Improving Behavior of Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities with Computer-Assisted Literacy Instruction: An Experimental Comparison
LeJeune, Lauren M.
Students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) require intensive supports to make progress on literacy goals. These supports must often include methods to decrease challenging behaviors and increase engagement during instruction. In this study, I investigated whether computer-assisted instruction (CAI) may be one effective method to improve student behavior. I included three participants with IDD who were between 7 and 9 years old and who engaged in challenging behaviors during instruction. I collected information on participants’ interest in technology through teacher report and direct preference assessments. I then used a single case alternating treatments design to compare levels of challenging behavior, academic engagement, and mastery test scores during paper-based and CAI (i.e., tablet computer-based) literacy instruction. Results indicated that CAI was associated with decreased challenging behavior and increased academic engagement for two of three participants and higher mastery test scores for one participant. These results had moderate to high correspondence with pre-intervention assessment results. Although teacher and student measures of social validity were positive, there was limited evidence that results maintained. These findings are described in relation to their limitations, future directions for research, and impact on practitioners.