Schmitt, A. J., McCallum, E., Hennessey, J., Lovelace, T., & Hawkins, R. O. (2012). Use of reading pen assistive technology to accommodate post-secondary students with reading disabilities . Assistive Technology , 24 (4), 229–239. https://doi.org/10.1080/10400435.2012.659956
Schmitt, A. J., McCallum, E., Hennessey, J., Lovelace, T., & Hawkins, R. O. (2012). Use of reading pen assistive technology to accommodate post-secondary students with reading disabilities. Assistive Technology, 24(4), 229–239. https://doi.org/10.1080/10400435.2012.659956
Reading pen decoding (via digitized voice) and vocabulary accommodations were examined. The researchers measured the effects of these accommodations in two experimental conditions: the reading pen decoding condition and the reading pen decoding and vocabulary condition, under which the reading pen provided word definitions.
Three postsecondary-level students at a private university in the Mid-Atlantic (U.S.) with reading-related disabilities of various impairment levels participated.
Reading comprehension skills were measured using reading passages at the postsecondary level of difficulty. Also, participants completed a survey asking them about their experiences using the reading pen.
The degree of score improvement across the accommodation conditions was not consistent for all participants. The student with the lowest comprehension skills, specifically oral fluency, demonstrated the most benefit of the three participants when using the reading pen, in both conditions. However, when using the reading pen for vocabulary definition, she mostly scored lower than when using the read-aloud only tool setting. The other two participants' comprehension skills actually worsened when using the reading pen than when not doing so, which the researchers attributed to those participants having difficulties manipulating the reading pen and disrupting their reading fluency. There seemed to be an inverse relationship between actual benefits and enjoyment of using the reading pen: the lowest-skilled participant indicated a lesser degree of satisfaction than the other two participants. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.