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An investigation of the impact of computer assisted instruction on reading comprehension of middle school sixth grade students in a rural South Carolina school district
DISSERTATION

, South Carolina State University, United States

South Carolina State University . Awarded

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) on Reading Comprehension by analyzing test score reports of the participants before and after the implementation of CompassLearning Computer Assisted Instruction. The study then examined the impact of CompassLearning on the English Language Arts scale score of sixth grade students in a rural district in South Carolina (CompassLearning, 2008). This study further explored whether CAI significantly impacted the reading comprehension of students based upon race, gender and socioeconomic status (Conlon, 2003).

Incorporated in this study are the Review of Literature which focuses on the historical perspective of Computer Assisted Instruction and the principles of quantitative research to test the null hypotheses. Data used in this study were examined using the following statistical procedures: Descriptive Statistics, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), and t-test. In order to examine the hypotheses, an Analysis of Variance test was performed to investigate the relationship between student achievement, program status (CompassLearning versus non-CompassLearning), gender, race, and meals status (free/ reduced versus full price). The t-test model was used to investigate the implementation of Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) on Reading Comprehension, 6th grade PASS ELA achievement, program status (CompassLearning versus non-CompassLearning), gender, race, and meals status (free/reduced versus full price). The 6 th grade PASS ELA scale score was the dependent variable. The objective of the hypothesis testing was to see which characteristics among program status, gender, race, and meals status had an effect on 6th grade student achievement. A total of six middle schools were utilized in this study, three CompassLearning schools and three non-CompassLearning schools.

Participants for this study were 6th grade public school students from a rural school district in the Low country of South Carolina. Of the 1,355 6th grade students, this study revealed that there was no significant difference in the 6th grade PASS ELA scores of CompassLearning versus non-CompassLearning students. The adjusted mean for the CompassLearning students with free/reduced-price meals was lower than that for non-CompassLearning students. On the other hand, the adjusted mean for CompassLearning students with full-price meals was higher than that for non-CompassLearning students with full-price meals. It was also revealed that there was no significant difference in the 6th grade PASS ELA scores of CompassLearning versus non-CompassLearning students while taking meals status (free/reduced versus full price) into consideration. Further, this investigation found that there was a significant difference in PASS ELA scale scores in regards to gender.

The program status (CompassLearning versus non-CompassLearning) had no effect on student achievement in terms of the dependent variable (6 th grade PASS ELA scale score) on all the ANOVA models used to answer the four research hypotheses. Subsequent models determined that gender had an effect on student achievement with females outperforming males by an average of 8.7 scale score points on the 6th grade PASS ELA. Race had an effect on student achievement with white students outperforming black students and Hispanic students. Meals status and program status appear to have an interactive effect on student achievement. The non-CompassLearning students with free/reduced-price meals outperformed the CompassLearning students with free/reduced-price meals. On the other hand, the CompassLearning students with full-price meals outperformed the non-CompassLearning students with full-price meals.

KEYWORDS CompassLearning, Non-CompassLearning, Palmetto Assessment of State Standards Test (PASS), Reading Comprehension, Measures of Academic Progress, Scale Score

Citation

Gillard, D.J. An investigation of the impact of computer assisted instruction on reading comprehension of middle school sixth grade students in a rural South Carolina school district. Ph.D. thesis, South Carolina State University. Retrieved June 19, 2019 from .

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