Date of Award:

5-2009

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

School of Teacher Education and Leadership

Advisor/Chair:

Kay Camperell

Abstract

Reading comprehension is a multidimensional process and a key component of this process is the activation of prior knowledge in the comprehension of text. This study utilized video clips as a means to anchor instruction and assist struggling middle-level readers in comprehending text. Participants in this study were 17 seventh- and eighth-grade students from a rural middle school. The study used a single-subject reversal design. During the baseline phase of the study, students read four different titles before a stable baseline could be established. The data collected were the combined mean scores of the teacher-created comprehension assessments and commercially produced computer-based assessments at the completion of reading each title during all phases of the study. In the second and fourth phases (books 5 and 7), no treatment was used and the regular instructional routine was followed. In the third and fifth phase (books 6 and 8), the treatment (video clips) was introduced to assist the reader with background knowledge pertinent to the content of the book being read. Books 6 and 8 were taught in combination with the viewing of video clips, class discussion of the materials viewed, and the regular instructional routine. Findings from the study were analyzed to explore (a) what effect did viewing video clips as a means to anchor instruction have on the mean classroom scores of combined teacher-developed and commercially developed comprehension assessments for remedial, struggling middle-level readers; and (b) how did viewing video clips related to text topics affect individual student scores on combined teacher-developed and commercially developed end-of-book comprehension questions. The findings indicated that the use of video clips as a means of either activating or developing background knowledge may have a positive effect on struggling middle-level readers' comprehension test scores. This combined condition (regular instructional routine and the viewing of video clips) was better than the regular instructional routine alone; the addition of the video clips appeared to contribute to higher mean comprehension scores.

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