Watkins, M. W., & Kush, J. C. (1988). Assessment of academic skills of learning disabled students with classroom microcomputers . The School Psychology Review , 17 (1), 81–88. https://doi.org/10.1080/02796015.1988.12085327

Journal Article

Watkins, M. W., & Kush, J. C. (1988). Assessment of academic skills of learning disabled students with classroom microcomputers. The School Psychology Review, 17(1), 81–88. https://doi.org/10.1080/02796015.1988.12085327


Electronic administration; Electronic administration; Electronic administration; Elementary; Learning disabilities; Writing





Two types of tests were given: Computer Test: Mastery criterion was set at 85%, Non-mastery level at 40%, A proficiency ratio (proportion correct) was calculated by the computer and statistically compared, via the sequential probability ratio test, to the pre-specified master and non-master criteria. Conventional Test: 170 sentence item, Randomly sequenced by objective level, Presented 20 per page in 14 point upper and lower case type.


Participants included 33 students with learning disabilities (23 male, 10 female): Average grade placement was 4.5; Average full scale WISC-R IQ was 91; Ethnic representation included 29 White, 3 Hispanic, and 1 Black; 23 were in resource programs.

Dependent Variable

The Capitalization Machine software was used to assess the capitalization domain with 17 discrete objective levels. Each of the 17 skill levels contained a pool of 10 sentence items tapping that particular capitalization skill. Student performance on each of the 17 capitalization objectives was characterized as mastery, review, or non-mastery (i.e., >84%, 41%-84%, and <41%, respectively). Scores were summed across all 17 objectives to produce two total capitalization test scores: one for the computerized version and one for the conventional version.


The computerized test resulted in a mean of 25.4. The conventional test version had a mean of 27.7. This difference between test means was significant, with the correlation between scores on computerized and conventional tests equal to .81. Computerized and paper-and-pencil test versions did not significantly differ in their assignment of student to instructional interventions. The computerized test (mean=4.6) was perceived in a more favorable light than the conventional paper-and-pencil test (mean=2.7).