Botello, J. A. (2014). Comparing the effect of two types of computer screen background lighting on students’ reading engagement and achievement (Publication No. 3618650) [Doctoral dissertation, Lindenwood University]. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Global. https://www.proquest.com/docview/1530298552
Lindenwood University (St. Charles, MO); ProQuest document ID: 1530298552
The test format condition being examined was computer screen display color: the experimental condition was black background with white print, and the control condition was white background with black print. Half of the students in each grade level were assigned to receive black background/white print or white background/black print throughout the four administrations of the test throughout the school year.
Grade 2 through grade 6 students within one elementary school in a Midwest (Missouri, U.S.) suburban school district participated; 316 students' test score data were examined, and a subset of 116 students were also selected, via stratified random sampling, for test engagement observations by test administering teachers. An unspecified number of students receiving special education in one resource room and incorporated within the general education classrooms in various grade levels were part of the testing regimen, but the special education students in the two self-contained classrooms did not contribute test data to the study. The researcher did not perform any data comparisons between general education and special education students. Demographic data were available—including race/ethnicity and socioeconomic level—for the entire student population at the elementary school, yet no specific data were specified or compared within the participant population.
Dependent variables included the STAR Reading Enterprise (Renaissance Learning, 2012), a norm-referenced, adaptive, reading comprehension assessment with 35 items, which was administered five times per year as a benchmark assessment. The STAR was presented via computer. Test data for the 2012 test year from the MAP communication arts were also available. Another data source, positive test engagement, was gathered for a subset of 116 students (about 8 students per class or 23–24 students per grade), based on their teachers' observation samples (three per test session per student) of their engagement behaviors during testing sessions, including posture upright, eyes fixed on screen, hand position on mouse, repeating words on the screen, and finger pointing on screen.
Comparisons between group means of students receiving each of the computer screen color conditions were completed for each of the four administrations of the reading comprehension assessment, yielding that there were no significant differences in mean engagement behavior scores between students in the testing conditions. Also, the researcher compared student groups' performances across the four testing sessions for each grade, and found no significant differences in the mean reading comprehension scores for students in each screen and print color condition. Finally, a mean comparison was done for all reading scores in the black screen/white print and in the white screen/black print conditions, and no significant differences in comprehension were detected. Despite the possibility that black screens with white print could provide a benefit to students over the typical white screens with black print, no differences reached significant levels. Limitations of the study were reported, and future research directions were suggested.