• Henning Kalsgaard Poulsen
4. term, Master of ICT and Learning (MIL) (Continuing education) (Continuing Education Programme (Master))
Abstract Focus in this paper is how special supportive computer programs (SSCP’s) can support learning in literacy courses for adults (FVU-læsning ). The question is whether SSCP’s only should be used compensational or it also might be used pedagogical. The issue is approached in three ways: 1. The educational guidance to literacy courses for adults written by the Ministry of Education is analyzed to locate the terms of using SSCP’s. 2. In a survey teachers in literacy courses for adults have been asked what their attitude towards SSCP’s are, and in what extent they use SSCP’s. 49 teachers participated, approximately 1 out of 8 teachers in literacy courses for adults in Denmark. 3. In a quasi experiment 19 students in 2 classes in literacy courses for adults used 2 SSCP’s, CD-Ord 5 [CD-word 5] and Skrivestøtte [writing support], January to March 2007. The two SSCP’s are word proposal software with additional possibility of getting words and text read aloud. They differ in the way words are proposed. Words in CD-Ord 5 are proposed alphabetical, in Skrivestøtte grammatical. The learning approach in the educational guidance is mainly cognitivistic, and it is strongly based on results coming from science based on empirical methods. Focus is on elements and individualized teaching. Regarding SSCP’s is referred to a special publication with a thorough guidance to how to use SSPC’s in literacy courses for adults. The findings in the survey are that only spelling control, grammar control and electronic dictionaries are uses by more than 75% of the teachers. Three other SSCP’s, CD-Ord, Skrivestøtte and IRIS Ordbank, are used by more than 30 % of the teachers. Hence it is argued, that these SSCP’s have most potential for wider use in literacy courses for adults. In generally teachers are in favor of using SSCP’s in literacy courses for adults in case students might benefit. Teachers specially educated to teach poor readers in compensational methods use SSCP’s more frequently than others. In the quasi experiment the students spelling improved during the course. The students improved both when using the SSCP’s and not in tests after having used SSCP’s during the course. The improvement on spelling was biggest when using the SSCP. However they did not write longer stories, which probably was due to a slower writing when using the computer. The teachers and four of the students were interviewed after the course. According to the interviews the two SSCP’s can be used with good results both compensational and pedagogical. Especially the word proposal part was used with success. The read aloud part helped some students but not all. The students improved in writing regarding content, vocabulary, size of writing and spelling. The obstacles mentioned in the interviews were: technical problems, no access to computers in the ordinary classroom, students’ deficient computer skills, that SSCP’s are prohibited at the finals and lack of time. Disadvantages are: lesser use of dictionaries by the students, which unlike SSCP’s are allowed at the finals, and the fact that especially students with Danish as a second language pay too much attention to spelling rather than to content. SSCP’s are especially recommended for use in level 1 and 2 of the four levels in literacy courses for adults, but might be used in level 3 and 4 as well. Taking a socioculturel approach of writing it is argued, that SSCP’s can be used in process writing, but there is a risk, that SSCP’s let the writer devote to much conscious attention to demands such as spelling and grammar to early in the writing process. Overall it is concluded, that CD-Ord 5 and Skrivestøtte are useful in literacy courses for adults, especially at level 1 and 2, and the two SSCP’s can be used both compensational and pedagogical.
Publication date2007
Number of pages60
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 10428603