Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Vinesh Chandra, Margaret Lloyd (2008) The methodological nettle: ICT and student achievement, British Journal of Educational Technology (2008)

A major challenge for researchers and educators has been to discern the effect of ICT use on student learning outcomes. This paper maps the achievements in Year 10 Science of two cohorts of students over two years where students in the first year studied in a traditional environment while students in the second took part in a blended or e-learning environment. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, the authors have shown that ICT, through an e-learning intervention, did improve student performance in terms of test scores. They have also shown that this improvement was not global with the results for previously high-performing female students tending to fall while the results for lower-achieving boys rose. There was also a seeming mismatch between some students’ affective responses to the new environment and their test scores. This study shows the complexity of ICT-mediated environments through its identification and description of three core issues which beset the credibility of research in ICT in education. These are (1) ICT as an agent of learning, (b) site specificity, and (c) global improvement.

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