A recent publication in Educational Research Review systematically investigated the effect of education technology (ed tech) on mathematics achievement and orientation. The authors from six universities found that there is insufficient evidence to makes claims about technology’s general effectiveness in supporting math achievement and orientation outcomes.
Unlike most other research, the authors went beyond academic outcomes by including orientation towards mathematics and technology as another important measurement. Coined by Schoenfeld in 2011, student orientation refers to students’ beliefs, attitudes, and preferences. Orientation is found to influence student learning through engagement, motivation, and confidence.
In total, 123 effect sizes from previous studies were synthesized. Meta-analysis results showed that ed tech in mathematics class has statistically significant but very small effects on achievement (ES = +0.11) and orientation (ES = +0.13). However, after further adjustment for publication bias, these very small effects were gone. Therefore, researchers are inconclusive about ed tech’s effects on student outcomes.
The researchers also called for more scientific reports on the integration between pedagogy and technology, a determinant that could be essential for ed tech’s success in classrooms. The authors reiterated that more research on a complex array of learning outcomes would be beneficial to uncover ed tech’s overall effects on students.
Source: Rakes, C. R., Ronau, R. N., Bush, S. B., Driskell, S. O., Niess, M. L., & Pugalee, D. K. (2020). Mathematics achievement and orientation: A systematic review and meta-analysis of education technology. Educational Research Review. Advanced online publication. Doi: