This study is a secondary analysis of the 2011 NAEP writing test investigating the relationships between word processing in academic work and achievement test scores. Using data and methods to overcome several of the limitations found in research surrounding instructional technology, the statistical analyses constructed a table of z-scores and p-values that describe the relationship between both general use and specific uses of word processors and the total score on the NAEP writing assessment. Heuristic analysis of this table finds that there is a persistent and positive relationship between the use of word processors and writing achievement score. Specifically, the use of the backspace key, using word processors to make changes to a paper, using word processors to complete writing started by hand, and using the thesaurus function included in word processors are strongly related to achievement score. Further, the interactions of composition, editing, and revision are more complex that previously thought and may be growing as students comfortable with a new generation of technology continue to break the paradigm of the writing process. Finally, this study explores a new relationship between small edits and measuring the quality of writing by suggesting that word processors make the purpose of edits more important that simply the size of the edit.
|Adviser||Carol S. Parke|
|Subjects||Language arts; Elementary education; Educational technology|
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