Journal of Computing in Higher Education

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 1–14 | Cite as

A multi-year investigation of the relationship between pedagogy, computer use and course effectiveness in postsecondary education

  • Rana M. Tamim
  • Gretchen Lowerison
  • Richard F. Schmid
  • Robert M. BernardEmail author
  • Philip C. Abrami


This study investigated the change in the relationship between pedagogy, computer-use and students’ perceptions about course-effectiveness over time. Students from a Canadian university completed a questionnaire in two different years (2003 = 1,834 participants and 2007 = 1,866 participants). Of greatest interest were characteristics of technology that interact with pedagogy to achieve positive learning outcomes. A factor analysis revealed a three-factor solution: “course-structure,” “active-learning,” and “computer-use.” Multiple regression analysis showed that the three variables are predictive of perceived course effectiveness, with “course-structure” being most predictive in both years. “Computer-use” was least predictive with the 2003 sample while it was second in predictive power with the 2007 sample, most likely reflecting increased technology integration in post-secondary education. When comparing use of various applications in “Arts” versus “Science” courses, results indicated higher computer technology use in 2007 for all applications with arts courses while only web-based computer applications increased in use with the science courses. Separate regression analyses were conducted for each type of program while comparing the two different study years with results indicating that “course-structure” is the most stable predictor. Findings reveal that while pedagogy seems to be of highest importance to students, the relationship between computer use and perceived course effectiveness is changing over time. Implications are discussed and suggestions for future research are presented.


Computer use Postsecondary education Course effectiveness Pedagogy Longitudinal research Survey research 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rana M. Tamim
    • 1
  • Gretchen Lowerison
    • 2
  • Richard F. Schmid
    • 3
  • Robert M. Bernard
    • 3
    Email author
  • Philip C. Abrami
    • 3
  1. 1.Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin e‐UniversityDubaiUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.Coreidea Innovation Inc.LondonCanada
  3. 3.Concordia University, Centre for the Study of Learning and PerformanceMontrealCanada

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