Supporting executive functions during children's preliteracy learning with the computer
Number of pages
SourceJournal of Computer Assisted Learning, 32, 5, (2016), pp. 468-480
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OLO
Journal of Computer Assisted Learning
SubjectLearning and Plasticity
The present study examined how embedded activities to support executive functions helped children to benefit from a computer intervention that targeted preliteracy skills. Three intervention groups were compared on their preliteracy gains in a randomized controlled trial design: an experimental group that worked with software to stimulate early literacy with embedded executive-functioning support (EL + EF group), an experimental group that worked with the same early literacy software without the explicit EF-support (EL group) and a control group that played with language discovery games from the same software. These groups were contrasted on their preliteracy progress over time and on their learning behaviours while working with the software. Results showed that children in the two experimental groups progressed more in preliteracy skills on the long-term, with the EL + EF group showing the highest learning effects. These results were mainly shown for the children with lower levels of EFs. Moreover, children in the EL + EF group showed more independent behaviour and played more games than children in the EL group. These results indicate that young children can show more effective learning over time during computer interventions when their executive functions are kept active.
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