Effects of computer-assisted instruction on students' knowledge of postschool options

Jul 8, 2013, 13:34 PM
Mazzotti, V. L., Test, D. W., Wood, C. L., & Ritcher, S. (2010). Effects of computer-assisted instruction on students’ knowledge of postschool options. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 33(1), 25-40.


  • This study examined the effectiveness of using computer-assisted instruction (CAI) to teach students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities about their postsecondary options.
  • Four students ranging in age from 16-19 with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities participated in the study.
  • The students all attended the same private high school, participated in a special education program, but did not have a transition plan included in their special education plan.
  • The CAI program was developed by the researcher and focused on highlighting postsecondary options such as independent living, employment, and further education/training.


  • The study took place at a private school located in an urban area in the southeast U.S.


  • Students participated in the intervention for 4, 15-minute sessions per week over the course of 8 weeks.
  • During the initial session, students were taught how to navigate the CAI program created by the researcher.
  • Prior to using the program, students were given a minimum of 3 baseline probes to determine their pre-intervention knowledge of postsecondary options relating to independent living, work, and education.
  • After baseline, each student began the CAI sessions pertaining to employment until they were able to answer 8 out of 10 probe questions relevant to employment correctly.
  • The same procedure was followed for the education and independent living CAI modules.
  • Following each intervention session, students were asked the same probe questions asked during baseline (pertaining to independent living, word, and education postsecondary options) in a random sequence in order to track their learning over the course of the intervention.
  • Once participants finished instruction in all areas, maintenance data was collected 3 times over a period of 3 weeks.


  • Results showed that all four students were able to increase their knowledge of postsecondary options as a result of their participation in the CAI intervention.
  • Participants were also able to maintain these gains during the maintenance phase.
  • The results suggest that CAI can be effectively used to help students with disabilities become better informed about their postsecondary options, and may be a viable method to improve the self-determination of students during the transition planning process.
  • STEM