, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 95-109

Technology’s effect on achievement in higher education: a Stage I meta-analysis of classroom applications

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Abstract

This paper reports the findings of a Stage I meta-analysis exploring the achievement effects of computer-based technology use in higher education classrooms (non-distance education). An extensive literature search revealed more than 6,000 potentially relevant primary empirical studies. Analysis of a representative sample of 231 studies (k = 310) yielded a weighted average effect size of 0.28 surrounded by wide variability. A mixed effects model was adopted to explore coded moderators of effect size. Research design was found to be not significant across true, quasi- and pre-experimental designs, so the designs were combined. The variable “degree of technology use” (i.e., low, medium, and high) was found to be significant, with low and medium use performing significantly higher than high use. For the variable “type of use” (i.e., cognitive support tools, presentational tools, and multiple uses), cognitive support (g+ = 0.40) was greater than presentational and multiple uses.