THREE CASE-STUDIES OF THE USE OF AN AUDIO SUPPORT SYSTEM EMBEDDED IN A COMPUTER-BASED COGNITIVE TUTORING SYSTEM AND ITS EFFECTS ON THE MATH WORD PROBLEM SOLVING PERFORMANCE OF STRUGGLING READERS
The purpose of this multiple-case study was to investigate the importance of the use of a support system in which the math text is read to the students through the use of a text to speech engine (audio support system) embedded in a cognitive tutoring system. In addition this study investigated whether the use of an audio support system had any effect on the word problem solving performance of three struggling readers when they were presented with a seven-step process to solve word problems. Pre-assessments were carried out to determine whether the participants had reading difficulties in the areas of decoding, fluency and/or comprehension that may affect their math word problem solving performance. The results indicated that the embedded devices did facilitate the word problem solving skills of these struggling readers. The reading barriers were reduced or removed and the program allowed for individualization. The results also indicated that the participants utilized these embedded devices differently; however, there was not a significant difference comparatively in how these devices were used. Whether the students were successful in learning from this cognitive tutoring system is inconclusive. This program is written in such a way that the students are expected to solve the word problems correctly because the embedded devices made it almost impossible for the students to fail. Although the cognitive tutoring system appears to be an effective approach for providing ongoing practice and individualization, it appears that students would benefit from direct instruction from the classroom teacher who can help the students review their work, identify their own mistakes, make the necessary corrections, and bring about a more thorough understanding of the problem solving process.
Advisor:Dr. Linda Kucan; Dr. Ellen Ansell; Dr. Rebecca Hamilton; Dr. Naomi Zigmond; Dr. Rita M. Bean
School:University of Pittsburgh
School Location:USA - Pennsylvania
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:instruction and learning
Date of Publication:01/09/2009