Student achievement and time spent in computer assisted learning
Schoeller, Dorothy Ellen
MetadataShow full item record
As school systems are faced with an increased focus on student achievement and accountability, we must utilize every available resource to ensure that all children have access to the knowledge they need to become productive citizens of the 21st Century. Technology usage, specifically computers, has been shown to not only have a positive impact on the instructional process and student achievement, but is in fact, changing the way we deliver instruction to our students. The research has shown that technology can have a significant impact on student performance, specifically with at-risk students (Branigan, 2000). This study focused on the amount of time students spent in the computer laboratory and the impact computer assisted learning has on student achievement. Further research suggests that students in technology rich environments; that is; classrooms where technology is available, experienced positive effects on achievement in all major subject areas (Silvin-Kachala, 1998). Research has also indicated that by blending appropriate technology tools into the curriculum, it can support the many current dimensions of learning that have proven to provide a positive impact on student achievement. Marzano (2001) indicates that students need to be provided opportunities for practice in order to master concepts. Computer assisted learning can provide students with the practice needed to use their knowledge in meaningful ways. ?It is during the ?shaping phase? that learners attend to their conceptual understanding of a skill. When students lack conceptual understanding of skills they are liable to use procedures in shallow and ineffective ways.? (Marzano p. 69) This study focused on the difference between the amount of time measured in minutes that students spent in computer laboratories as part of their teaching and learning and their achievement as measured on standardized assessments in both reading and mathematics. Students from School 1spent time in a computer laboratory on a software program designed for skill and practice. Students from School 2 spent time in a computer laboratory using the technology as a productivity tool for practical application of the curriculum. Ten classes of fourth grade students were studied over a one-year period. The results of the study showed that no matter how much time students spent in the computer laboratory there was little to no statistical significance implying that computer time is a predictor of student achievement. The school with the lowest amount of time in the computer laboratory was found to have statistical significance in mathematics when the computer was used as a practical application for the curriculum. The significance of this finding suggests that as we move into the accountability age in education, we need look at putting computer assisted learning into the classroom instead of the laboratory where it might make the biggest impact. These conclusions agreed with the research by Wright (1997) that the most important factor affecting student learning is the teacher. The implication of this study was that by improving the learning environment and the instruction from the teacher we can improve student achievement.