Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Improving Scores on Computerized Reading Assessments: The Effects of Colored Overlay Use
by Adams, Tracy A., Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2012, 109; 3516062
Abstract (Summary)

Visual stress is a perceptual dysfunction that appears to affect how information is processed as it passes from the eyes to the brain. Photophobia, visual resolution, restricted focus, sustaining focus, and depth perception are all components of visual stress. Because visual stress affects what is perceived by the eye, students with this disorder may struggle with reading and math, as well as with other academic areas. Students who suffer from visual stress may also experience difficulties with perception while completing online assessments. The purpose of this experimental quantitative study was to investigate the effect of colored monitor overlays on the rate of completion of a computerized reading assessment, as well as their effect on the scores of the computerized reading assessment. This experimental quantitative study followed a within subject counterbalanced design in which all participants were involved in the control activity, as well as the experimental activity. Participants in the study included 32 students ages 12 to 14, from three Nebraska schools, who had been diagnosed with visual stress and had chosen overlays to remove visual stress symptoms. Student scores and completion rates on two reading assessments, one taken with a colored overlay and one taken with a clear overlay, were compared to determine if the use of colored overlays was related to higher assessment ratings and quicker rates of completion. Results showed that seven (22%) participants scored a higher percentage on the assessment when colored overlays were used, while 25 (78%) participants did not improve their scores, 031)=-0.879, p=0.386. Thirteen (41%) participants improved their time when using a colored overlay(s) and 19 (59%) did not, 031)=-0.452, p=0.654. The difference between the two groups was not statistically significant for either score or time improvements. Further research is recommended. Three suggested improvements include assessing more participants, screening those participants on the computer monitor, and lengthening the assessments in order to incorporate the fatigue factor.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Kelso, Mark G.
School: Northcentral University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 73/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Special education, Literacy, Reading instruction
Keywords: Computerized assessments, Irlen, Overlays, Reading assessments, Struggling readers, Visual stress
Publication Number: 3516062
ISBN: 978-1-267-48863-3
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