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

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  • Cecilia E. Rouse
  • Alan B. Krueger

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

  • Cecilia E. Rouse & Alan B. Krueger, 2004. "Putting Computerized Instruction to the Test: A Randomized Evaluation of a "Scientifically-based" Reading Program," NBER Working Papers 10315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10315
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532.
    2. repec:fth:prinin:379 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. Michael A. Boozer & Alan B. Kreuger & Shari Wolkon, 1992. "Race and School Quality Since Brown v. Board of Education," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1992 Micr), pages 269-338.
    5. Austan Goolsbee & Jonathan Guryan, 2006. "The Impact of Internet Subsidies in Public Schools," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 336-347, May.
    6. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy, 2002. "New Evidence on Classroom Computers and Pupil Learning," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 735-765, October.
    7. Colin Camerer & George Loewenstein & Drazen Prelec, 2003. "Neuroeconomics: How neuroscience can inform economics," Levine's Bibliography 506439000000000484, UCLA Department of Economics.
    8. Michael Boozer & Alan Krueger & Shari Wolkon, 1992. "Race and School Quality Since Brown vs. Board of Education," Working Papers 681, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    9. repec:fth:prinin:301 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Alan Krueger, 1997. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," Working Papers 758, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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