Evaluation of an information and communication technology training for people with intellectual disabilities

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Evaluation of an information and communication technology training for people with intellectual disabilities


Author: Lam, Wai-ki Patrick
Title: Evaluation of an information and communication technology training for people with intellectual disabilities
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2008
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
People with mental disabilities -- Services for -- China -- Hong Kong -- Evaluation
Information technology -- Study and teaching -- China -- Hong Kong -- Evaluation
Department: Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: vii, 49 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm.
Language: English
OneSearch: https://www.lib.polyu.edu.hk/bib/b2302510
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/3415
Abstract: Introduction Despite the high usage of computer and the Internet among people in Hong Kong, it has not been the same popular among those with intellectual disabilities. Educational and healthcare professionals have been looking for methods to educate this population on computer skills. Teachers mediated training program is the traditional way of education. Computer mediated training software is an alternative that has become increasingly more popular for education. Stimulus control shaping, motivation promotion and interactivity in the multimedia nature of computer mediated training software might make this method a better way than the traditional one. Objective This study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of an information and communication technology program with computer mediated training software, compared with that of teacher based training. Methodology A total of 26 subjects with intellectual disabilities was recruited in the study and divided into the control group and the experimental group by matched pair design. Pre-, post- and one-month follow-up assessments using the Computer Skills Checklist were conducted by blinded assessors to evaluate the subjects' computer skills. Self-developed tutor questionnaires were also used to collect tutors' comments. Computer skills training program with the same target skills was provided to the two groups. In the control group, subjects were taught by using traditional teaching skills. While in the experimental group, training software was used for practice. Results Subjects in both the control group and the experimental group showed significantly improvement after the training program and no significant deterioration was noted one month after the completion of the training. However, tutors reported higher motivation and attention in the experimental group. Although not statistically significant, it was observed that the subjects in the experimental group showed slightly better improvement in acquiring computer skills. Implications The similar improvements in the control group and the experimental group might be due to involvement of highly skilled and experienced tutors in the control group that might minimize the effect of the training software in the experimental group as compared with the control group. Although the use of training software brought positive effects in the training such as increased motivation and immediate feedback, some faulty reinforcement system of the training software might delay the improvement of computer skills acquisition by enhancing the wrong response from the user. Conclusion It would be useful for educators to apply computer mediated training software when teaching computer skills to people with intellectual disabilities. Further studies should integrate teacher based training with training software, which might have better effectiveness for the learning of computer skills among people with intellectual disabilities.

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