Using computer-based instruction to improve Indigenous early literacy in Northern Australia

A quasi-experimental study

Jennifer Wolgemuth, Robert Savage, Janet Helmer, Tess Lea, Helen Harper, Kalotina Chalkiti, Christine Bottrell, Philip Abrami

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    Abstract

    The effectiveness of a web-based reading support tool, ABRACADABRA, to improve the literacy outcomes of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students was evaluated over one semester in several Northern Territory primary schools in 2009. ABRACADABRA is intended as a support for teachers in the early years of schooling, giving them a friendly, game and evidence-based tool to reinforce their literacy instruction. The classroom implementation of ABRACADABRA by briefly trained and intensively supported teachers was evaluated using a quasi-experimental pretest, post-test control group design with 118 children in the intervention and 48 in the control. Children received either a minimum of 20 hours of technology-based intervention or regular classroom teaching. Results revealed both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students who received ABRACADABRA instruction had significantly higher phonological awareness scores than their control group peers. The effect size for this difference was large (?2=.14). This finding remained when controlling for student attendance and the quality of general non-technology-based literacy instruction. Limitations of the study and implications for effective practice in remote and regional contexts are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)727-750
    Number of pages24
    JournalAustralasian Journal of Educational Technology
    Volume27
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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    Cite this

    Wolgemuth, Jennifer ; Savage, Robert ; Helmer, Janet ; Lea, Tess ; Harper, Helen ; Chalkiti, Kalotina ; Bottrell, Christine ; Abrami, Philip. / Using computer-based instruction to improve Indigenous early literacy in Northern Australia : A quasi-experimental study. In: Australasian Journal of Educational Technology. 2011 ; Vol. 27, No. 4. pp. 727-750.
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    title = "Using computer-based instruction to improve Indigenous early literacy in Northern Australia: A quasi-experimental study",
    abstract = "The effectiveness of a web-based reading support tool, ABRACADABRA, to improve the literacy outcomes of Indigenous and non-Indigenous students was evaluated over one semester in several Northern Territory primary schools in 2009. ABRACADABRA is intended as a support for teachers in the early years of schooling, giving them a friendly, game and evidence-based tool to reinforce their literacy instruction. The classroom implementation of ABRACADABRA by briefly trained and intensively supported teachers was evaluated using a quasi-experimental pretest, post-test control group design with 118 children in the intervention and 48 in the control. Children received either a minimum of 20 hours of technology-based intervention or regular classroom teaching. Results revealed both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students who received ABRACADABRA instruction had significantly higher phonological awareness scores than their control group peers. The effect size for this difference was large (?2=.14). This finding remained when controlling for student attendance and the quality of general non-technology-based literacy instruction. Limitations of the study and implications for effective practice in remote and regional contexts are discussed.",
    author = "Jennifer Wolgemuth and Robert Savage and Janet Helmer and Tess Lea and Helen Harper and Kalotina Chalkiti and Christine Bottrell and Philip Abrami",
    year = "2011",
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    Wolgemuth, J, Savage, R, Helmer, J, Lea, T, Harper, H, Chalkiti, K, Bottrell, C & Abrami, P 2011, 'Using computer-based instruction to improve Indigenous early literacy in Northern Australia: A quasi-experimental study', Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 727-750. https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.947

    Using computer-based instruction to improve Indigenous early literacy in Northern Australia : A quasi-experimental study. / Wolgemuth, Jennifer; Savage, Robert; Helmer, Janet; Lea, Tess; Harper, Helen; Chalkiti, Kalotina; Bottrell, Christine; Abrami, Philip.

    In: Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2011, p. 727-750.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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