Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Lina Chiappone

Committee Member

Rachel Obie-Winstead


Instructional Technology, Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Vocabulary Development, Vocabulary Instruction


This applied dissertation was designed to describe the effects of using a computerized reading and vocabulary development program with struggling third-grade students in a low socio-economic school setting. Vocabulary knowledge is paramount to developing and understanding unknown or unfamiliar words. Many students struggle with comprehension due to their limited exposure of vocabulary words. Students who have a limited vocabulary are often poor readers and continue to be a part of the academic achievement gap. This achievement gap appears to continue throughout the student’s time in school. In an effort to lessen this achievement gap, the educational system is now incorporating computerized instructions as a means to increase student’s academic achievement. Several benefits of incorporating computerize instructions into the school’s daily curriculum can be seen in both reading comprehension and literacy skills. Computer assisted instructions or CAI are designed to fit the specific needs of students and to provide differentiated activities that will further supplement the instructions in the classrooms. Computers are being used to present activities that are more interesting thereby motivating the students to become active learners who are also actively engaged in the learning process. The computers and the computer programs that are being implemented into the school systems are beginning to become an integral part in the daily curriculum of the schools. Using technology is just another way to provide students with opportunities to improve in the areas of vocabulary, reading, writing and their listening skills.

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