The effects of computer -assisted instruction on middle school mathematics achievement

John E Ash, Tennessee State University


Success in mathematics is central to a good education in the modern world. The better educated a society the more successful the society. The United States is behind the world in mathematics education and must do everything to develop effective pedagogies for its instructions. Proponents of computer technology in education argue that it makes learning easier, more efficient, and more motivating (Schacter & Fagnano, 1999). Skeptics argue that there is a lack of experimental data obtained under rigorous scientific standards. Computer-assisted instruction (CAI) is an educational medium in which a computer delivers instructional content or activities. Many studies have been completed attempting to determine the effects of computer-assisted instruction on academic achievement. Frank Brown (2000) found a 17% increase in achievement in mathematics during a study in North Carolina. A recent study by Traynor (2003) found that utilizing computer-assisted instruction improved instruction over only using traditional methods. Traynor found a significant increase in academic achievement. For this study, a cause-effect linkage was suspected between the use of computer-assisted instruction software and achievement in mathematics. A study was required to prove or disprove this relationship in which one can manipulate the variable of computer-assisted instruction. A quasi-experimental study was used with a two-group, pre-test post-test design. The control group was taught by traditionally accepted teaching methods throughout the study. The experimental group received the same traditional teaching methods plus one hour a week of computer assisted instruction in the form of Orchard software. The differences between the scores on the post-test and pre-test were calculated and the means of the differences from the experimental group and the control group were compared using a t-test. The results of the data analysis indicated that the use of computer-assisted instruction in addition to traditional teaching methods is more effective than traditional teaching methods alone. No difference was found between the genders of the subjects in the change of their academic achievement as measured by the difference from the pre-test to the post-test.

Subject Area

Mathematics education|Educational software

Recommended Citation

John E Ash, "The effects of computer -assisted instruction on middle school mathematics achievement" (2005). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3187584.