Helping At-Risk Students Develop Skills in Baldwin County, Georgia

ACT KeyTrain® Results

Computer-Assisted Instruction Effectively Prepares Academically At-Risk Students for Georgia High School Graduation Test

This dissertation study evaluated the effectiveness of a subset of computer-delivered ACT KeyTrain courses in increasing the mathematics and language arts achievement of eleventh and twelfth grade students and the passing rates of academically at-risk students on the Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT). The results revealed statistically significant achievement gains in all experimental subgroups of students.

The study featured a quasi-experimental design methodology. The sample was students identified as at-risk for failing the GHSGT and was drawn from Baldwin County, Georgia‚Äôs Baldwin High School junior class and repeating seniors (i.e., seniors who had failed at least one of the five parts of the GHSGT as eleventh graders). Students were identified as being “at-risk” for failing the GHSGT based on their eighth grade Criterion Reference Competency Test (CRCT) scores in math and language arts, as well as their numeric grade average thus far in high school, or having failed any part of the GSHGT the previous year. Based on demographic characteristics of the school, the control group and experimental group participants were reflective of the overall demographic and economic makeup of the school.

This sample was divided into two groups. The control group consisted of all at-risk eleventh and twelfth grade students who received only traditional instruction in preparation for the GHSGT. The experimental group received one semester of courses in Applied Mathematics and Reading for Information from the ACT KeyTrain online suite of courses in preparation for the GHSGT. The GHSGT served as the post-test for the study.

Prior to the study, faculty had estimated that the students would need to successfully complete the ACT KeyTrain courses through level 4 in both Applied Mathematics and Reading for Information to be relatively assured of passing the GHSGT.

While the statistical analysis approach used in the reported study was open to question, a reanalysis of the raw data led to a similar conclusion: the ACT KeyTrain intervention led to significantly positive outcomes for the trained group in outcomes on the GHSGT.

Chi Square Analysis for Mathematics: Does getting through Level 4 of the ACT KeyTrain course lead to better group performance on the GHSGT?

Level Achieved in ACT Keytrain CourseHow Many Passed GHSGTHow Many Failed GHSGTTotal
Level 4 or Higher47350
Below Level 4164965
Total6352115
  • Chi Square=54.9
  • df=1
  • P<.001

Chi Square Analysis for Reading: Does getting through Level 4 of the ACT KeyTrain course lead to better group performance on the GHSGT?

Level Achieved in ACT Keytrain CourseHow Many Passed GHSGTHow Many Failed GHSGTTotal
Level 4 or Higher50252
Below Level 4283563
Total7837115
  • Chi Square=34.9
  • df=1
  • P<.001

Dockery, J. A. (2006). The Effectiveness Of Computer-Assisted Instruction In Preparing Academically At-Risk Students For The Georgia High School Graduation Test. A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy, Capella University.

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