AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY TO COMPARE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF A REGULAR CLASSROOM READING PROGRAM TO A REGULAR CLASSROOM READING PROGRAM WITH A COMPUTER-ASSISTED INSTRUCTION PROGRAM IN READING COMPREHENSION SKILLS IN GRADES TWO THROUGH FOUR
This study was designed to examine the relationship between the effectiveness of a regular classroom reading program to a regular classroom reading program with computer-assisted instruction program in reading comprehension skills in grades two through four. A pre-post test experimental design was used. The subjects consisted of 248 pupils in the experimental group in 1982 and 230 pupils in 1983, with 322 in the control group in 1982 and 320 in 1983. The experimental variable was a daily 10-minute computer drill program in reading comprehension that continued from September 1982 to May 1983. The dependent variable consisted of the subjects' scores on the California Achievement Test in the areas of literal comprehension, interpretive comprehension, and critical comprehension. The test results showed there was no significant difference between the second-, third-, and fourth-grade pupils who were taught by the classroom teacher and the computer-assisted program and second-, third-, and fourth-grade students who were taught by the regular reading program. The dependent measures were the scores on the California Achievement Test in the following three areas of reading comprehension: literal, interpretive, and critical. Since there were no significant differences between the experimental group and the control group and their pre-test scores on the three dependent variables--literal, interpretive, and critical comprehension, the assumption that these two groups were drawn from the same population was accepted. A post analysis of the experimental design revealed four factors which might have functioned as intervening or confounding variables in this study: (1) Experimental teacher resistance; (2) Selection of the California Achievement Test as the measuring instrument; (3) The time variable appears to be noneffective to have the same block of time for all grades; (4) The computer-assisted instruction program did not contain interesting material geared to the average classroom instructional program. The recommendations from this study are: (1) Teachers must be trained to be computer literate; (2) Time spent using the computer must be carefully evaluated; (3) The Metropolitan Achievement Test might prove to be a more sensitive instrument for measuring the effectiveness of the computer-assisted program; (4) The computer-assisted program material should be more colorful, interesting, and geared to incorporate the material learned in the classroom.