Effects of Computer-Assisted Instruction Versus Traditional Instruction On Adult GED Student TABE Scores

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Studies and Research

First Advisor

John R. Rachal

Advisor Department

Educational Studies and Research


This study examined the efficacy of using computer-assisted instruction (CAI) with adult students participating in the adult education/General Educational Development (GED) preparation programs provided by the Hattiesburg Public School District. Students in the program were assigned to either an experimental group that received CAI instruction or to a control group that received traditional instruction (TI). During a semester period each group received 20 hours of instruction. Pretest scores on the Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE ) served as covariates in determining differences in the two groups on the TABE posttests. No statistically significant differences were found between mean scores of the experimental and the control groups. Both methods were found to be equally effective with an adult GED student population. The researcher concluded that CAI can be of utility to adult educators, but is clearly no panacea when it comes to preparing students for the GED Tests. If program administrators are looking for a magical method of instruction that will surpass results from traditional teacher-provided instruction, they must continue to look beyond CAI for other innovative methods. CAI did however offer other benefits such as aiding with student retention and freeing up instructor time. The researcher concluded that CAI is of value when used to complement traditional instruction in the GED classroom. CAI bestows added confidence upon the adult learner and also aids the student in developing a degree of technological literacy, a skill that is of paramount importance in today's technologically driven world. CAI should not be viewed as a one-way ticket to successful learning outcomes in the GED preparation classroom, but it can be part of the journey. CAI was not found to be any more effective than the traditional educational program it complements.