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|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|34647||2005||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6171 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Research in Developmental Disabilities, Volume 26, Issue 4, July–August 2005, Pages 341–357
Metacognition and self-regulation are processes extremely relevant to education of persons with intellectual disabilities. They play a central role in specific limitations, such as outer-directedness and lack of strategy transfer, and are related to desirable educational objectives such as self-determination. Although computer-assisted training has shown to be successful in training specific abilities and general cognitive processes, interventions of this nature centering on metacognitive development are rare. A computer-assisted program aimed in this direction is presented. It was applied to 21 adolescents and young adults with a mean IQ of 36. Metacognitive scores improved for this group at posttest relative to pretest to a degree significantly different from gains found in an equivalent control group. Improvement was clear from the first sessions of the intervention and was maintained at a 6-month follow-up.
The use of computers for the education and instruction of persons with intellectual disabilities dates back to the appearance of electronic and video devices for general use. Already in the 1970s, the University of Florida developed the first laboratory for the design of computerized educational programs (Moreno & Mora, 2001). Programs were specifically conceived for persons with intellectual disabilities and cognitive limitations in that decade at various centers in the United States (Lynch, 2002). The 1980s were, however, the mark for the proliferation of the application of software to educational and clinical contexts, with the use of video games, general educational and specific rehabilitation software. Later, commercially available programs of educational content appeared with hardware development that allowed improved designs. Together with these, other software centered specifically on the training in particular skills or areas of interest for persons with intellectual disabilities has continued to be developed up to the present date. Purchasing skills are an example of this kind of abilities, considered relevant and trainable with computer-assisted instruction. Ayres and Langone (2002) developed a package of this sort to teach elementary school students with mental retardation these skills. Similar principles were also used for teaching vocabulary of grocery items and how to locate them in a shop (Mechling & Gast, 2003; Mechling, Gast, & Langone, 2002). Personal sexual safety is another issue incorporated into specific computer software aimed at this population (Lee, McGee, & Ungar, 2001). Other programs have aimed at underlying cognitive processes, such as attention, memory, problem-solving skills, or perceptual-motor skills, expecting to improve overall psychological functioning by training those abilities found to be limited or underdeveloped in persons with intellectual disabilities. Dube, Moniz, and Gomez (1995), for example, found that computer delivered prompts were highly effective in learning of visual discrimination tasks in subjects with mental retardation. In another study, an individualized multimedia program helped girls with Rett Syndrome in the learning of symbols, with positive maintenance results over time (Hetzroni, Rubin, & Konkol, 2002). Other commercial software packages have broader objectives, aimed at more than one process or task. Thinkable, for example, is a multimedia program that centers on attention, discrimination, memory and seriation. It presents the user with graphic, visual and auditory stimuli that act as training or reinforcement contents. Some published research has informed of improvement in subjects with cognitive disabilities of diverse nature ( Guiaquinto & Fiori, 1992; Ruff et al., 1993). Rehacom, another program of a similar nature, has an even broader list of training modules, ranging from sustained, focused and divided attention, verbal, lexical and figure memory, visual training, reasoning or purchasing. It uses both auditory and visual stimuli and, the same as Thinkable, provides feedback to the user and task difficulty can be adapted to needs. Rehacom has proven to be successful in brain-damaged subjects ( Frield-Francesconi & Binder, 1996; Regel & Fritsch, 1997), and in improving attention and memory scores with schizophrenic patients ( Pfleger, 1996). Another example of this kind of software is PSSCogReHab, a program structured around eight modules that include 64 training tasks. Intervention areas are attention, visual-spatial abilities, memory and problem solving. Studies with PSSCogReHab are of a preliminary nature and, although promising, not conclusive ( Chen, Thomas, Glueckauf, & Bracy, 1997). Most of these and other examples illustrate the main advantages that have justified the inclusion of computer assistance in cognitive and thinking skills programs. Computers, it has been claimed, are practical inasmuch as they allow an easy presentation of different kinds of stimuli and tasks, often with higher quality than other formats. Their original “strangeness” for the average user has disappeared over the years with the extension of electronic devices to all fields and contexts. Training and teaching multimedia and computerized contexts are often more motivating and involve a more enjoyable environment than other kinds of programs. The assessment and revision procedures that most software incorporates provide an easy and ready-to-use register of user activities and progress. Finally, the use of computers and the multiple adaptive devices available are very useful for cognitive training in subjects with specific visual, motor or hearing disabilities (Moreno & Mora, 2001; Park & Ingles, 2001). However, although programs have been developed for most specific cognitive processes considered relevant for cognitive processing, metacognition and self-regulation have mostly been ignored. This finding is particularly striking when the relevance of such abilities to overall intellectual functioning is considered. Metacognition is closely related to executive skills and self-regulation (Boekaerts, 1999 and Simons, 1996). It consists of individuals’ capacity to control and reflect upon their own behavior and cognitive processing. Included are abilities such as establishing aims, choosing strategies or courses of action to achieve them, revising whether these have been successful or not and arriving at conclusions for future tasks and activities (Flavell, 1979). These processes are closely related to difficulties in persons with intellectual and cognitive disabilities. The difficulty to learn new strategies and transfer their use to different situations (Bebko & Luhaorg, 1998), problems in maintaining goal-directed behavior and inhibiting distractible responses (Cuskelly, Einam, & Jobling, 2001), or outer-directedness (the tendency to depend upon external or situational cues in task solution) (Tanaka, Malakoff, Bennet-Gates, & Zigler, 2001) are some examples. Current trends toward self-determination also emphasize the importance of subjects making their own decisions upon appropriate courses of action (Malian & Nevin, 2002; Wehmeyer, 2001). This entails, at different levels according to individuals, a certain degree of metacognitive processing. The potential of computerized environments and information technology-based training for promoting metacognition and self-regulation has been very much highlighted. It has been pointed out that technology can provide models, prompts, displays and social contexts that promote subjects’ reflection upon their own cognition and thinking, thereby developing metacognition (Lin, Hmelo, Kinzer, & Secules, 1999). Prompts that guide a learner to think about the steps he/she has taken to solve a task would help him/her in this sense, with the added advantage that, if incorporated into the software, would not be forgotten or ignored, unlike non-computer-assisted contexts, in which teachers can often neglect these aspects. The objective of the present study was to assess the efficacy of a computer-assisted version of a thinking skills program already developed in a non-computerized context, Comprehending and Transforming (C&T) ( Mora, 1997). This program was successfully used with students with intellectual disabilities with IQ ranging from 45 to 70 and mean chronological age of 12. With a classroom based, group training, scheme and with a specific metacognitive orientation, this program had significant and positive impacts on IQ and social adjustment in the experimental group after a 2-year intervention. It had, however, presented certain limitations when applied with subjects with greater cognitive difficulties, that were not able to participate in the classroom-wide discussion methodology ( Mora, 1997). Therefore, a more individualized environment, that would incorporate the advantages of computer-assisted approaches, might be more appropriate. In addition to this, although from its initial design metacognition was a central element of C&T, the impact on this ability had not been directly evaluated. A more specific focus on metacognition, therefore, seemed necessary. A general aim of this study was to provide data supporting the use of a computer-assisted version of C&T for severely disabled persons. The objectives corresponding to this general aim would thus be: to show data supporting the feasibility of a metacognitive oriented training computer-assisted program for subjects with severe intellectual disabilities; to assess the direct impact of training with C&T on subjects’ metacognitive ability; and to determine the degree of maintenance of any gains found over time, after completion of participation in the program.