Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School Psychology

Major Professor

Christopher H. Skinner

Committee Members

Merilee McCurdy, David Cihak, Tara Moore


This dissertation is comprised of three studies, replicating and extending research on the effectiveness of computer flashcard reading interventions in teaching sight words to students with intellectual disability. In Study I, a multiple-baseline across students design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of a computer-based flashcard reading intervention with 2-s intervals for post-secondary students with intellectual disability. All three students quickly acquired words through this computer flashcard reading intervention, with average learning rates ranging from around one word acquired every 1.5 to 2.5 min of instruction. Maintenance and generalization data varied across participants.

In Study II, a multiple-baseline across-tasks design was implemented with elementary school students with intellectual disability to evaluate the effectiveness of a computer flashcard reading intervention with self-determined response intervals. During this intervention, instead of having set response intervals, the students had autonomy over the progression of the computer flashcard reading slides. Both participants rapidly acquired formerly unknown words after the implementation of this intervention.

In Study III, an adapted alternating treatments design was used to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of two computer flashcard reading programs (3-s vs self-determined condition) among three elementary school students with intellectual disability. The researchers examined learning rates to determine which intervention resulted in the greatest learning gains. Maintenance data along with information on student preferences regarding which condition they favored were also collected.

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