ERIC Number: ED454260
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
Computer Use and Its Relations to Academic Achievement in Mathematics, Reading, and Writing. NAEP Validity Studies.
Hedges, Larry V.; Konstantopoulos, Spyros; Thoreson, Amy
The purpose of this study was to examine patterns of computer use in U.S. schools and the relation of computer use to academic achievement in mathematics, reading, and writing. The report discusses methodological issues and presents the results of analyses of the social distribution of computer use and the relation of computer use to academic achievement. The research is based on evidence from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The first section describes analyses of the computer use data collected in the 1996 main assessment in mathematics and the 1998 NAEP main assessments in reading and writing achievement. The section gives a brief description of how each of the variables was measured and outlines weaknesses in measurement approaches and the measurement of alternatives considered. The next section, "The Social Distribution of Computer Use," briefly reviews findings about differences among students from different economic, gender, and racial/ethnic groups with regard to the availability and use of computers for schoolwork. "The Relation of Computer Use to Academic Achievement" is also discussed, and it is concluded that, given the weaknesses of NAEP data for causal inference, even tentative conclusions about the relation of achievement and computer use on the basis of NAEP data are not warranted. Four recommendations are made for the improvement of NAEP data on computer use: (1) treat the design, validation, and production of background items with as much care as the cognitive items; (2) consider developing teacher questionnaire items that would obtain information about the specific computer software and hardware used; (3) consider supplementing the NAEP design with an in-depth study of a small sample of schools; and (4) consider a multi-site experiment to determine how teachers and students are using computers and what impact computers have on achievement. Appendixes contain the text of questions on computer use from three assessments. (Contains 77 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Computer Uses in Education, Elementary Secondary Education, National Surveys, Research Design, Research Methodology
NAEP Validity Studies, American Institutes for Research, 1791 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto, CA 94304-1337. Tel: 650-493-3550.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: American Institutes for Research in the Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, CA.
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress