A Meta-Analysis of Technology Interventions in Collegiate Economics Classes
Journal of Economic Education, 52 (1): 1 - 16 https://doi.org/10.1080/00220485.2020.1845261
27 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2019 Last revised: 31 Mar 2021
Date Written: December 9, 2020
Technological interventions in and out of the classroom have been sold as a way to improve student understanding of economics for decades. Yet despite the panoply of ways to incorporate technology, it is not clear which types of interventions consistently result in statistically significant improvements in learning outcomes. Of 145 papers devoted to the technology in collegiate economics courses over the past 30 years, less than one third attempt to quantitatively assess the impact of technology on student learning outcomes. Of the regressions reported in these studies, 60 percent find a positive relationship between a technology intervention and a student-learning outcome; however, in only 42 percent of the regressions is the relationship statistically significant. Considering the literature with meta regression analysis suggests (a) no technology intervention routinely results in improved learning outcomes across studies; this is despite evidence of (b) publication bias that favors papers with statistically significant results. We conclude that success improving student-learning outcomes with technology interventions is highly individual. As a field, economics needs more well-designed, large-scale studies of technology interventions.
Keywords: Technology, Computers, College Classrooms, Universities, Economics Education
JEL Classification: A22, I23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation