Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Goli Rezai-Rashti

Committee Member

Diana Bryant

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact standards-based aligned computer-assisted writing instruction had on improving writing scores for eighth-grade students that attend an urban middle school. The researcher wanted to remedy the problem of low writing achievement of eighth-grade students and determine if writing across the curriculum along with differentiated instruction through the integration of technology better prepared students for state level assessments. The data gathering instruments were Standardized Testing, Scholastic Achievement Manager Reading Reports, and open-ended format questions. Three research questions guided this study. 1. What is the impact of computer-assisted instruction and use of technology on improving eighth-grade students’ writing in an urban middle school? 2. What are eighth-grade students’ perceptions and experiences with computer-assisted writing? What is the pedagogical significance of computer assisted learning from students’ perspective? 3. What are eighth-grade teachers’ perceptions and experience with computer-assisted writing? What are the challenges and benefits? A qualitative case study approach revealed the need for better integration of technology in order to support student learning. There were similar perceptions on the use of instructional technology pointed out in the participants’ responses on the questionnaire. Archived assessment data showed a prevalent need for consistency of computer-assisted instruction and group efforts to write across the curriculum. Student and teacher participants agreed that they felt more operational technology was needed to increase student engagement and academic achievement. The findings can be used to inform stakeholders of effective instructional technology when deciding on computer-based programming designed to increase student writing scores.

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