Development And Evaluation Of A Computer-Assisted Instructional System For Remedial Reading: On-Task Acceptability (cai)

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)




The efficacy of a newly developed system of computer assisted instruction (CAI) in reading for deficient teenage readers was investigated. This system was designed to make reading with comprehension possible, and to make it reinforcing. Subjects were 14 eighth and ninth grade students from a remedial reading class. Control subjects received normal classroom instruction. Five CAI subjects, one from each class period, completed approximately five weeks of reading, completing three novels.The apparatus as seen by the CAI student consisted of a graphics board on which the student placed photocopied sheets of the novel, a stylus, and a small speaker, all connected to a 64K microcomputer. When the student encountered an unknown word he or she could, by touching a spot near the word with the stylus, hear the word and often a synonym. Approximately 15 of the most difficult words on each page were entered in the high quality voice storage system.The five CAI subjects spent nearly all their time each session reading, although they were not required to do so. Their reading rate, which was measured unobtrusively, showed a significant increase (p < .01) both between and within books. The number of word requests decreased during the first few sessions then remained at approximately one request per page. The decrease in word requests, the increase in reading rate, the students' persistence in applying themselves to the reading and their comments all suggest that the CAI students became actively engaged in reading.Test results of the CAI group were significantly lower than of the control group on post tests of reading comprehension and vocabulary, possibly due to the different expectations and motivation of the CAI group at the time of the post test.The present system did give the subjects the ability and motivation to read material that would normally be beyond their abilities. This system could be used in the classroom without adult supervision. Since the system is very flexible it could easily be adapted to teach other aspects related to reading and it could be used as a research tool.


Education, Reading; Psychology, Experimental

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