Darrell L. Cain, Paul E. Pitre


The trend toward increased technology in traditional higher education classrooms has been met with both optimism and criticism. One of the major criticisms of technology in the college classroom is that it does little, if anything, to improve student learning. Taking this view of technology into account, this study examined how the use of technology contributed to student learning outcomes after controlling for key student demographic variables. More specifically, this study investigated the use of computer mediated conferencing (CMC) tools (i.e., email and electronic discussion boards) and computer aided instructional (CAI) resources (i.e., the computer and Internet) to determine whether they contribute to student learning.
The sample utilized in this study consisted of 2000 college students, randomly drawn from the 2003 College Student Experience Questionnaire database. The survey included 53 Likert scale items with reliability ranges from .78 to .88 on each of the composite scales. The analysis of data consisted of four multiple regressions conducted on specific student learning outcomes. The student learning outcomes included four composite scales, measuring student 1) personal and social development, 2) general education gains, 3) intellectual development, 4) science and technology gains, and 3) vocational
After controlling for student's background variables, the findings of this study revealed that the use of technology in the college classroom does contribute to student learning. The model, including technology variables, explained 4% to 7% of the gains in student learning, while student background variables contributed an additional .03% to 2% of the gains. These findings, though modest, suggest that incorporating technologies in the college classroom can aid students in the learning process.


Learning Engagement,Computer Mediated Instruction,Higher Education,Instructional Technology,Learning Outcomes

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