Degree Name

Education Specialist (EdS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Larry Janes


The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of an Integrated Learning System (ILS). This study focused on how public school districts in Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Iowa were using the ILS. Eighty-five surveys were sent to public school contact persons whose names were provided by Computer Curriculum Corporation (CCC) which produces an ILS called SuccessMaker. Other software providers refused to cooperate in supplying names for the study. The study also asked if the ILS were effective in producing student gains.

While this study did not statistically evaluate the effectiveness of the ILS compared to control groups, or even using the normative data software itself, the paper did refer to research and literature on the ILS. The most significant and valid research was conducted by British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA). This 1998 report, The UK ILS Evaluations Final Report, was based on two earlier studies conducted in 1994 and 1995 by the National Council for Educational Technology (NCET). The BECTA concluded that British students did learn using an ILS, but that there was no significant difference between the performance of students using an ILS compared to students taught using traditional methods.

The findings of this study reinforce the conclusion from the previous British research that the ILS was an effective tool for learning with some motivational advantages. Specifically, analysis of the study's survey determined that 61% of the respondents stated the ILS enhanced student learning. Sixty-nine percent of the respondents felt that students enjoyed working on the ILS. Respondents perceived that 69% of the classroom teachers felt that the ILS was worthwhile and respondents perceived that 56% of the parents felt the ILS was worthwhile.

This study also found that districts using ILS varied widely in their selection of grade level and ability group focus. However, most districts used the ILS more in the elementary grades with students below grade level as their focus. Districts tended to use the ILS for math and reading the most often, but districts were fairly evenly divided on the location of computers in classrooms or labs. Eighty-one percent of the districts either used Title I or other grant funds to purchase the ILS.

While this report has provided significant research on some aspects of the ILS, it has also raised many questions. Further study is needed to determine the cost effectiveness of the ILS and to quantify any long-term student gains.