Russell, M., & Plati, T. (2001). Effects of computer versus paper administration of a state-mandated writing assessment . Teachers College Record , 103 . http://www.tcrecord.org/
Russell, M., & Plati, T. (2001). Effects of computer versus paper administration of a state-mandated writing assessment. Teachers College Record, 103. http://www.tcrecord.org/
[no doi reported]; published January 21, 2001 ID# 10709 33 pages; Downloadable from journal webpage: http://www.tcrecord.org/library/PrintContent.asp?ContentID=10709
Students were randomly assigned to compose their responses on paper or on computer. Grade 8 students did not have access to a spell-checker. Grade 10 students could access a spell-checker.
One hundred forty-four (144) grade 8 students participated, with 85 using paper and 59 using the computer. One hundred forty-five (145) grade 10 students participated, with 74 using paper and 71 using the computer. All students were from a suburban school district in Massachusetts (U.S.). Within each grade, students were stratified by their prior grade in English. Students within each stratum were then randomly assigned to groups.
Writing items from the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) were used as the dependent variable. Students completed one grade-appropriate composition item. Students also completed a computer use questionnaire and a keyboarding test. Scoring guidelines for the composition items focused on two areas: Topic/Idea Development and Standard English Conventions.
For both grade levels (8 and 10), students who wrote their compositions on the computer produced longer responses that received higher scores. This effect was largest in grade 8, but was significant at both grade levels. All students in the sample were found to have a fairly high keyboarding speed, and so correlations between keyboarding speed and writing composition score were not strong.