Date of Award

Spring 5-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education & Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Karen Burke, CSJ, EdD

Second Advisor

Donna Baratta, EdD

Third Advisor

Laura Sagan, EdD


The purpose of this study was to investigate the specific effects of targeted English Language Arts (ELA) instruction using multimedia applications. Student reading comprehension, student attitude toward computers, and student attitude toward school were measured in this study. The study also examined the perceptions, of selected students, of the use of these applications. In this study, targeted ELA instruction was compared to similar instruction of ELA skills with the addition of multimedia software applications.

In this study a sampling of grade 3 students in a medium-sized suburban school district received 10 weeks of targeted ELA instruction using traditional teaching methods. From this sample, approximately half of the students received instruction with ELA multimedia applications in lieu of a portion of the allotted ELA instruction time

Two instruments were administered to all students as a pretest and as a posttest; the New York State English Language Arts Exam Part 1 (NYS ELA) and the Young Children’s Computer Inventory (YCCI). In addition, five students were selected for a semi-structured interview. The interviews explored the perceptions of the students who used the ELA multimedia applications in school and showed the greatest gain in reading comprehension scores at the conclusion of the treatment period.

A pretest ANOVA was used to verify equivalency of groups for reach variable. Following this, a MANOVA revealed that students who participated in the treatment group and received ELA instruction using online multimedia applications scored significantly higher than students in the control group. Univariate ANOVA revealed that students in the treatment group scored higher on the attitude toward computers measure and the reading comprehension measure, and that there was no significant difference in scores on the attitude toward school measure between treatment and control groups.

Analysis of the qualitative data revealed three themes that recurred throughout the five interviews. The themes were: having fun, learning content, and expressing emotions. Qualitative and quantitative data were triangulated, and implications for practitioners and researchers were discussed.