June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Council of Sections
This paper summarizes a longitudinal study of the effects of instructional technology on learning and knowledge retention. Two very different types of software were introduced to students in an undergraduate mechanics course and the effects of this technology use were assessed a number of different times over a twenty-five week period. The study took place in three sections of an undergraduate mechanics course. Students in one section used a tool-type software. In a second section, students used a content-type software. Students in the third section represented a control group and did not use any software. To ensure the study’s validity, demographic data were collected from and compared between each of the three sections and the study was replicated in a subsequent term. Students were assessed immediately following the intervention and five, ten, and twenty-five weeks later. The results of these assessments were compared among groups to determine the effect of the technology use on learning and retention. Results indicated that each of the three groups had very high levels of retention but that there were no differential levels of learning, retention, or long-term retention among the three groups. Students using technology, however, were able to solve a greater number of problems during the special session than those working by hand. It was thus concluded that instructional technology can make the educational process more efficient without hindering learning or long-term knowledge retention.
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