Rouse, Krueger, and Markman Evaluate Benefits of Computerized Instruction in New Study

Jan 20, 2004
Woodrow Wilson School





Cecilia Elena Rouse and Alan B. Krueger, professors at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, with Lisa Markman of the WWS' Education Research Section, have authored a new study “Putting Computerized Instruction to the Test: A Randomized Evaluation of a ‘Scientifically-based’ Reading Program” (forthcoming in The Economics for Education Review). In the study the authors present results from a randomized study of a well-defined use of computers in schools: a popular instructional computer program, known as Fast ForWord (FFW), which is designed to improve language and reading skills. Rouse, Krueger and Markman assess the impact of the program using four different measures of language and reading ability.

Their estimates suggest that while use of the computer program may improve some basic aspects of students’ language skills, it does not appear that these gains translate into a broader measure of language acquisition or into actual reading skills.

A policy brief summarizing the study is available. The complete paper is also available. (both in PDF format).