Whole class working memory interventions: An evaluation and comparison of the implementation of computerised training and a practical, class based programme

  • Adam Rumble

Student thesis: Doctor of Educational and Child Psychology


Background: Working memory (WM) refers to a system responsible for temporarily storing and manipulating information. It is recognised as having a key role in supporting children's learning. Research has suggested that targeted interventions can lead to improvements in children's WM capacity or strategies to increase its efficiency. Some interventions, largely computer-based but also practical, claim to address the needs of whole classes. There is relatively little research concerned with the implementation of such programmes as whole class interventions.Participants: Two Year 5 classes from separate schools received two WM interventions, MeeMo and Memory Booster. Six students from each class were selected to create two focus groups. Both class teachers also participated in the research.Methods: A mixed methods design was utilised, with an emphasis on qualitative data. Each class received a randomly allocated six week intervention implemented by the class teacher. Fidelity and dosage were monitored through the use of structured observations and an implementation diary completed by the class teachers. Two student focus groups and two semi-structured teacher interviews were conducted. The in-built monitoring provisions of each intervention were also investigated.Analysis/Findings: All qualitative data were transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Findings were presented as thematic maps, exploring the facilitators and barriers for implementation of each intervention. Quantitative data gathered through each interventions monitoring provision were analysed using descriptive statistics to inform discussion around the perceived outcomes.Conclusion/Implications: The study extends understanding of the context-specific implementation factors involved in using MeeMo and Memory Booster as whole class interventions and explores the utility of the monitoring provision of each intervention. A framework for effective implementation was developed and specific recommendations for both programme developers and school staff are provided.
Date of Award31 Dec 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorCaroline Bond (Supervisor) & Kevin Woods (Supervisor)


  • working memory
  • Memory Booster
  • MeeMo
  • whole class intervention
  • program*
  • implementation

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