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Teacher and student evaluations on the use of digital courseware and computerized assessment for adolescent reading comprehension intervention

, California Lutheran University, United States

California Lutheran University . Awarded


Currently, the use of computer technology, specifically digital courseware, for the assessment and intervention of adolescent reading comprehension problems is a growing trend in public schools. However, current quantitative evidence has shown that of the reading digital courseware studied to date, none significantly improve outcomes for students with reading problems. This qualitative study asked what influence and impact does their widespread use have on the structure and substance of reading intervention school programs for struggling adolescent readers? What effect does their use have on the reading behaviors and attitudes of students who use them? Teachers and students were interviewed for their evaluations of one commercial digital courseware, SuccessMaker® Enterprise (Pearson Education Incorporated, 2010).

The qualitative findings from this study indicate that struggling adolescent readers are not well served when SuccessMaker® is used as a replacement for the intervention teacher. SuccessMaker® assessment data do not adequately support effective student diagnostic analysis. Teacher evaluations indicate that for their students who are not proficient readers improvement on the program does not transfer to reading improvement in the classroom. Introduction of the program may reallocate resources previously used in small group instruction. Use of the program may alter or modify teacher roles, responsibilities, and quality of instruction. Teachers and students reported that student use of the program did not positively influence engagement in classroom reading activities or independent reading. Use of the program supported those teachers, not trained as intervention specialists, in their efforts to provide structured curriculum and to maintain discipline in their adolescent intervention classes. Students appreciated opportunities to independently practice passage reading and answer test questions. Students experienced feelings of success on the program.

The findings from this study are congruent with existing studies that indicate struggling adolescent readers require an array of intervention approaches and expert instruction. The findings suggest that we should not depend on digital courseware alone to meet the complex needs of struggling adolescent readers. These conclusions may be useful for school leaders to consider as they allocate limited resources for reading intervention purposes.


Chapin, S. Teacher and student evaluations on the use of digital courseware and computerized assessment for adolescent reading comprehension intervention. Ph.D. thesis, California Lutheran University. Retrieved October 18, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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