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

  • Cecilia E. Rouse
  • Alan B. Krueger

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10315.

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Date of creation: Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Rouse, Cecilia Elena and Alan B. Krueger. "Putting Computerized Instruction To The Test: A Randomized Evaluation Of A 'scientifically Based' Reading Program," Economics of Education Review, 2004, v23(4,Aug), 323-338.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10315
Note: CH ED
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Angrist, Joshua & Lavy, Victor, 2001. "New Evidence on Classroom Computers and Pupil Learning," IZA Discussion Papers 362, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Michael A. Boozer & Alan B. Krueger & Shari Wolkon, 1992. "Race and School Quality Since Brown vs. Board of Education," NBER Working Papers 4109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Austan Goolsbee & Jonathan Guryan, 2002. "The Impact of Internet Subsidies in Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 9090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates Of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532, May.
  5. Colin Camerer & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2003. "Neuroeconomics: How neuroscience can inform economics," Levine's Bibliography 506439000000000484, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Cecilia Elena Rouse, 1997. "Private School Vouchers and Student Achievement: An Evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program," NBER Working Papers 5964, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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