The effects of cognitive organizers on the comprehension and retention ability for high school students with learning disabilities
Chalk, Jill C.
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Students with learning disabilities often struggle to meet the demands of content learning at the secondary level. In spite of this growing concern, there is limited research on teaching methods and techniques to help these students. To address this challenge, teachers must apply strategies that help students facilitate the learning and academic performance in order for them to be successful in earning a regular education diploma. Computerized cognitive organizers, which have been widely used and documented for improving reading comprehension for students at the elementary level, is one technique that can be adapted to assist students at the secondary level. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of cognitive organizers using Inspiration 6 software as a tool to enhance content learning in a world history classroom for students with learning disabilities. Specifically, students were taught to apply the cognitive organizer as a strategy for comprehending and retaining learning. The effects of cognitive organizers were examined using a single subject multiple baseline design. The dependent measure included a comprehension quiz after each lesson. The results of this study indicated that the use of computer-based cognitive organizers increased the social studies comprehension and retention for students with disabilities.