Date of Award

1-1-2004

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Associate Professor Mary Robi

Second Advisor

Dr Anne Thwaite

Abstract

This study involved four formative experiments, each of which investigated ways in which IMM (Interactive Multimedia) could be used to help children who experienced reading difficulties. In each of the four contexts, classroom teachers identified a number of students with reading difficulties, selected pedagogical goals for them and worked with the researcher to plan IMM-based activities that targeted the selected goals. The implementations were evaluated formatively and modifications were made accordingly, with the intention of 'fine-tuning' them to facilitate achievement of the pedagogical goals. Facilitative and inhibitive factors were identified during and after each formative experiment, as were unplanned outcomes. Finally, attempts were made to ascertain the preferability of the interventions, in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and appeal, as well as with reference to factors that facilitated and inhibited them. Two of the formative experiments took place at a private girls' school. Boh of the participating classroom teachers, a Year 4 teacher and a Year 5 teacher, selected oral reading fluency as a pedagogical goal. A strategy that was termed 'Interactive Multimedia Assisted Repeated Readings' (IMMARR) using electronic storybooks was implemented, in addition to the creation of electronic talking books with the multimedia authoring program, Illuminatus Opus (2001), as a context for enhancing oral reading fluency. Many facilitative and inhibitive factors were identified during the implementations, although both teachers judged that the interventions had been effective and appealing. Post-intervention assessments also showed some gains in oral reading fluency, as well as unplanned outcomes, especially for the Year 5 group.

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