Journal of Computing in Higher Education

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 95–109 | Cite as

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



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.


Computer technology Higher education Meta-analysis 

Supplementary material

12528_2009_9021_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (78 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 78 kb)


Note: A list of studies included in the meta-analysis is available upon request from the authors and online as electronic supplementary material.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance (CSLP)Concordia UniversityMontrealCanada

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