Handwriting remediation: a comparison of computer-based and traditional approaches
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AbstractThis study investigates the effectiveness of computerbased handwriting exercises (Lally & Macleod, 1983) in comparison to traditional instruction in the remediation of handwriting difficulties. Thirty-six students in grades four to six with poor handwriting participated in the study using three different instructional methods. All students were seen for seven forty minute sessions of individualized instruction in cursive handwriting. In method one (n = 12), computer-based handwriting exercises (Lally & Macleod, 1983) were provided. Students used the Apple Graphics Tablet, an electronic pen and the computer monitor to track programmed and secretly-programmed letters. In method two (n = 12), conventional instruction was provided using pencil, paper, plastic overlays and felt pens to copy and trace letter forms. In the third method (n = 12), conventional instruction using tracing and copying was provided through the computer using the Touch Window and a stylus pen. This latter method was used to control for motivational effects of the computer in treatment. Several measures were utilized to assess improvement in performance including: components of legibility and speed; transfer tasks of tracing, copying and letter formation, as well as computer tasks; and parent and teacher ratings. Results using correlated t-tests indicated that the traditional group using pen and paper performed with significant improvements from pretest to posttest on five measures. These measures included two of the legibility components, letter formation and the parent and teacher ratings. The computer groups improved on two measures each. When the pretest measures were compared in a linear combination, the three groups did not differ. A multivariate analysis of pretest to posttest gain scores demonstrated that following treatment, differences existed between the groups. A discriminant function analysis indicated that the group with traditional instruction using pen and paper was maximally separated from the other two groups based on the letter formation and teacher rating variables. The present study appears to suggest that traditional instruction using pen and paper is the more effective treatment method. Further study is required to determine the most effective instructional features in handwriting remediation and the use of these features in future computer-based instructional systems.
Bibliography: p. 136-154.
CitationRoberts, G. I. (1988). Handwriting remediation: a comparison of computer-based and traditional approaches (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. doi:10.11575/PRISM/18495
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