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- The impact of computer assisted instruction on sensory cognitive factors in literacy learning.
- The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of computer assisted instruction on the development of literacy skills. The effect of instructional methodologies designed to stimulate sensory processing (auditory, visual, and somatic sensory) through information processing activities was analyzed. A software program was designed to present instruction to stimulate learning in one sensory modality, visual processing. Also, the effect of delivery mechanisms on the acquisition of literacy skills was investigated. Three treatment groups and a control group were established to analyze differences: cognitive processing methodologies presented via computer technology, conventional methodologies presented via computer technology, cognitive processing methodologies presented through traditional classroom tools, and a control group. A portable keyboard computer with word processing capabilities was selected to deliver technology-enhanced instruction. Results from this study suggest that activities designed to specifically promote processing in one sensory modality, do not promote acquisition of skills in other regions. There was no change in scores when visual methodologies were applied to auditory and somatic sensory cognitive processing goals. When spelling tests that utilized all sensory modalities were analyzed, visual processing instruction had no effect on achievement. This result was duplicated when tests requiring auditory processing skills were examined. However, when visual processing skills were applied to words requiring sight word memorization techniques, the methodologies improved achievement scores. Therefore, it can be concluded that methodologies increase achievement only if activities are designed to stimulate the sensory cognitive modality that the skill requires. Results of analysis concerning the effect of delivery mechanisms on spelling achievement revealed that technology is a useful tool when used to promote information processing related to the learning goal. Visual cognitive processing activities delivered via computer technology were effective only when practice activities matched instructional objectives. When conventional methods of learning spelling skills were presented utilizing technology, student scores did not increase. It can be concluded that spelling achievement can be improved through the introduction of intelligent software applications if the instructional program is designed to stimulate appropriate cognitive processes and to meet targeted learning objectives. A theory for designing instructional software to meet these criteria, The Integrated Processes Method, was presented.