Reading rate and comprehension as a function of computerized versus traditional presentation mode: A preliminary study

Using a counterbalanced, randomized treatment design, 12 elementary school-aged children read under two conditions: (a) independent, silent reading; and (b) computer-assisted reading, via Kurzweil 3000. A repeated-measures multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) revealed no significant difference in the composite mean for comprehension and reading rate scores based on presentation strategy. Computerized text presentation (via auditory and visual means) proved no more effective than traditional reading instruction for teacher-nominated weak readers in improving reading rate and comprehension. However, a trend was noted for slower readers to show increased reading rate as a function of computer-assisted reading, with the opposite result for faster readers. Overall, results indicate that for students reading material at their instructional level, computer-assisted reading did not improve comprehension. Future research should continue to focus on the role of technology as an aid to reading instruction.

Sorrell, C. A., Bell, S. M., & McCallum, S.
Journal of Special Education Technology, 22(1), 1-12.
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Content Area: 
Grade Level: 
intermediate elementary
Instructional Support: 
alternate access devices and systems
multiple formats of text and notation
opportunities to learn concepts
visualizations and models
Customizable Interface: 
adjustable rate
adjustable repeat features
adjustable sensitivity
Text-Embedded Prompts: 
audio recorded prompts