds. These issues may have impacted the lack of differences be tween the print and computer-based groups. In addition, through recruiting, approximately 80% or 53 out of 64, of the identified population were placed in the study. Fifty-three participants is st ill only a moderate number and a larger sample size may have yielded more conclu sive results. Increased sample sizes increases the power of a study (Pedhazur & Schmelkin, 19 91; Shavelson, 1996). Also, additional outcomes measures may have yielded more conclusive results. Measurements such as the Woodcock Johnson vocabulary and comprehe nsion subtests or the Qualitative Reading Inventory which is a one-on-one comprehension measure, although more time consuming may have provided more precise measures of the dependent variables. Finally, the single subject porti on of the study was compromised in several ways because of the need to operate within a larger group study. In some instances because the large group design had established a routine sc hedule it was difficult to maintain the integrity of the changing treatments design of the smalle r study. For example, the prin t and computer-based groups received instruction at different times of the da y. When a student switched from the print to the computer condition or vice versa conflicts with special education services such as speech language or occupational therapy would arise. The legal ramifi cations of preventing students from receiving these services coupled with the already established schedule of the large group design led to decreases in the number of sessi ons received by students in the single subject portion of the study. Also, students in the single subject portion of the study were exposed to two changes after the baseline condition (i.e., a sma ll group and then a one-on-one condition). This

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104 may have impacted some of the changes that o ccurred in the treatment conditions. Results are less conclusive when more than one change is made from baseline to intervention phases (Kazdin, 1982). Implications for Future Research The portion of this study that examined engagement suggest s that not all students are impacted in the same way by computer-assisted instruction. Two of three students in the single subject portion of the study exhibited increased rates of responding in both the small-group print and CAI conditions. Additional research is needed to determine whether certain characteristics predispose students to be engage d during CAI. Also, in the cu rrent study, the issue of cost effectiveness arose. When evaluating cost eff ectiveness many researchers focus on the issue of money but more research is need ed to determine how the issue of time impacts the difference in cost between print and co mputer-based programs. Finally, the current study compared the prin t-based version of a fluency program to a computer-based version. However, researchers su ggest that it might be most beneficial to combine print-based with computer-assisted interventions (Boone & Higgins, 1993; Boone, Higgins, Notari, Stump, 1996;). More research is needed to determine the most effective way to do so. Characteristics of Study Participants The current study focused on meeting the needs of struggling readers. Surprisingly, only a small percentage of previous studies in the lite rature focused on students who struggle. In fact, for the literature review presen ted in chapter two, over half th e studies that were initially collected were later ex cluded because they only include average and above average learners. More research is needed that focuses on how be st to use CAI to meet the needs of diverse learners.

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105 All the studies that have focused on student s who struggle have a ssumed that struggling students would respond in a positive way to com puter-assisted instruction. But students who struggle respond to CAI in different ways (e.g., so me students may be completely engaged while others may be disengaged) (Bangert-Drowns & P yke, 2001). There are several examples of this in the current study. First, on average, only about half the students in the time-equivalent condition took advantage of the ability to read multiple passages. One of the reasons for this may be that they were not engaged during CAI instruction. Second, only one of three students in the single subject portion of the study exhibited a di scernible preference for the CAI condition. As discussed in chapters one a nd two there are aspects of the computer that can improve engagement (e.g., interactivity and animation) but these same aspects can also prove to be distracting to students. There has been some research that has evaluated the kinds of enhancements that are best for readers who st ruggle (Torgesen, Waters, Cohen & Torgesen, 1988; Lewin, 2000). There has, however, been a lack of research that has evaluated the characteristics of students who can most bene fit from CAI given the appropriate levels of enhancements. It seems from this current study that students who need minimal redirection from adults and who become easily engrossed with in formation presented via the computer would be best served by CAI. However, more evidence is needed to support this theory. Perhaps engaging in inquiry that evaluates the eff ect of providing struggling students with a choice as to how they receive instruction may increase the knowledge ba se that exists about how students learning preferences relate to how they engage during CAI instruction. Cost Effectiveness In the current study, approximately 17 stude nts received the prin t version of the Quick Reads program. The remaining 33 students received th e software version. Th e print version of this program costs approximately $600 for a comp lete classroom set of 24. If materials would

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106 have been purchased for this study, $1,200 would have been spent to supply the print group because both levels A and B would have been purchased. The software version of the program costs approximately $1,200 for a stand al one package of 12. Therefore, it would cost approximately $4,800 to purchase levels A and B for 33 students. The fact that both forms of instruction yielded similar outcomes coupled with the obvious difference in price for the materials suggests that the print ve rsion would be the more cost e ffective choice. It is important to remember that money is only one factor in determining cost effectiveness and once the issue of time is taken into consideration, the more cost effective choice becomes less apparent. For the current study, several graduate students were hired to teach the print groups and to supervise the CAI groups. It took each graduate student at each of the larger schools an average of one hour to work with six to seven participants because the graduate student had to work with participants in small-groups. Th at same graduate student spen t an average of half an hour working with 15 students on average in the CAI gr oups because students could all be in a large computer lab at one time. It is therefore importa nt to consider that the extra time spent with students in small-groups also transl ated into more money paid to in structors. With the added cost in time and money required to run the small-groups, the cost of th e print version could begin to rival the cost of the software. There was one large drawback for the computer with regard to time. The program required some training before pa rticipants could begin to use it. With this particular program it is possible to lose up to two or even three session s to training students. Because students in the print version can begin wo rking immediately, this is an important factor when considering cost effectiveness. If the Quick Reads program were used under real wo rld school conditions, questions of cost effectiveness could be answered more conc lusively. Consider that for both the print and

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107 Table 5-1. Estimated Quick Reads Per Pupil Expenditures Per Year Year 1 Year 2 Costs Teacher Led (4 students) Computer-Assisted (15 students) Teacher-Led (4 students) Computer-Assisted (15 students) Materials per student per year $125.00 $333.33 $125.00 $0.00 Teacher time per student per year $756.77 $201.78 *$80.23 $756.77 $201.78 *$80.23 Total cost per student per year $881.77 $535.11 *$413.56 $881.77 $201.78 *80.23 *Cost with paraprofessional conducting implementation software groups, in an entire sc hool year, two sets of level A, B, and one set of level C books would need to be purchased. This numbe r should cover students progressing through an average of one level during a school year. This would result in a tota l of $3,000 spent on print materials and $8,000 spent on software material s. The difference betw een the two figures appears significant until one considers that the print materials are consumable (i.e., a new set must be purchased for the next group of student s), while the software materials are reusable. Table 5-1 displays per pupil expenditures for ma terials for both print and software groups. Also, in 2007 the average teacher in the U.S. will earn $45,400. The aver age paraprofessional in the U.S. will earn $18,052 (Roza, 2007). Table 5-1 displays per pupil expenditures for teacher time for both print and software groups. When taking into consideration materials and teacher time, the total annual per pupil e xpenditure for the program is approximately $300 less for the software group than the print group (See Table 5-1). When one considers the fact that a paraprofessional can monitor the software gr oup, that savings increases to $400. During the second year of using the Quick Reads program, the annual per pupil savings increases to between $600 and $800 depending on whether a paraprofe ssional is involved (See Table 5-1). The information above is speculative, however, and more research is needed that systematically examines the differences in materials, time a nd money between print-co mputer led instruction.

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108 Computer-Assisted Instructio n as Supplemental Instruction Researchers have found that when CAI is used as a supplement to traditional teacher-led instruction it is more effective than when e ither is used alone (Boone & Higgins, 1993; Higgins & Boone, 1991). To use CAI as a supplement, the software would have to mirror the skills being covered during traditional instruction. Unfortunately, most traditional basal programs do not provide software to accompany their core programs Without the availability of software that has already been made to accompany a program, teach ers would be hard pressed to find generic software that serves the same purpose. The Quick Reads program would provide a good opportunity to add to the resear ch on CAI as supplemental instruction. Students could work in small-groups with a teacher and use the software version to practice current and previous passages. Researchers could compare the combined condition to the CAI and print conditions alone. The results could add to th e literature and perhap s help increase the number of software supplemental programs that accompany traditional core programs. The use of CAI as a form of supplemental instruction also has practical implications. Because many computer-based programs are accompanied by built in training progr ams this could help ease the difficulty of introducing it as a literacy cente r and in turn promote increases in the amount of small group instructional delivery that occurs in the classroo m. Availability of supplemental software that directly accompanies core program s could also lead to the increa sed purposeful use of CAI in classrooms. Summary Six research questions regard ing the effects of a compute r-based version of a fluency program and a print-based version of the same pr ogram were explored usin g statistical analyses. Results are in agreement with much of the prev ious research in that CAI and print conditions yielded no significant differences in the areas of oral read ing fluency and comprehension.

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109 Significant differences were found across treatment conditions in th e area of vocabulary in favor of the time-equivalent condition. Differences may have occurred because students in this condition receive more exposure to vocabulary words. Students in the single subject portion of th e study who experienced all three treatment conditions exhibited increased rates of responding during all three treatment conditions. Rates of responding across all three students were variable, however, during th e print-based version of the program. Future research should focus on discov ering which students would benefit most from CAI, systematically evaluating th e cost effectiveness of CAI, and examining the effects of CAI as a form of supplem ental instruction. Because advancements in computer technology are increasing at an alarming rate and the cost of technology continues to decrease, the increased use of computer technology in schools seems promising. It is currently unclear, however, exactly how the aforementioned factors will affect the use of computer te chnology in classrooms. Based on the results of the group design portion of the current study and the results of othe r similar studies, it seems that a balance exists in the benefits and drawbacks between CAI and traditional forms of instruction. CAI, specifically the Quick Reads program, could therefore be effective if used either instead of or as a supplement to traditional forms of instruction. In addition, the single subject portion of this study has raised questions surrounding the theory put forth by many researchers regarding the effects of CAI on task engagement. It is now less certain as to whether students who experience difficulties remaining on-task actually benef it from CAI. When compared to whole group instruction, small group in struction allows for similar benef its to CAI such as increases in individualized correctiv e feedback and increases in opportun ities to respond. It seems small group instruction may be just as effective as CAI in promoting task engagement for some

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110 students. The issue is further complicated by the fact that print-based, teacher-led instruction is accompanied by an actual person who can redirect students during instruction which in turn should lead to increases in task engagement. There are those students, however, who are more responsive to CAI than either whole or small gr oup instruction. It is therefore important to evaluate which student characteri stics correlate with increased task engagement in the presence of CAI. Increased exposure to CAI for student s who are more engaged during CAI than during any other forms of instruction (i.e., whole or small group) could lead to increased reading achieveme

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111 APPENDIX A SUMMARY OF STUDIES

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112Table A-1 Summary of Reading and Technol ogy Studies in Elementary Settings Citation Purpose Participants Dependent Variable(s) and Measure(s) Intervention/ manipulation Procedures Findings Bangert-Drowns & Pyke, 2001 Document instances of high literacy when using different kinds computer software. N= 43 Grades= pre-k to 6th Ability level= varying ability levels High literacy (metacognition) as measured by researcher observations. Observed students during weekly half hour visits to school computer laboratory. Researcher s observed for 78 sessions. Field notes included student software interactions, contextual factors, and observer reflections. Very rarely were students completely disengaged. Students experiences many instances of engagement but observers observed no instances of high literacy. Barker & Torgesen, 1995 Investigate the effects of CAI on phonological awareness. N= 54 Age= 6 -7 Grade= 1st Ability level= at risk for reading difficulties (40th percentile or lower on word identification subtest of Woodcock Johnson Mastery Test) Phonological awareness, word recognition as measured by the Word Identification subtest of the Woodcock Johnson Reading Mastery Test and the Sound Categorization Subtest. Phonological awareness training programs (e.g., Daisy s Quest and Daisys Castle Phonological decoding program (e.g., Hint and Hunt 1. Group 1: phonological awareness training program. Group 2: Same as group 1 except software designed to train alphabetic decoding skills. Group 3: Control group spent equal time on computer using math (Alien Addition and Math Rabbit) software. Phonological awareness training groups made significant improvements on measures of phonological awareness and word recognition when compared to other groups. Boone & Higgins, 1993 Longitudinal study to investigate the effect of hypermedia on the development of reading skills, participation in reading-related classroom activities and yearly achievement gains in language skills. N= 300 Grades= K-3 Ability level= some students at risk for being referred to special education classes. General reading achievement as measured by the Macmillan Standardized Reading Achievement Test. Basal Reader: Macmillan Basal Reader; Hypermedia prereading lessons: involves links from words and pictures, digitized speech, graphic representations, and animated sequences. Students used hypermedia basal lessons independently either before or after a teacher directed activity. The basal was adapted by researchers in the study so the software incorporated learning goals specific to the classroom. Most effective for low achieving students

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113Table A-1 continued. Citation Purpose Participants Dependent Variable(s) and Measure(s) Intervention/ manipulation Procedures Findings Boone, Higgins, Notari, & Stump, 1996 Longitudinal study to investigate the effect of CAI on letter recognition skills. N= 143 Grade= K Ability level = some students at risk for referral to special education Letter recognition skills as measured by the Macmillan Standardized Reading Achievement Test. Basal Reader: Macmillan Basal Reader; Hypermedia prereading lessons: involves links from words and pictures, digitized speech, graphic representations, and animated sequences. Hypermedia prereading lessons used as a supplement to teacher directed instruction. Each hypermedia lesson took an extra 7.5 minutes per day. Low performing students in experimental group outperformed low performing students in control group in letter identification. Chera & Wood, 2002 Investigate the effect of CAI on phonological awareness. N= 30 Age= 3 to 6 Grade= pre-k-1st Ability level= struggling in aspects of emergent literacy. Phonological awareness, word reading as measured by the British Ability Scales Word Reading Test. Bangers and Mash: animated multimedia talking books. Involved onset/rime manipulation. Involved both whole word and segmented speech feedback. 15 students received intervention. 15 served as control Ten sessions lasting 10 minute over 4 weeks Intervention group showed significantly higher increases in phonological awareness than control. Clarfield & Stoner, 2005 Investigate the effect of CAI on oral reading fluency and task engagement. N= 3 Age/Grade= K-1 Ability level= at risk for reading difficulties. Students also identified with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD) Oral reading fluency as measured by DIBELS ORF; Task engagement. Headsprout Reading Basics: consists of fluency building exercises, segmenting and blending strategies, explicit instruction in building sight word vocabularies and recognizing and using punctuation cues. Students observed twice during the baseline condition and three times a week for the first three weeks of the experimental condition. Then every other week for the rest of the study. Students work sequentially through 40 animated lessons, each lasting approximately 20 minutes. The CAI intervention produced higher mean levels of oral reading fluency from the baseline to experimental condition.

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114Table A-1 continued. Citation Purpose Participants Dependent Variable(s) and Measure(s) Intervention/ manipulation Procedures Findings Cole & Hilliard, 2006 Examine the benefits of using a web-based reading curriculum program on reading achievement and motivation N= 36 Grade= 3 Ability level= readers who were performing 2 or more grade levels below level in reading.. 9% of students identified with a disability Decoding, fluency, comprehension as measured by the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA). Letter and word recognition as measured by the Wide Range Achievement Test, 3rd Edition (WRAT-3). Motivation as measured by a 12 item questionnaire adapted by the researchers. Reading Upgrade a program used to enhance decoding, fluency, phonics, and phonemic awareness. Instruction occurred in a computer lab twice per week. Intervention group: 180 minutes of instruction before school for 8 weeks. Students also observed for percent of intervals on-task for 20 minutes for 40% of the sessions.Control group: received the schools conventional reading enrichment program, one hour, three times per week for eight weeks. Students exhibited high levels of enjoyment and involvement and enthusiasm. Experimental group made gains equivalent to one grade level. Significant differences between web-based and traditional groups on both the DRA and the WRAT-3 favoring the web-based group. Fuchs, Fuchs, Hamlet, Powell, Capizzi, & Seethaler, 2006 Pilot study to assess the potential for CAI to enhance reading. N= 33 Grade= 1 Ability level= at risk for reading failure. Spelling as measured by the Test of Written Spelling. Word Identification as measured by the Woodcock Identification Mastery Test-Revised), Passage Reading Fluency as measured by the Comprehensive Reading Assessment Battery. Spelling FLASH involves words flashing on the computer screen for .8 seconds. After the word disappeared. The student typed the word. Words came from the first 200 words from Dolch sight word list including pre-primer, primer, and 1st grade levels. Research assistants supervised FLASH sessions three times per week, 10 minutes per session. Students worked individually on computers. There were 50 ten minute sessions over 18 weeks. Group 1 received math CAI; Group 2 received spelling CAI. Significant effects of treatment for spelling FLASH group. Students out performed math FLASH group. Effects transferred to another list of high frequency words with similar magnitude. No statistically significant differences on word id and fluency. Higgins & Boone 1991 Investigate the effect of CAI on decoding. N= 175 Grade= K-5 Ability level= some struggling readers. Vocabulary and decoding as measured by the Macmillan Standardized Reading Achievement Test. Computerized pictures, animated graphics, definitions, synonyms and digitized speech, links to words and pictures from the original basal text. Macmillan Basal Reader enhancements related to vocabulary and decoding Hypermedia integrated into small-group rotation lesson duration varied across grade levels. K-7.5 minutes, 1st-10 minutes, 2nd-15 minutes Controlno access Experimental group outperformed control in K, 2 and 3 not 1st however; Low performing students scores saw especially significant improvements

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115Table A-1 continued. Citation Purpose Participants Dependent Variable(s) and Measure(s) Intervention/ manipulation Procedures Findings Hinitikka, Aro, & Lyytinen, 2005 Evaluate the effect of computerized training on letter knowledge and letter sound correspondence. N= 44 Age range= 81 to 104 months Ability level= struggling readers Letter naming and spelling as measured by a researcher created assessment. Reading fluency as measured by as standardized Finnish measure Likilasse The Literate computerized training program. Designed to enhance the accuracy and fluency of letter sound correspondence. Game like format provided speeded practice. Experimental Group: 10-20 minute intervention session three times per week over a period of six weeks. Control group: Students exposed to pen and pencil tasks in phonological awareness, letter knowledge, and reading. No statistically significant differences between intervention and control groups in letter sound correspondence, letter naming and letter spelling although not No statistically significant differences in reading fluency. Irausquin, Drent, & Verhoeven, 2005 Investigate the effect of computer on word recognition and comprehension N= 28 Ages= 7-10 Ability level= problems with beginning reading (score at the lowest 25th percentile on the CVC Word Reading Test and a maximum of card 3 out of 4 on the Text Reading Test). Word identification and comprehension as measured by the CVC Word Reading Test, Text Reading Test, Cluster Word Reading Test, and Reading Comprehension Test. Speed group: flash words, picture word matching, speeded sentence correction, speeded passage correction. Context group: cloze exercise at sentence level, cloze exercise at the passage level, picture sentence matching, picture passage matching. Participants matched based on number of words correct on CVC Word Reading Test and placed in a speed group and a context group. Training took place three sessions a week for 15 minutes per session for two months. The speed group showed higher gains in reading performance than the context group in decoding at both the word and text levels. No effects found in reading comprehension. Jones, Torgesen, & Sexton, 2001 Investigate the effect of CAI on fluency (word and connected text). N= 30, Age/Grade range= elementary, Ability level= low (school identified learning disabled), average reading rate (words in isolation) 40 words/min or less. Speed and accuracy of words in isolation and oral reading of connected text. Hint and Hunt I: practice five short vowels and four vowel diagraphs and dipthongs. Program divided into 10 levels. Hintvowel sounds introduced and practiced using digitized speech. Huntgame format to provide extensive speed oriented practice. 10 LD experimental, 10 LD computer experience control (spelling program), and normal no treatment comparison students. 10 weeks, 15 minutes per day, five days per week. Posttest administered when mastery of a level of the CAI program occurred. Experimental group; improved in both speed and accuracy of word reading. Students able to generalize to similar set of words. Improved speed of paragraph reading. Average increase in word reading; experimental group 20%, control group4%.

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116Table A-1 continued. Citation Purpose Participants Dependent Variable(s) and Measure(s) Intervention/ manipulation Procedures Findings Lewandowski, Begeny, & Rogers, 2006 Examine the effects of a tutor or computerassisted word recognition in a sample of third grade children. N=63 Grade= 3 Ability level= struggling readers, 14 ESE students. Fluency and word recognition as measured by a researcher created word list and curriculum based reading passages. Word recognition training using a list of 100 words selected from the word frequency book. American Heritage Word Frequency Book Three ten minute sessions. Each session consisted of two practice exposures to a list of words followed by an oral timed readings of the list. CAI group: computer read words to students. Tutor group: tutor read words to student. Control group: students read words on their own. Computer and tutor groups significantly improved in word recognition and fluency. Control group did not make significant gains. Lewin, 2000 Investigate the effectiveness of an Enhanced design of computer-assisted instruction on word recognition and identification skills, Explored the effects on levels of motivation and self confidence N= 32, Age range= 5-6, Grade= Kindergarten, Ability level(s)= low, medium, high. Word recognition and identification as measured by the Salford Sentence Reading and the Burt Word Reading Test Self confidence and motivation. Basic version included: coaching through reading cues (word pronunciation) Enhanced version included: coaching through reading cues (initial sound, illustration, word identification meaning and syntax). Students read text independently. Instructed to only request help from CAI as needed. 16 students assigned to basic, 16 assigned to enhanced. 15 minutes daily over a period of 4 weeks No overall significant differences between basic and enhanced groups. Both groups made mean gains of 3 months on Salford Sentence Reading test. Lewis, 1999 Observe students as they engage in unstructured interactions with talking storybooks. Examined how the level of text support affects reading gains N= 6 Age/Grade = elementary age Ability level= learning disabled students. Student engagement/ interaction, Gains in individual word reading. Six computer programs with high text interactivity no embedded games or activities; Six with varying interactivity and games; with varying interactivity and definitions or glossary features. Each student interacted with each of the three different programs for a total of two hours over a period of four days. Students were observed and videotaped. Student with learning disabilities did not see significant gains in reading skills (an average of 2.4 words from pretest to posttest).

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117Table A-1 continued. Citation Purpose Participants Dependent Variable(s) and Measure(s) Intervention/ manipulation Procedures Findings Mathes, Torgesen, & Allor, 2001 Examined the effectiveness of peer assisted learning strategies for first grade readers with and without additional computerassisted instruction with phonological awareness. N= 183 Grade= 1st grade Ability level= low, average, and high performing students. Phonological awareness measured by the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Awareness (CTOPP), word reading accuracy as measured by the Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE) and Woodcock Reading Mastery Test, alphabet knowledge as measured by the Test of Early Reading. Peer assisted learning strategies with and without CAI (Daisy Quest and Daisys Castle). CAI was a supplement rather than a replacement of the pre-existing program. Students received three 35 minute sessions per week for 16 weeks. Students worked in pairs for two 15 minute sessions. Students took on both student and teacher roles. Students in CAI condition received 8-10 hours more phonological awareness instruction via the computer. Low achieving students gained the most benefit from this instruction with or without additional CAI instruction. CAI had no statistically significant effects on students phonological awareness. Mitchell & Fox, 2001 Examine the effectiveness of CAI on phonological awareness, compare CAI to teacher delivered instruction. N= 72 Age= 5-8 Grade= K-1 Ability level= at risk for reading difficulties. K below grade level in three of five subtests of Literacy Initiative of Everyone (LIFE). 1st below grade level on five of seven subtests of LIFE. Phonological awareness as measured by the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-III) and the Literacy Initiative for Everyone (LIFE). Daisys Quest and Daisys Castle (practice in rhyme identification, segmenting, blending). Teacher delivered (explicit instruction with phonological awareness kit, then practice using picture cues, manipulatives, or games). Three experimental conditions (CAI, teacher, treatment controldrawing and math software). 24 children in each treatment group. 20 minute session, 5 days per week, four weeks. Both CAI and teacher group showed increases in phonological processing over control. Mioduser, Tur-Kaspa, & Leitner, 2000 Compare effects of computer-based instruction to conventional modes of instruction (teacher instruction with textbooks) on early reading acquisition. N= 46 Age= 5-6 Grade= K Ability level= at risk for reading disabilities (scored 55 points or below out of 122 possible points on the Phonological Awareness Test. Phonological awareness, word recognition, and letter naming skills as measured by the standardized measures of phonological awareness, word recognition, and letter naming. I have a secret I can read = program for early reading acquisition developed for special education. It consists of booklets for individual work and computer materials. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: special intervention with computer-assisted instruction, print only, or no special intervention. Children at risk for reading disabilities who received the computer reading intervention, significantly improved their phonological awareness, word recognition, and letter naming skills compared to those who received a printbased reading intervention program.

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118Table A-1 continued. Citation Purpose Participants Dependent Variable(s) and Measure(s) Intervention/ manipulation Procedures Findings Nicolson, Fawcett, & Nicolson, 2000 Compare the use of computer-assisted instruction with traditional instruction on word reading. N= 32 Ages= 6-8 Ability level= struggling readers Word reading as measured by the Wechsler Objective Reading Dimension (WORD) Reading and Spelling Tests. Readers Interactive Teaching Assistant (RITA)= uses pictures, graphics and speech feedback. The teacher can specify activities based on the childs current progress. 32 lowest ranked students on the Wechsler objective Reading Dimension (WORD) were matched for age and reading. 16 students placed in treatment (used RITA). 16 students placed in control (no intervention). Treatment group made significantly more progress than the control. Overall standard scores increased from 84.9 to 89.7 for treatment from pretest to posttest and 80.3 to 81.9 for control group from pretest to posttest Reinking & Schreiner, 1985 Investigate the effect of CAI on reading comprehension. N= 104 Grade= 5th 6th Ability level= some struggling readers Comprehension as measured by comprehension probes and the comprehension subtest of the Nelson Reading Skills Test All passages taken from Science Research Associates (SRA). Participants worked once per week to complete two passages over a period if three weeks. Participants had to respond to six comprehension questions after reading the passage. To continue to the second passage, students had to get four out of six questions correct. For both high and low difficulty passages, participants who were required to view all of the available text manipulations, scored higher than the other computer groups. Roth & Beck, 1987 Investigate the effects of computer-assisted instruction on word recognition/decoding skills and effects of improved decoding on comprehension. N= 108 Grades= 4th Ability level= low achievement in reading (mean grade equivalent score on California Achievement Test Total Reading Score of 3.7). Accuracy speed of word recognition and comprehension as measured by the Woodcock Reading Mastery Tests (subtests= word attack) and the California Achievement Test (subtests= vocabulary and comprehension) Construct-A-Word (CAW and Hint and Hunt (HH). Students in the experimental group used CAW for about 10 weeks beginning in the fall and HH for about 10 weeks beginning in the spring. There were three 20 minute sessions per week. Substantial increases in word recognition/decoding skills.

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119Table A-1 continued. Citation Purpose Participants Dependent Variable(s) and Measure(s) Intervention/ manipulation Procedures Findings Torgesen, Waters, Cohen & Torgesen, 1988 Evaluate the effectiveness of three variations of a computer program designed to increase sight word reading vocabulary. N= 17 Grades= 1-3 Ability level= identified with a learning disability (full scale IQ above 70 and a significant discrepancy (one standard deviation difference) between level of general intelligence and reading level). Accuracy and speed of reading individual words at preand posttest The computer program used was called WORDS. Word sets consisting of 10 words each were practiced on versions of the computer program that employed either graphic representation of words alone (visual alone), graphic plus synthetic speech (visual auditory, or synthetic speech alone (auditory alone). The treatment control group worked on a math program. A multi-element baseline design with four treatment conditions (auditoryvisual, auditory-only, visual-only, and no treatment) was used. Treatment conditions were alternated on successive weeks. Counterbalancing was used so that approximately one fourth of the subjects learned the first word list in the auditoryvisual condition, one fourth responded to the same list in each of the other three conditions. All three instructional conditions were equally effective in teaching the subjects to read the list of words. Pretest average word reading accuracy= 17%, Posttest average word reading accuracy= 70%. Wise, Olson, Anstett, et al., 1989 Explore effect of computer-assisted instruction on word recognition ability and attitude about reading. N= 62 Grade= 3-6 Ability level= children with average verbal or performance classified as reading disabled. Word recognition ability as measured by the Peabody Individualized Achievement Test for word recognition, a 220 item timed word recognition test developed b y the authors and a nonword 43 item reading test created by the authors. Attitude about reading as measured by an attitude questionnaire created by the authors. 81 books and 64 stories transferred to computers and linked to speech synthesizers so that speech feedback could be provided on difficult words at the wholeword, syllable, or subsyllable levels. Participants assigned to feedback conditions: 1. wholeword, 2. syllable, 3. sub-syllable, 4. a combination of first sub-syllable and then syllable feedback. Participants read 25 minutes for at least four times per week. After being trained for two weeks on how to use the program, students worked independently. Not much difference across treatment groups. All experimental participants showed significant improvements in timed word recognition-tasks from comparison to control. 30 participants were given open ended questions about most and least favorite school subjects, 9 showed positive changes in attitude toward reading.

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120 120 APPENDIX B INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD DOCUMENT 1. TITLE OF PROTOCOL: Effects of Computer Assist ed Instruction and Small Group Teacher Led Fluency Instruction for Third Gr ade Students at Risk for Reading Failure 2. PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR(s): Nicole S. Fenty, M. Ed. Phone: (352) 392-0701 ext. 243 Doctoral Candidate E-mail address: nscarlet@ufl.edu Department of Special Education Fax: (352) 392-2665 PO Box 117050 Gainesville, FL 32611-7050 3. SUPERVISOR (IF PI IS STUDENT): (Name, campus address, phone #, e-mail & fax) Holly Lane, Ph.D. PO Box 117050 G315 Norman Hall Gainesville, FL 32611-7050 Office Telephone: (352) 392-0701, ext. 246 E-mail address: hlane@coe.ufl.edu Fax: (352) 392-2665 4. DATES OF PROPOSED PROTOCOL: From September 15, 2006-September 15, 2007 5. SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR THE PROTOCOL: None 6. SCIENTIFIC PURPOSE OF THE INVESTIGATION: The scientific purpose of this st udy is to understand how computer assisted instruction compares to teacher led instruction in oral read ing fluency and in on task engagement. 7. DESCRIBE THE RESEARCH METHODOLOGY IN NON-TECHNICAL LANGUAGE. According to Kiley (2005), the ability to read quickly, accurately and with expression is a defining characteristic of good reading. Several researchers have disc overed that a strong correlation exists between reading fluency and overall reading achieve ment (Rasinksi, 2006). Direct instruction in fluency is most beneficial, especially for st udents who struggle, to increase not only reading fluency but also overall reading achievement (Rasinski, 2003). Participants will become eligible for this study through their Fall scores on the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIB ELS). DIBELS is a measure of oral reading fluency (See attached sample). The state of Florida mandates that schools assess Kindergarten through grade three students using DIBELS between three and four times per year (e.g. Fall, Winter and Spring). Students scoring between the 10th and the 39th percentile or between 35 and 76 words correct per minute will be eligible to participate in this study. Students scoring within this range on measures of oral reading flue ncy beginning in second gr ade are good candidates for interventions in oral reading fluency development (Hasbrouck & Tindal, 1992).

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121 80 participants will receive 20 minute lessons in fluency instruction three times per week for eight weeks. Instruction will either be teacher led (i.e. print based) or com puter led (i.e. software based). The same fluency instructional program will be used for both print and software based instruction. Participants will be randomly assi gned to receive either teacher led fluency instruction or computer led fluency instructi on. Once parental consent has been received and participants have been placed into groups, a stan dardized group measure of reading achievement, the Gates Maginitie will be administered to part icipants by the doctoral student researcher (See attached sample). Results from the winter admi nistration of DIBELS wi ll be used to help determine whether differences exist between the teacher led and the computer led groups. The Gates Maginitie will also be re-administered at the end of the study by the doctoral student researcher to determine whether differences ex ist in overall reading achievement across the teacher led and the computer led groups. Teacher led groups will be taught by a trained graduate student. Computer led groups will be mon itored by a trained graduate student. In addition, six participan ts who fall between the 10th and the 39th percentile in oral reading fluency and who also exhibit high incidences of off task behavior will also be involved in this study. These participants will receive instruction in both the teacher led and the computer led groups. They will be observed during each fluency lesson at 10 second intervals using the attached observation protocol to determine whethe r differences exist in task engagement across the teacher led and th e computer led groups. Pretest and posttest DIBELS scores and pretes t and posttest Gates Maginitie scores will be analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) to determine whether differences exist in oral readi ng fluency and in overall reading achievement across the teacher led and computer led groups. Visual analyses of graphical displays of task engagement will be used to determine whether differences exist in task engagement across the teacher led and computer led groups. 8. POTENTIAL BENEFITS AN D ANTICIPATED RISK. No more than minimal risk is invo lved in participating in this pr oject. Participants in this study could benefit through increases in oral readi ng fluency as a result of exposure to direct instruction in reading fluency and as a result of increased engagement during instruction. 9. DESCRIBE HOW PARTICIPANT(S) WI LL BE RECRUITED, THE NUMBER AND AGE OF THE PARTICIPANTS, AND PROP OSED COMPENSATION (if any): Third grade students in two schools, one in Alachua County and one in Levy County, will be recruited to participate in the study. Parents of the participants w ho score between the 10th and the 39th percentile on the DIBELS oral reading fluency will be asked to provide consent to allow their child to receive either te acher led or computer led instru ction in fluency (See attached letter). Instruction will be provided between Se ptember and December of 2006. Each third grade teacher will also nominate students who exhi bit both high and low engagement during reading instruction. Parents of both high and low nomina ted students will also be asked to provide consent to allow their child to be observed to determine participants actual level of task engagement during reading instruction (See attached letter). The six students (three from each school) with the highest percentage of off task e ngagement will be selected to participate in the study. No compensation will be provided to any of the participants.

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122 10. DESCRIBE THE INFORMED CONSENT PR OCESS. INCLUDE A COPY OF THE INFORMED CONSENT DOCUMENT (if applicable). Parents of students who score between the 10th and 39th percentile on DIBELS oral reading fluency will be given letters of parental info rmed consent explaining the purpose of the study. Also, parents of students who exhibit low on ta sk engagement during reading instruction will also be given letters of parental informed c onsent explaining the purpose of the study. Letters are attached. Please use attachments sparingly. __________________________ _________________________ Principal Investigator's Signature Supervisor's Signature I approve this protocol for submission to the UFIRB: ____________________________ Dept. Chair/Center Director Date

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123 Informed Consent Protocol Title: Effects of Computer Assi sted Instruction and Small Group Teacher Led Fluency Instruction for Third Grade Student s at Risk for Reading Failure Please read this consent document carefully befo re you decide to participate in this study. What you will be asked to do in the study: To allow your child to re ceive instruction in oral reading fluency via a teacher or a computer for three days per week and 20 minutes per day over the course of eight weeks during the Fall semester of 2006. If you allo w your child to participate, the same fluency instructional program will be us ed in the teacher led and in the computer led groups. If you allow your child to participate, y our child will be removed from the classroom during a scheduled intervention block so your child will not miss any regularly scheduled class material. Your child was selected for the study based on the most recent administration of the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS). In addition to DIBELS which will be administered by your childs school, you are also being asked to allow your child to take a standardized measure of readi ng achievement called the Gates Ma ginitie. If you agree, the Gates Maginitie will be administered twice, once at th e beginning of the study and again at the end of the study. Teacher led groups will be taught by a tr ained graduate student. Computer led groups will be monitored by a trained graduate student. Time required: 20 minutes per day for three days per week for eight weeks. Risks and Benefits: No more than minimal risk is involve d in participating in this project. Participants in this study coul d benefit through increases in oral reading fluency as a result of exposure to direct instruc tion in reading fluency. Compensation: There is no compensation for participating in this study. Confidentiality: Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Only the researcher will have access to the DIBELS and Gates Maginitie measures. The final results will be included in a Doctoral Di ssertation, which may be presented at a conference and may be submitted to educational journals for possible publication. Voluntary participation: Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdr aw from the study at anytime without consequence. You do not have to answ er any question you do not want to answer. Whom to contact if you have questions about the study: Nicole Fenty, M. Ed., Doctoral Candidat e, PO Box 117050, Gainesville, FL 32611-7050 (352) 392-0701 ext. 243

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124 Holly Lane, Ph. D., PO Box 117050, G315 Norm an Hall, Gainesville, FL, 32611-7050, (352) 392-0701, ext. 246. Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study: UFIRB Office, Box 112250, University of Flor ida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250; ph 392-0433. I have read the procedures outlined above. I voluntarily agree to participate in this study and have received a copy of this description. Participants signature and date: ________________________________________________ Principle investigators signature and date: __________________________________________________

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125 Dear Parent: I am a doctoral student in the College of Educati on at the University of Florida. I am conducting research to determine how computer assisted inst ruction compares to teacher led instruction in the oral reading fluency of third grade students. Your child was sele cted for participation in this study based on his/her scores on the most recent DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency measure. The results of this study may help teachers to be tter understand how to best deliver fluency instruction to students. With your permission, I would like to ask your child to volunteer for this research. Participating students will receiv e 20 minutes of reading fluency in struction three times per week over the course of eight weeks. Students will receive either teacher led or computer led instruction. The same fluency instructional progra m will be used in the teacher led and in the computer led groups. If you allow your child to pa rticipate, your child will be removed from the classroom during a scheduled intervention block and so your child will not miss any regularly scheduled class material. In addition to DIB ELS which will be administered by your childs school, you are also being asked to allow your chil d to take a standardized measure of reading achievement called the Gates Maginitie. If you ag ree, the Gates Maginitie will be administered twice, once at the beginning of the study and ag ain at the end of the study. Teacher led groups will be taught by a trained gra duate student. Computer led groups will be monitored by a trained graduate student. The identity of your child will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Only I will have access to the data collected, and students w ill be assigned coded letters and numbers on all data collection sheets. The data collected will be destroyed at the comp letion of the project. There is no known risk for your childs particip ation in the study. You are free to withdraw consent to allow your child to pa rticipate in this study at any tim e. There is no compensation for participation in this study. If you have any questions regarding the progress of this study, please contact your childs teacher or the schools principal, ___________________________________ at ___________________. If you have any questions about this research pr otocol, please contact my faculty advisor, Dr. Holly Lane, at 392-0701. Questions or concerns about your childs ri ghts as a research participant may be directed to the UFIRB office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, Fl 32611-2250; phone (352) 392-0433. Please sign and return this copy of the consent letter in the encl osed envelope. A second copy is provided for your records. By signing this letter you give me permission to report your childs assessment and results anonymously in the final ma nuscript to be submitted by me as part of my course work. Sincerely, Nicole S. Fenty, M.Ed I have read the procedure described above for the study. I give permission for my child to participate in the study. ______________________________ ______________________________ Parent Date

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126 Dear Parent: I am a doctoral student in the College of Educati on at the University of Florida. I am conducting research to determine how computer assisted inst ruction compares to teacher led instruction in the oral reading fluency and on ta sk engagement of third grade st udents. Your child was selected for participation in this study ba sed on his/her scores on the most recent DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency measure and based on teacher nomination regarding on task engagement during reading instruction. The results of this study may help teachers to better understand how to best deliver fluency instruction to students. With your perm ission, I would like to as k your child to volunteer for this research. Participating students will receive 20 minutes of reading fluency instruction per day for three times per week over the course of eight weeks. Students will r eceive either teacher led and computer led instruction. The same fluency instructional program will be used in the teacher led and in the computer led groups. If you allow your child to participat e, your child will be removed from the classroom during a scheduled interven tion block and so your child will not miss any regularly scheduled class material. In addition to DIBELS which will be administered by your childs school, you are also being asked to allow your child to take a standardized measure of reading achievement called the Gates Maginitie If you agree, the Gates Maginitie will be administered twice, once at the beginning of th e study and again at the end of the study. With you permission, I would also like to observe your child using an observation protocol to determine if any differences exist in on task e ngagement across the teacher led and the computer led groups. Teacher led groups will be taught by a trained graduate student. Computer led groups will be monitored by a trained graduate student. The identity of your child will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Only I will have access to the data collected, and students w ill be assigned coded letters and numbers on all data collection sheets. The data collected will be destroyed at the comp letion of the project. There is no known risk for your childs participa tion in the study. You are free to withdraw consent to allow your child to pa rticipate in this study at any tim e. There is no compensation for participation in this study. If you have any questions regarding the progress of this study, please contact your childs teacher or the schools principal, ___________________________________ at ___________________. If you have any questions about this research pr otocol, please contact my faculty advisor, Dr. Holly Lane, at 392-0701. Questions or concerns about your childs ri ghts as a research participant may be directed to the UFIRB office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, Fl 32611-2250; phone (352) 392-0433. Please sign and return this copy of the consent letter in the encl osed envelope. A second copy is provided for your records. By signing this letter you give me permission to report your childs assessment and results anonymously in the final ma nuscript to be submitted by me as part of my course work. Sincerely, Nicole S. Fenty, M.Ed ______________________________ ______________________________ Parent Date

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127 Volunteer Recruitment Script My name is (researcher states name) and I am a graduate student in the College of Education at the University of Florida. I am a doctora l student conducting a st udy to understand how computer assisted instruction compares to teacher led instruction in the oral reading fluency and in the on task engagement of third grade students. I need third grade students w ho are struggling in oral readi ng fluency. Specifically, I need students who fall within the 10th and the 39th percentile on the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills. If you agree to participate, I w ould like to ask the permi ssion of the parents of these students to provide either teacher led or com puter led instruction in oral reading fluency. At the beginning and again at the e nd of the study, I would also like to administer a standardized measure of overall reading achie vement called the Gates Magini tie to students. Teacher led groups will be taught by a trained graduate stude nt. Computer led groups will be monitored by a trained graduate student. Additionally, you will be asked to nominate a subs et of students from your reading class who not only experience difficulty with oral reading flue ncy but who also experience difficulty remaining on task during reading instruction. These students will receive instruction in both the teacher led and the computer led groups. These students will be observed daily to determine whether differences in task engagement exist across groups. Students identity will be kept confidential to the extent provid ed by law. Only I will have access to the data collected through standardized measur es of oral reading flue ncy, reading achievement and the on task engagement observation protocol The final results will be presented at a conference and may be submitted to educat ional journals for possible publication. No more than minimal risk is involved in this study. Particip ants in this study could benefit through increases in oral reading fluency as a resu lt of exposure to direct instruction in reading fluency and as a result of increa sed engagement during instruction You and your students participation in this study is co mpletely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime wit hout consequence. Would you like to allow your students participate?

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128 Child Assent Script/Form I want to see if you would be willing to help me w ith a research project. I am from the University of Florida and I am trying to help your teacher figure out how to teach students to learn to read better. If you decide to be take part in the project, you will be taught reading by a teacher and/or by a computer. If you decide to participate, you will be taught for 20 minutes per day for three times per week of eight weeks. It is okay if you do not want to take part in the project. If you say yes to taking part, you can stop being apart of project at a ny time. Your parent(s) know that I am asking you to take part in the project. Do you have any questions? Would you be willing to do the pr oject with me?

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129 APPENDIX C DATA COLLECTION FORMS Table C-1. Sample of Behavior Rati ng Scale For Study Pre-Qualification Teacher: ___________________________________________ Student: ___________________________________________ Activity Total Pays attention Always 3 points Often 2 points Sometimes 1 point Never 0 points Listens carefully Always 3 points Often 2 points Sometimes 1 point Never 0 points Listens attentively Always 3 points Often 2 points Sometimes 1 point Never 0 points Listens to directions Always 3 points Often 2 points Sometimes 1 point Never 0 points Remains on-task during independent work Always 3 points Often 2 points Sometimes 1 point Never 0 points Actively participates Always 3 points Often 2 points Sometimes 1 point Never 0 points

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130 Table C-2. Sample of Data Collectio n Sheet Used During Baseline Condition Student Code Name: Date: Intervals Target Behaviors asking a question about the lesson eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to contribute to the lesson 1 pointing to words in the text reading the text responding to a question writing responses to questions asking a question about the lesson eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to contribute to the lesson 2 pointing to words in the text reading the text responding to a question writing responses to questions asking a question about the lesson eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to contribute to the lesson 3 pointing to words in the text reading the text responding to a question writing responses to questions asking a question about the lesson eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to contribute to the lesson 4 pointing to words in the text reading the text responding to a question writing responses to questions asking a question about the lesson eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to contribute to the lesson 5 pointing to words in the text reading the text responding to a question writing responses to questions asking a question about the lesson eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to contribute to the lesson 6 pointing to words in the text reading the text responding to a question writing responses to questions asking a question about the lesson eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to contribute to the lesson 7 pointing to words in the text reading the text responding to a question writing responses to questions asking a question about the lesson eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to contribute to the lesson 8 pointing to words in the text reading the text responding to a question writing responses to questions asking a question about the lesson eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to contribute to the lesson 9 pointing to words in the text reading the text responding to a question writing responses to questions asking a question about the lesson eyes on the teacher eyes on the text hand raised to contribute to the lesson 10 pointing to words in the text reading the text responding to a question writing responses to questions Percent On-task: ________

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131 Table C-3. Sample of Data Collection Sheet Used During Treatment Conditions Student Code Name: Observer (Primary/Secondary): Print or Computer (Circle one): Date: Percent On-task: ________ 10 20 30 40 50 60 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

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132 APPENDIX D SUMMARY OF THE QUICK READS PROGRAM Table D-1. Overview of the Quick Reads Program Sources: Carroll, J.B., Davis, P., and Ri chman, B. Word Frequency Book. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1971. Zeno, S.M., Ivens, S.H., Milliard, R.T., & Duvvuri, R. (1995). The Educators Word Frequency Guide. New York: Touchstone Applied Science Associates, Inc. High Frequency Words Projected Words Read Per Minute Phonics Patterns Level A (2nd grade curriculum) 300 most frequently used words Book 1: 80 words Book 2: 90 words Book 3: 100 words Single syllable words with regular short and long vowel patterns and consistent spelling patterns Level B (2nd grade curriculum) 500 most frequently used words Book 1: 90 words Book 2: 100 words Book 3: 110 words Single syllable words regular short and long vowel patterns, r-controlled vowels, and consistent spelling patterns Level C (3rd grade curriculum) 1,000 most frequently used words Book 1: 100 words Book 2: 110 words Book 3: 120 words Vowel patterns in single syllable words Level D (4th grade curriculum) 1,000 most frequently used words Book 1: 110 words Book 2: 120words Book 3: 130 words Multi-syllable words with inflected endings Level E (5th grade curriculum) 2,500 most frequently used words Book 1: 120 words Book 2: 130 words Book 3: 140 words Multi syllable word with inflected endings Level F (6th grade curriculum) 5,000 most frequently used words Book 1: 130 words Book 2: 140 words Book 3: 150 words Multi syllable words with inflected endings

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133 Table D-2. Sample Quick Reads Scri pt for Print-based Instruction Step 1 : The teacher begins by browsing the titl e, picture and caption with students. Teacher says: Before we read this new passage le ts think about this topic. First let us begin by reading the title. Now let us look at the pi cture and the caption th at accompanies it. Step 2 : The teacher uses a graphic or ganizer to help students to make predictions about what might occur in the passage (see Appendix H-1). Teacher says: Do you have any predictions about what this passage might be about? Let us write down some of your predictions. We will come back to your predictions at the end of the passage. Step 3 : The teacher then reads the passage as students follow along silently. Teacher says: Please read along silently as I read the passage aloud. Be sure that you are showing me that you are following along by using your pointer finger or a pencil to point to the words as I read. Step 4 : Students then chor al read the passage. Teacher says: Now we will read the passage together. Be sure to use your pointer finger or a pencil to point to each word as we read. Step 5 : Students practice the passage by reading with a partner. Teacher says: Now you are going to read this pa ssage with your partner. Remember, you are to help your partner with the words that they have trouble with and provide your partner with a compliment about their readi ng when they are finished. Step 6 : The teacher then times the student for one minute. Teacher says: Now it is time to do your one minute timing. If you are waiting to be timed you may go ahead and work on the questions that acc ompany this passage at the end of the unit. To student who is being timed: We are going to do a timing of the passage we have practiced today. Be sure to do your be st reading... ready... begin. Step 7 : The teacher and student chart the num ber of word correctly per minute. Teacher says: That was wonderful reading. Let us turn to the back of the book and mark how many words you read today. Step 8 : As students wait to be time, they res pond to the comprehension questions that accompany a particular passage. Review the comprehension questions with students.

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134 Teacher says: Now let us review the questions that accompanied this passage. Let us read the first question together. What is the correct answer to that qu estion? Let us read the second question together. What is the co rrect answer to that question? Let us read the third question together. What is the correct answer to that question?

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135 APPENDIX E RESULTS OF PILOT STUDY Table E-1. Pilot Study Student DIBELS Pretest DIBELS Posttest 1 70 73 2 55 56 3 52 74 4 42 53 5 77 63 6 60 94 7 63 72 8 80 104 9 51 61 10 83 79 11 75 not available 12 89 not available Group Average DIBELS Pretest Average DIBELS Posttest Print-based 63 71.6 Computer-based 63.6 74.2

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136 APPENDIX F TREATMENT INTEGRITY SCALES Table F-1. Treatment Integrity S cale for Teacher-led Print Group Teacher: Date: Treatment Integrity Rating Scale (Print Group) No = Implementation does not match with e xpected activity and method in most ways. Yes = Implementation matches well with expe cted activity and method in most ways. Step Rating Comment 1. The teacher begins by browsing the title, picture and caption with students. Yes No 2. The teacher uses a graphic organizer to help students to make predictions about what might occur in the passage. Yes No 3. The teacher then reads the passage as students follow along silently. Yes No 4. Students then choral read the passage. Yes No 5. Students practice the passage by reading with a partner. Yes No 6. The teacher then times the student for one minute. Yes No 7. The teacher and student chart the number of word correctly per minute. Yes No 8. As students wait to be time, they respond to the comprehension questions that accompany a particular passage. Review the comprehension questions with students. Yes No

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137 Table F-2. Treatment Integrity Scal e for Teacher-led Computer Group Teacher: Date: Treatment Integrity Rating Scale (Computer Group) No = Implementation does not match with e xpected activity and method in most ways. Yes = Implementation matches well with expe cted activity and method in most ways. Step Rating Comment 1. Teacher has software and microphone headphone ready before students enter the room. Yes No 2. Students know what to do upon entering the room. Yes No 3. Teacher monitors to ensure that students remain on-task. Yes No 4. Teacher redirects students to ensure that students remain on-task. Yes No 5. Teacher directs time-equivalent group to continue to the next passage. Yes No 6. Teacher directs text-equivalent group to go on to a math program. Yes No

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138 APPENDIX G STUDY TIMELINE BY MONTH AND WEEK Table G-1. Study Timeline by Month Month of Activity July/August 2006 Establish relati onship with target schools Early September 2006 DIBELS pretest Mid September 2006 Analyze DIBELS sc ores and select participants Mid September 2006 Send home consent letters Mid September 2006 Randomly assign participants End of September 2006 GATES MacGinitie pretest Beginning of October 2006 Begin Instruction Beginning of December 2006 Gates MacGinitie posttest Beginning of December 2006 DIBELS posttest

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139 Table G-2. Study Timeline by Week Week of Activity August 28th Finalize relationships with schools, recruit graduate student teachers September 4th DIBELS pretest, recruit graduate student teachers September 11th DIBELS pretest, have teachers nominate students with engagement problems, select students within the 10th and the 39th percentile September 18th Send home consent lett ers, Train graduate student teachers September 25th Observe teacher nominated students, administer Gates MacGinitie pretest, randomly assign students, decide on small-group configuratio ns for students in the print-based groups, train students October 2nd Instruction begins, begin treatment integrity October 9th Instruction, treatment integrity, watch and code video October 16th Instruction, treatment integrity, watch and code video October 23rd Instruction, treatme nt integrity, watch and code video November 6th Instruction, treatment integrity, watch and code video November 13th Instruction, treatment integrity, watch and code video November 20th Instruction, treatment integrity, watch and code video November 27th Instruction, treatment integrity, watch and code video, Gates MacGinitie posttest December 4th DIBELS posttest, Gates MacGinitie posttest

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140 APPENDIX H GRAPHIC ORGANIZER FOR PREDICTIONS Title and Heading Clues Title and HeadinOth e Picture Clues My prediction about the selection: Other Clues Figure H-1. Graphic Organizer for Pre-read ing Discussion.[Reprinted with permission from Mailbox Books]. Mailbox Books ( 2006) Graphic Organizers: Over 50 Easy to Adapt Reproducible Graphic Organizers, p. 5. The Mailbox. Greensboro, NC.

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141 APPENDIX I SCREEN SHOT EXAMPLES OF QUICK READS Figure I-1. Quick Reads Title Screen Page. [Rep rinted with permission from Pearson Education Inc].Hiebert, E.H. (2005). Quick Reads Technology Edition Version 3: Student Charting Page. Pearson Learning Group. Parsippany, NJ.

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142 Figure I-2. Quick Reads Defin ition Page. [Reprinted with perm ission from Pearson Education Inc].Hiebert, E.H. (2005). Quick Reads Technology Edition Version 3: Student Charting Page. Pearson Learning Group. Parsippany, NJ.

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143 Figure I-3. Quick Reads Comprehension Questi ons Page. [Reprinted with permission from Pearson Education Inc]. Hiebert, E.H. (2005). Quick Reads Technology Edition Version 3: Student Charting Page. Pe arson Learning Group. Parsippany, NJ.

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144 Figure I-4. Quick Reads Progre ss Monitoring Page. [Reprinted with permission from Pearson Education Inc]. Hiebert, E.H. (2005). Qu ick Reads Technology Edition Version 3: Student Charting Page. Pearson Le arning Group. Parsippany, NJ.

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145 LIST OF REFERENCES Adams, M.J. (1990). Beginning to read: Thinki ng and learning about print. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Allington, R.L. (1983). Fluency: The neglected reading goal. The Reading Teacher, 36, 556-561. Anderson-Inman, L. & Horney, M.A. (1998). Tran sforming text for at-risk readers. In D. Reinking, M.C. McKenna, L.D. Labbo & R.D. Kieffer (Eds). Handbook of literacy and technology (pp. 15-43). Mahwah, New Jersey: La wrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers. Armendiaz, F., & Umbreit, J. (1999). Using act ive responding to reduce disruptive behavior in the general education classroom Journal of Positive Behavi or Interventions, 1, 152-158. Baer, D., Wolf, M., & Risley, R. (1968). Some cu rrent dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior, 1, 91-97. Balajthy, E (1989). Computer s and reading: Lessons from the past and the technologies of the future. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Bangert-Drowns, R.L., & Pyke, C. (2001). A taxono my of student engagement with educational software: An exploration of literate thinking with electronic text. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 24, 213-234. Barker, T.A., & Torgesen, J.K. (1995). An eval uation of computer-assisted instruction in phonological awareness with belo w average readers. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 13, 89-103. Baumann, J.F., & Kameenui, E.J. (2004). Vocabular y Instruction: Resear ch to Practice. New York, NY: The Guiford Press. Beck, I.L., McKeown, M.G., & Kucan, L. (2002) Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction. New York, NY: The Guiford Press. Blankenship, T.L., Ayers, K.M & Langone, J. (2005). Effects of computer-based cognitive on reading comprehension for students with emo tional behavioral disorders. Journal of Special Education Technology, 20, 15-23. Boone, R., & Higgins, K. (1993). Hypermedia ba sal readers: Three years of school-based research. Journal of Special Education Technology, 12, 86-106. Boone, R., Higgins, K., Notari, A., & Stump, C. S. (1996). Hypermedia pre-reading lessons: Learner centered software for kindergarten. Journal of Computing in Childhood Education, 7, 39-69. Brandt, D. (2001). Literacy in American Lives. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

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154 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Nicole Scarlett Fenty was born on January 4, 197 9, in Jamaica, West Indies. She moved to the Lauderdale Lakes, Fl with her parents at age nine and graduated from Boyd Anderson High School in 1996. She earned her bachelors degree in psychology from the University of South Florida in 2000 and her masters degree in special education from the University of Florida in 2003. She has served as a child care attendant, teachers aide and teach er of students with learning disabilities for over 4 years in Hillsborough and Alachua counties. Nicole began her doctoral st udies in 2003, with a focus in reading and behavior difficulties. She was supported by two federally funded grants, including an EBD leadership grant and Project PASS: Promoting Academic and Social Success. Upon completion of her doctoral program, Ni cole and her husband will relocate to Louisville, Kentucky where she will begin her ca reer as an Assistant Professor of Special Education at the University of Louisville. Nico le has been married to her husband, Sean Fenty, for four years.