Putting Computerized Instruction to the Test: A Randomized Evaluation of a "Scientifically-Based" Reading Program

50 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2010 Last revised: 5 Jan 2012

See all articles by Cecilia E. Rouse

Cecilia E. Rouse

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Alan B. Krueger

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: February 2004

Abstract

Although schools across the country are investing heavily in computers in the classroom, there is surprisingly little evidence that they actually improve student achievement. In this paper we present results from a randomized study of a well-defined use of computers in schools: a popular instructional computer program, known as Fast ForWord, which is designed to improve language and reading skills. We assess the impact of the program using four different measures of language and reading ability. Our estimates suggest that while use of the computer program may improve some aspects of students' language skills, it does not appear that these gains translate into a broader measure of language acquisition or into actual reading skills.

Suggested Citation

Rouse, Cecilia E. and Krueger, Alan B., Putting Computerized Instruction to the Test: A Randomized Evaluation of a "Scientifically-Based" Reading Program (February 2004). NBER Working Paper No. w10315. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1674282

Cecilia E. Rouse (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-2098
United States
609-258-4042 (Phone)
609-258-2907 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Alan B. Krueger

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-2098
United States
609-258-4046 (Phone)
609-258-2907 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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