Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Department of Special Education
Carrie Anna Courtad
In this study, I implemented the use of technology to investigate the effectiveness of text-to-speech (TTS) on the reading comprehension of students with learning disabilities (LD). In a freshman self-contained classroom, I used the classroom-based text and TTS on four participants during a 48-min English class period for 16 weeks. An A-B-A-B withdrawal design evaluated the effectiveness of TTS on reading comprehension, the dependent variable, measured through accuracy of participants’ responses to reading comprehension questions from curriculum-based measures (CBMs). Following intervention, I assessed maintenance of the effect of TTS on reading comprehension for 4 weeks. Additionally, I measured participants’ perspectives on the use of TTS when reading using a researcher-developed social validation survey. After visual analysis of the data, results showed a functional relation between the independent variable and participants’ increased reading comprehension accuracy as measured by CBMs. Three out of four participants scored higher on reading comprehension using TTS as the intervention when reading instructional passages. Results on participants’ oral reading fluency (ORF) also indicated an increased level of words read per min at the end of each condition. Comparison of pre- and posttest achievement on the universal screener (i.e., Lexile) showed that two of four participants increased their reading scores. Maintenance results showed continued increase in reading comprehension accuracy on CBMs with TTS compared to baseline performance. Social validation questionnaires revealed participants enjoyed using TTS to acquire information from literature. Lastly, major findings are discussed with implications for practice and recommendations for future research needed to increase the use of TTS in the classroom.
KEYWORDS: assistive technology, learning disabilities, legislation, secondary, special education, text-to-speech
Young, Mary Cece, "The Effects of Text-to-Speech on Reading Comprehension of Students with Learning Disabilities" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 718.