Effectiveness of Computer Assisted Instruction in Reading Achievement Among Secondary School Students

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            Technology is an ever-increasing part of the English Language arts classroom Today’s teachers are developing new and exciting means of integrating Language writing and literature with innovative technologies.

            The President of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, formally launched the India-U.S. Edusat Network at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 8th December 2005.  His advocacy for a knowledge grid connecting educational institutions, research facilities and industries is the logical follow-up of a series of measures that have been undertaken by Anna University to ensure that tele-teaching reaches even to the remotest corners of the state.  This will enable the knowledge users to have access to high-performance computing environment, virtual reality, simulation systems, parallel/clustered servers, and super computer infrastructure from any end of the grid.

            According to him, the whole purpose of education in a country was to develop and enhance the potential of human resource and progressively transform it, into a knowledge society.  Every Nation wants to produce students who ultimately become the knowledge workers in their own economy to be global citizens.  In the 21st Century, the need for competitiveness, in the field of Higher Education knows no bounds.  In the words of Dr.Kalam, “The competitiveness is powered by knowledge power.  Knowledge power is powered by innovation.  Innovation is powered by science and technology and technology is powered by resource investment”.  (The Hindu, Friday, December 9, 2005).

            The progress and growth of Technology in Higher Education is significant and it can be measured in terms of the excellent output in research – teaching – research cycle leading  to societal transformation.  Gartner has projected that the total Indian enterprise IT spending (not including consumer IT spend) including hardware, software, telecommunications and IT  services will reach Rs. 1,903 billion in 2006, growing at a compounded annual growth rate (GAGR) of 20.8 per cent from 2004 to 2009.  The aim of this paper is to focus on the ‘Impact of Technology on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education’.

            Education is facing a significant challenge in preparing students and teachers for future” knowledge based society”.  In recent years the educational access to digital information and communication technology (ICT) has grown dramatically.  ICTs are quickly becoming more accessible, like computer, internet and WWW. ICTs are not single technology but it is a combination of hardware, software, media and delivery systems.  ICT can influence much in developing teaching and learning environment in the following ways, which is quite different from older technologies.

Integration of multiple media :  into single educational application.

Interactive and include the capacity to control, manipulate and contribute to information learning environment.

They are flexible offering freedom from rigid scheduling and from barriers of time and location.

Through connectivity they provide access to every other person on the planet who has a internet account, to hundreds and thousands of information archives and to million of web-pages.

            Because of these differences, the teaching and learning environment finds new frontiers and educators are finding powerful new ways to integrate digital ICT into the curricula at the higher education levels, all over the world.  Of course India is not an exception.

            The various information and Communication technological tools such as web resources, educational CDs, computers, multimedia etc find place in teaching, learning, research, administration and data management.  These ICT tolls have changed the learning styles of the students. Learning in the higher education level is not simply knowledge acquisition but knowledge ‘managing’ and knowledge ‘creating’.  Hence the present study attempts to find out the impact of ICT tools in the learning style, and awareness about these tools among graduate and postgraduate students, their attitude towards the integration of these tools in the learning process which enables the educational planners and policy makers to update or modify the present curriculum and methodology of teaching.

            The impact of Technology on teaching and learning in Higher Education has enhanced students’ achievement in mastering the following skills.

Basic  Skills Instruction

  • Computer assisted instruction to drill
  • Multi-media software – teach to a variety of learning styles.
  • Videodiscs – strengthen basic skills.
  • Video and audio technologies – bring material to life.
  • Distance learning –at least as effective as traditional methods of instruction.
  • All forms – develop new skills related to use of technology itself, necessary in workplace.

           A five-year report (1987-1992) by the Sacramento School District in California found that students using multimedia and telecommunications showed improved attitudes toward reading, social studies, and science and became more active and independent in learning.  Some also showed improved reading scores.

            Whether Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) can improve reading achievement of students has been a crucial question addressed by studies in the past.  Many research studies reveled that Computer Assisted Instruction does have a positive effect on reading achievement.  Although the effects of CAI in many studies were not homogeneous there seems to be no particular study characteristic that might have caused the heterogenity.

            There is general agreement that reading is essential to success in our society.  The ability to read is highly valued and important for social and economic advancement. The consensus supports the belief that reading is fundamental.

            Most children learn to read fairly well.  However there are children whose educational concerns are at risk because they do not read well enough to ensure understanding or to meet the demands of an increasingly competitive economy and changing demographics.  It is the opinion of educators that not all of the children in schools are learning to read as well as they should.  Many of them are experiencing serious difficulty in learning to read and as they progress through the grades they continue to lag in reading achievement.

            Computer assisted instruction (CAI) is among the range of strategies being used to improve students achievement in school subjects including reading.  Programs for CAI have come a long way since they were first developed over two decades ago.  These programs tutor and drill students diagnose problems, keep records of students progress, and present material in print and other manifestations.  It is believed that they reflect what good teachers do in the class room.

            Students are expected to benefit from CAI.  Among the benefits that have been expected are better and more comfortable learning for students since they learn at their own pace and convenience; opportunities to work with vastly superior materials and more sophisticated problems; personalized tutoring; automatic measurement of progress, and others.

            Teachers as well are expected to gain from CAI.  Among the benefits that have been expected are better and more comfortable learning for students since they learn at as they experience less drudgery and repetition greater ease in up dating instruction materials, more accurate appraisal and documentation of students progress and more time to work directly with students.  With increasing advances in computer technology Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) is now seen by many as a method of providing relevant instruction for large number of students.

            Learning from computers encompasses approaches to CAI in which the computer is used as a means for transmitting specific subject matter, such as reading.  Te flow of information is basically from the computer to the student with the computer presenting learning material or activities for student responses.  The computer retains records of the student’s progress Through the course of study.  Based on the degree of interaction between student and computer researches have identified three levels of CAI:


            The computer provides the student with exercises that reinforce the learning of specific skills taught in the class room and supplies immediate feedback on the correctness  of the response.  Used in this manner, CAI functions as a supplement to regular classroom instruction and may be especially useful when a teacher does not have the time to work individually with each student.  Drill and practice on the computer may also motivate students more than traditional work book exercises.


            Tutorial CAI provides some information or clarifies certain concepts in addition to providing the student with practice exercises.  In this sense the computer begins to take over actual instructional functions tailored to the student’s individual level of achievement.


            With this type of computer use the student takes an active role in interacting with the computer giving instructions in the form of a computer language so as to structure the student’s own curriculum.  The computer provides information, exercises and feed back Dialogue CAI is believed to come closest to actually substituting for regular instruction.

            The verdict for the use of computers in education seems to be in.  As stated by the National Center for Education statistics (NCES) computers have become an essential tool in our society.  Early exposure to computers may help students gain the computer literacy that will be crucial for future success in the workplace.  Access to computers at school and at home allows students to retrieve information, manipulate data and produce results efficiently and in innovative ways.  Examining the extent to which students have access to computers at school and at home may be an indicator of how well-prepared students will be to enter an increasingly technological work place. 

            Has computer assisted instruction CAI produced benefits that result in greater achievement for students in this case in reading?

            Soon after the introduction of CAI educational researches began to develop evaluation studies produced potentially useful information on the effects of CAI their messages were shrouded in ambiguity.  One reason for unclear messages was that each evaluation report was published separately making the total picture somewhat murky.

            Another problem had a deeper and more serious nature.  These evaluation studies were never exact replications of one another.  They differed in experimental design and execution, setting and the type of computer applications investigated.  To confound matters evaluation findings or results tended to differ from one investigation to another findings from different studies differed from each other with some studies producing contradictory results.  As well many of the reviews are typically narrative and discursive in presentation resulting in their multiplicity of findings not capable of being absorbed by the nearer without quantitative methods of reviewing.


            Alarms about a “literacy crisis” among young people have been sounded on a regular basis for more than a century.  Yet as each generation of students matures, it is able to accomplish the reading and writing tasks necessary for society to continue.  Perhaps then, rather than sounding more alarms, it is time to consider what anxieties, particularly economic anxieties, drive the perpetual literacy.

            Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL) is often presented as a promising learning method.  However, it is also facing some new challenges.  Apart from answering  the question of whether or not working with CSCL generates satisfying learning outcomes, it is important to determine whether or not all participants profit from collaboration, with the computer as a means of communication.

            Students whose language, ethnicity and race are not represented in a school’s dominant culture experience varying degrees of success in reading achievement, resulting in persistent gaps in reading achievement.  Culturally responsive instruction can help to close that gap.  This is teaching strategy capitalizes on the knowledge and literacy strategies students learn in their homes and communities.

            Experiments that assign intact groups (usually schools) to treatment conditions are increasingly common in educational research.  The design of group randomized experiments requires knowledge of the intraclass correlation  structure to compute statistical power and to determine the sample sizes required to achieve adequate power.

            Some researchers have argued that the different domains comprising language (e.g., phonology, semantics, and grammar) may influence reading development in a differential manner and at different developmental periods.  The purpose of this study was to examine proposed causal relationships among different linguistic subsystems.

Source by S.BARATHI


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