The Influence of Computer-Assisted Instruction on Eighth Grade Mathematics Achievement

By: Christopher H. Tienken, James A. Maher

The issue of lower than expected mathematics achievement is a concern to education leaders and policymakers at all levels of the U.S. PK–12 education system. The purpose of this quantitative, quasi-experimental study was to determine if there was a measurable difference in achievement on the mathematics section of the state test for students (n = 121) from a middle school in New Jersey who received computer-assisted instruction (CAI) in drill and practice computation related to the eighth grade mathematics curriculum standards compared to students (n = 163) who did not receive the CAI. The results suggest that the CAI intervention did not improve student achievement significantly (p > .05). In two categories, students who received the CAI performed significantly lower than their peers in the comparison group. Students in the control group who scored in the 25th percentile on the seventh grade CTB/McGraw Hill TerraNova pretest outperformed their peers in the treatment group on the New Jersey Grade Eight Proficiency Assessment (GEPA) mathematics section. Likewise, Asian students in the control group outperformed all other students in treatment and control groups. The results fit within the existing knowledge on the subject of computer-assisted instruction and add support to the idea that practitioners should evaluate curriculum and instruction interventions for demonstrated success before they bring them into the learning environment.

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Published in Research in Middle Level Education Online, 2008

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