Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Urban Studies


Urban Studies and Planning




Computer-assisted instruction, Children with social disabilities -- Education



Physical Description

4, x, 341 leaves: ill. 28 cm.


Technological advancement has allowed widespread use of computers. Teachers are using computer based instruction in educating talented and disadvantaged youngsters. Unabated by unsettled issues and claims, computers are introduced to cope with declining enrollment and school revenues; pressure to improve student achievement and cut costs. However, some educators fear two possibilities: computer displacement of teachers; and creating a class of technologically disadvantaged students that could result from a growing gap of access to computers. Another factor is the restriction of disadvantaged students to basic skills. While providing opportunities of a wider application to others. The objectives of this research are: to examine issues about instructional computers; review the academic and economic rationales behind; and, to make appraisals of their instructional and resource effectiveness. A quasi-experimental evaluation research was carried out on two "experimental" groups (CAI and PLL), and a control group (TMI) of Title I schools in Portland. A sample was selected, and multiple criteria of effectiveness assessment, i.e., comparative economic analysis and impact assessment, was conducted using multiple-regression and regression-based covariance analysis on test scores, instructional time, cost figures and other census data. A survey of instructional personnel was also conducted to evaluate courseware quality. Highlights of the findings of the research are the following. Title I students' achievement scores neither the initial nor the final are homogeneous; however, computers foster effective compensatory education; CAI shows a superior instructional achievement and cost-effectiveness. Survey results of instructional personnel confirm this finding. Resource and neighborhood variables explain a significant portion of achievement variation. Instructional time is positively related to but not a linear predictor of achievement. The impact of time also depends on the level of achievement. The expansion of instructional computer use is encouraged, together with recommendations for caution in the selection of courseware/curriculum compatibility. It is also strongly recommended that teachers should be involved in the selection of future instructional technology to assure successful implementation and optimal compatibility of teachers and computers.


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Portland State University. School of Urban and Public Affairs.

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