Addressing the needs of students with learning disabilities during their interaction with the web

Svjetlana Curcic (National College of Education, National‐Louis University, Wheeling, Illinois, USA)

Multicultural Education & Technology Journal

ISSN: 1750-497X

Publication date: 14 June 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of instruction in information problem solving within the world wide web (the web) environment. The participants were 20 seventh and eighth grade students with a learning disability (LD) in reading. An experimental pretest‐posttest control group method was used to investigate the effects of intervention in which the treatment group was instructed in information problem solving with the Big6 Skills model. Both groups utilized an essay map organizer. The students researched science and social studies topics on the internet and the web and wrote reports over a three‐month period.

Design/methodology/approach

Experimental pretest‐posttest control group study, with a repeated measures design, and a repeated measures ANOVA analysis.

Findings

Both groups significantly improved in the quality of writing, text length, and navigation. The treatment group significantly outperformed the control group on the measure of text length and text organization. There were no significant differences between the two groups in prior knowledge, motivation, or gender.

Research limitations/implications

The study was conducted predominantly with the researcher as the instructor in a number of individualized sessions, which limits the generalizability of the study.

Practical implications

This study reveals that students with a reading disability in reading could be taught information problem‐solving skills within the web environment. As technology reshapes our notion of what constitutes “basic skills”, learning with the web calls for instruction in which reading, writing, and information skills should be viewed as interconnected. This interconnection might be especially important for students with LD who are often engaged in practicing various skills in isolation.

Originality/value

This study experimentally examined information problem solving on the web with students with an LD in reading. Much research has been focused on basic reading skills for this group of students, but few studies have examined their learning within electronic environments.

Keywords

Citation

Curcic, S. (2011), "Addressing the needs of students with learning disabilities during their interaction with the web", Multicultural Education & Technology Journal, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 151-170. https://doi.org/10.1108/17504971111142673

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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