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The effectiveness of a computer assisted method to enhance learning – A randomized experiment

This article evaluates by a randomized experiment the effectiveness of a computer assisted method to enhance learning abilities. The method is called the BrightStar Program. The randomized experiment took place in a secondary school in the northern part of the Netherlands. The results show mixed outcomes. BrightStar results in a favorable effect on the rapid naming of pictures. Students who are treated with BrightStar significantly reduce the time to name pictures. This effect is already observed from 7 BrightStar sessions onwards, and is reinforced with more treatments. On the other hand, students treated with BrightStar perform significantly worse than control group students on the rapid naming of letters. We do not observe a significant effect on outcomes like rapid naming of numbers, colors, or on non-word decoding on the intervention group versus the control group taken as a whole. Not all in the intervention group have completed the minimum set of interventions, in fact only 64% have. The mainstream children that have completed 7 interventions or more have shown significant progress in a number of abilities including the Dutch CITO test which measures reading technique, speed and and relates to text comprehension.
Keywords: Dyslexia; Computer Assisted Learning; BrightStar; Experiment; Reading difficulties

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