ERIC Number: EJ1021356
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Reference Count: 34
The Effectiveness of Computer-Based Cognitive Training Programs
Walcott, Christy M.; Phillips, Miranda E.
Communique, v41 n6 p1, 28, 30 Mar-Apr 2013
The purpose of this article is to summarize empirical findings for school-age computer-based cognitive training (CCT) programs and to provide specific guidelines to practitioners who may be consulting with parents and schools about the utility of such programs. CCT programs vary in nature and in their targeted functions, but they share similar characteristics in their delivery: systematic, repetitive activities aimed at practicing certain cognitive skills (Rabipour & Raz, 2012). To date, the most researched of these programs target executive functions (EF) such as attention and working memory. Several commercial CCT programs have been evaluated in peer-reviewed journals. Although there are several studies examining the effectiveness of this and other specific CCT programs, many used inadequate methodological procedures that render findings invalid or uninterpretable. Thus, the authors focused only on those that used randomized, control trials and pre-to-post intervention measurement. Without doubt, several studies provide preliminary evidence that CCT programs can result in short-term performance improvements on program tasks, as well as working memory and attention tasks if these are similar to those employed by the training programs. They concluded that immediate training effects were evident on verbal and visual-spatial working memory tasks and most strongly for children less than 10 years of age, but that long-term benefits were not realized. However, the number of well-designed, peer-reviewed studies in this area is still limited, and continued advances in neuroscience will surely impact this field, particularly if CCT designers take more theoretical approaches to intervention development.
Descriptors: Thinking Skills, Evidence, Literature Reviews, Intervention, Program Effectiveness, Guidelines, Computer Assisted Instruction
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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