COMPUTERS IN EDUCATION STUDY

International Organization

International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA)

Years of Data Collection

Stage I:

1988-1989

 

Stage II:

1991-1992

Purpose To assess to what extent, and how computers are used in education; to study the effects and changes that are taking place over time; and to look at how different material conditions (such as hardware and/or software availability) as well as immaterial conditions (such as teacher training facilities or support structure) affect the implementation of the use of computers by educational practitioners.

In the history of education, the 1980's will stand out as the decade during which many countries throughout the world introduced computers in schools on a large scale. This technological innovation is not only unprecedented in its scope, but also in the controversies it raised. What is the place of computers in the curriculum? What are the potential and actual benefits of using computers as a tool in the instructional process? And which strategies prove to be beneficial in implementing computers in educational practice?

The Stage I survey was designed to provide answers to questions about trends in computer use, for example, in their distribution across subjects and departments. Are more science teachers able to simultaneously use more than the one or two computers that they typically had in 1985? Are more high school mathematics teachers using computers for classes in algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, instead of two-thirds of their instructional computing time going for programming and computer literacy classes, as in 1985? Are English classes now the major users of word processing programs, or is this use of computers still overwhelmingly a business education activity as it was in 1985? It also sought to be able to show whether there had been changes in the kinds of software and types of tasks students are engaged in at computers.

The survey was intended to address questions about the effectiveness of current U.S. implementations, regardless of their relevance in an international context. How much staff support for school-level implementations is there and how adequately trained is it? Are schools having problems allocating limited computer resources among competing departments whose interest in computers has been piqued, and among alternative uses made possible by the burgeoning variety of software? How much informal staff education and training goes on among teachers within the school building, and in what contexts does this occur most readily?

By the 1990s, computers have become a way of life in American schools. Ninety-nine percent of the elementary and secondary schools in the United States have installed computers, and 85 percent of the students use them during the school year. Each participating country in the Stage II Computers in Education Study administered an international test of practical computer knowledge, testing general concepts such as hardware and copy-protection, use of diskettes and software, and application of software (such as word processing, databases, and telecommunications).

The Stage II survey probed questions about what students learn about computers; how students use computers in school; what learning about computers takes place out-of-school; sex, race, and financial equity; how teachers cope with computers; and computer equipment in the schools.



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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies COMPUTERS IN EDUCATION STUDY International Organization International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) Years of Data Collection Stage I: 1988-1989   Stage II: 1991-1992 Purpose To assess to what extent, and how computers are used in education; to study the effects and changes that are taking place over time; and to look at how different material conditions (such as hardware and/or software availability) as well as immaterial conditions (such as teacher training facilities or support structure) affect the implementation of the use of computers by educational practitioners. In the history of education, the 1980's will stand out as the decade during which many countries throughout the world introduced computers in schools on a large scale. This technological innovation is not only unprecedented in its scope, but also in the controversies it raised. What is the place of computers in the curriculum? What are the potential and actual benefits of using computers as a tool in the instructional process? And which strategies prove to be beneficial in implementing computers in educational practice? The Stage I survey was designed to provide answers to questions about trends in computer use, for example, in their distribution across subjects and departments. Are more science teachers able to simultaneously use more than the one or two computers that they typically had in 1985? Are more high school mathematics teachers using computers for classes in algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, instead of two-thirds of their instructional computing time going for programming and computer literacy classes, as in 1985? Are English classes now the major users of word processing programs, or is this use of computers still overwhelmingly a business education activity as it was in 1985? It also sought to be able to show whether there had been changes in the kinds of software and types of tasks students are engaged in at computers. The survey was intended to address questions about the effectiveness of current U.S. implementations, regardless of their relevance in an international context. How much staff support for school-level implementations is there and how adequately trained is it? Are schools having problems allocating limited computer resources among competing departments whose interest in computers has been piqued, and among alternative uses made possible by the burgeoning variety of software? How much informal staff education and training goes on among teachers within the school building, and in what contexts does this occur most readily? By the 1990s, computers have become a way of life in American schools. Ninety-nine percent of the elementary and secondary schools in the United States have installed computers, and 85 percent of the students use them during the school year. Each participating country in the Stage II Computers in Education Study administered an international test of practical computer knowledge, testing general concepts such as hardware and copy-protection, use of diskettes and software, and application of software (such as word processing, databases, and telecommunications). The Stage II survey probed questions about what students learn about computers; how students use computers in school; what learning about computers takes place out-of-school; sex, race, and financial equity; how teachers cope with computers; and computer equipment in the schools.

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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies Organization and Management Stage I: The international coordinator and coordinating center were located at the University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands. The U.S. national project director and coordinating center were located at The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. Data collection was subcontracted to Survey Research Associates in Baltimore, Maryland, a professional firm, selected by a competitive bid process. International and national steering committees provided guidance. Stage II: The international coordinator and coordinating center were located at the University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands. The U.S. national project director and coordinating center were located at the University of Minnesota. U.S. data collection and processing was carried out by national project staff at the University of Minnesota and subcontracts with Westat, Inc. International and national steering committees provided guidance. Design Participants Educational systems participating in the study are as follows: Stage I: Austria, Belgium (Flemish), Belgium (French), Canada (British Columbia), China, France, Germany (Federal Republic), Greece, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, United States. Stage II: Countries for which data were collected and processed in time for the IEA reports for Stage II were: (populations listed after each country) Austria (2,3), Bulgaria (2,3), Germany (2), Greece (3), India (3), Israel (1,3), Japan, (1,2,3), Latvia (3), Netherlands (1,2), Slovenia (3), Thailand (3), and the United States (1,2,3). Two countries were incomplete participants in that they collected some data but did not complete the study due to problems of schedules or resources: Hungary and Italy. Sample Stage I: Three populations of schools formed separate universes for sampling and instrument development: schools containing (in the U.S.) grade 5, schools containing grade 8, and schools containing grade 12. The study data collection goal was to obtain data from 400 schools per population. Stage II: Because the samples were selected using a complex probability sampling scheme, survey weights were needed to ensure that the sampled data could be used to make accurate inferences about the target populations. The U.S. samples of students and schools in Stage II were intended to support the following types of analysis: student-level analysis for the target population (what percentage of students in 5th, 8th, or 11th grade use computers extensively) and school-level analysis for each target population (what percentage of schools that offer the target grades use computers extensively in instruction). Procedures and Summary of Content The study is a two-stage survey. During the first stage (1987-1990), data were collected at school and teacher level. The second stage (data collection in 1992) consists of a partial replication of the data collection for Stage I to be able to study changes over time, and the collection of data on student level for assessing students ' functional knowledge and skills with respect to new information technologies and their attitudes towards computers.

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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies The instrumentation and respondents for Stages I and II of the study consist of questionnaires for school principals of computer-using as well as non-using schools, technically informed persons (usually the computer coordinator), and teachers of computer education courses. In Stage I samples of computer-using and non-using teachers of mathematics, science, and mother tongue were surveyed; this became an international option in Stage II. Stage I: The United States participated along with 17 other countries and national regions in this study of the instructional uses of school computers. The survey provided data about how schools use computers to assist in traditional academic subjects as well as how they organize instruction on computer-specific subject-matter such as computer programming and word processing. It encompassed both elementary and secondary education, with a concentration on three specific age/grade cohorts -- defined as the modal grade in each country for students aged 10 (U.S. grade 5), 13 (grade 8), and the last year of secondary school (grade 12). At the teacher level, the study focused on four particular subjects: mathematics, science, English (“mother tongue”), and computer education. Although itself only a survey of school and teacher practices, the survey was also preliminary to the effort planned for 1992 that would measure the effect of computer-based educational experiences on student achievements in computer-specific subject-matter (programming and computer literacy) and in traditional subjects (such as mathematics and science) where computers are used. Besides its comparative function, the survey also served an important domestic data collection function for the United States, extending time-series data previously collected in 1983 and 1985 from national samples of schools and teachers in this country. By 1989 most U.S. schools had enough computers in single locations that entire classrooms of students could be served at one time -- a situation that did not prevail during previous school surveying. Stage II: The international survey tested 69,000 students in grades 5, 8, and 11 in 2,500 schools on practical computer knowledge of general concepts such as the use of diskettes and software and the general features of common application software -- word processing, databases, and telecommunication. Computer programming was not tested. The U.S. portion of the study include 11,284 students in 573 schools. Data Collection and Analyses Stage II: Because funding was not provided until September 1992, the United States was unable to conduct a full scale pilot testing within the time schedule of the international coordinating center. Nevertheless, just before the national project coordinators meeting in September over 150 students in three different population groups were pilot tested, and that data was taken to the September NPC meeting. Thus, the U.S. data were combined quantitatively and qualitatively with the data from other countries at the meeting and in subsequent analyses. The U.S. pilot data was used extensively in the instrument development at the September NPC and international steering committee meetings. The United States administered optional performance tests in grades 8 and 11. About 110 schools chose to participate and over 1,500 students completed the word processing performance test. Data from the follow-up surveys of students' test administrators were coded and assembled in data files for analysis. At the April 1994 meetings of the American Educational Research Association Wayne Welch presented a paper on a longitudinal analysis of data using organizational factors to predict growth in the quantity and quality of educational computer utilization.

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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies The national project team is preparing public data files and extensive associated documentation: coding, analysis, and reporting of performance assessment data; coordination with the IEA chair in preparation of the collection of national context articles describing the features of the educational system in each country; more detailed analyses of the data for academic journals; and preparation of a technical memo on equity issues arising from the national report. An assessment of progress toward computer-related standards in mathematics and science education has been proposed. The data from the IEA study would be used to determine the extent to which U.S. students and schools are meeting the computer-related standards specified by the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics standards and the American Association for the Advancement of Science benchmarks for science literacy. Production of a 60-minute video program has been proposed, using results from the international study. The video would be broadcast on national television in the United States and other countries. English and German language versions would be produced. Timetable Stage I:   1988-1989 Data was collected. Stage II:   1991-1992 Data was collected. National Project Coordinators met in Tokyo. (September) National Steering Committee met. (November) 1992-1993 Data was processed. 1993-1994 Reports were prepared. 1993 Presentations were made on national and international IEA Computers in Education Study activities at the American Educational Research Association meetings. National Research Coordinators and International Steering Committee met in Washington, D.C. (September) Study results were released simultaneously at IEA Headquarters in The Hague with the report Schools, Teachers, Students and Computers: A Cross-National Perspective, and in Washington, D.C., with the U.S. report, Computers in American Schools, 1992: An Overview. A press release was issued in Washington, D.C. (December) 1994 A presentation was made at the American Educational Research Association meeting. (April) Public data files for the United States with codebooks were completed. (July)

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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies U.S. project staff are cooperating with the international coordinating center to analyze data and write materials for several international reports: the performance assessment report an edited collection of papers on national context of computer education (Cross National Policies on Computers in Education) a short report on the student assessment (Functional Computer Literacy: The First International Assessment) the final collection of technical articles called the “volume.” A video program using results from the international study, to be broadcast in the United States and other countries, in English and German language versions is proposed. An assessment of progress toward computer-related standards in mathematics and science education is proposed. (United States) Publications International: Schools, Teachers, Students, and Computers: A Cross-National Perspective. International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, University of Twenty, Enschede, The Netherlands. (1993) The Use of Computers in Education Worldwide: Results from the IEA Computers in Education Survey in 19 Education Systems. Oxford: Pergamon Press. (1991) Additional forthcoming international publications: the performance assessment report, an edited collection of papers on national context of computer education (Cross National Policies on Computers in Education), a short report on the student assessment (Functional Computer Literacy: The First International Assessment), and the final collection of technical articles. (1994) National: Computers in American Schools, 1992: An Overview. IEA Computers in Education Study, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota. (1993) Funding Stage I: Funding for U.S. participation in Stage I was provided by the National Science Foundation. Stage II: Funding for U.S. participation in Stage II was provided by the National Science Foundation after September 1992. (Prior to that time the work on Stage II was provided on a volunteer basis and supported with a small grant from NSF for a meeting to review the potential and problems of performance testing.) A request has been made (1994) to the National Science Foundation for a small funding supplement for purposes of assessing progress toward computer-related standards in mathematics and science education.

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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies Information Sources Dr. Hans Pelgrum, International Coordinator University of Twente Department of Education Centre for Applied Educational Research P.O. Box 217 7500 AE Enschede THE NETHERLANDS telephone: 31-53-893-593 facsimile: 31-53-315-099 e-mail: topelgrm@utwente.nl International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) Secretariat c/o SVO Sweelinckplein 14 2517 GK The Hague THE NETHERLANDS telephone: 31-70-346-96-79 facsimile: 31-70-360-99-51 e-mail: iea@svo.nl Stage I: Dr. Henry Jay Becker, National Project Director Johns Hopkins University Center for Social Organization of Schools 3505 North Charles Street Baltimore, Maryland 21218 telephone: 301/ 338-7570 Stage II: Dr. Ronald E. Anderson, National Project Director Department of Sociology 909 Social Sciences Bldg., University of Minnesota 267 - 19th Ave., South Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455-0412 telephone: 612/ 624-9333 facsimile: 612/ 624-4586 e-mail: rea@vx.cis.umn.edu Gordon M. Ambach, Liaison to IEA Council of Chief State School Officers One Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Suite 700 Washington, D.C. 20001-1431 telephone: 202/ 408-5505 facsimile: 202/ 408-8076 e-mail: gambach@nas.edu Ambach, Gordon M. 1990 Memorandum to selected advisors to the U.S. delegate to the IEA General Assembly re Phase II of the Computers in ducation Study of IEA. July 5.

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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies Anderson, Ronald E. 1990 IEA Computers in Education Study plans for Phase 2. Presentation to the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. September. 1991 IEA Computers in Education Study. Status report prepared for the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. January. 1992 IEA Computers in Education Study. Status report prepared for the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. January. 1993 IEA Computers in Education Study. Status reports prepared for the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. January and June. 1993 IEA Computers in Education Study dissemination activities. Presentation to the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. June. 1993 International Survey on Computers in Education Reveals U.S. Strengths and Potential. Press release. December 14. IEA Computers in Education Study, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota. 1994 IEA Computers in Education Study. Status reports prepared for the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. January and May. Anderson, Ronald E., Editor 1993 Computers in American Schools, 1992: An Overview. A national report from the International IEA Computers in Education study. IEA Computers in Education Study, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Anderson, R.E., and B. Collis 1993 International assessment of functional computer abilities. Studies in Educational Evaluation. Special issue 19(2). Oxford: Pergamon Press Anderson, Ronald E., and Larry Suter 1993 IEA Computers in Education Study plans for releasing data. Presentation to the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. November. Becker, H.J. 1993 Computer experience, patterns of computer use, and effectiveness. An inevitable sequence or divergent national cultures? Studies in Educational Evaluation. Special issue 19(2). Oxford: Pergamon Press. Becker, Henry Jay 1988 IEA Computers in Education Study (1989): Summary of United States Designs and Plans. Objectives, sampling plan, and questionnaire. October. Presentation to the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education, November. 1989 IEA Computers in Education Study. Status report prepared for the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. July. 1989 IEA Computers in Education Study. Status report presented to the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education. September. 1990 Computer Use in United States Schools: 1989. An Initial Report of U.S. Participation in the IEA Computers in Education Survey. Paper presented at the 1990 meetings of the American Educational Research Association. April. Center for Social Organization of Schools, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. Brummelhuis ten, A.C.A., and Tj. Plomp 1993 The relation between problem areas and stages of computer implementation. Studies in Educational Evaluation. Special issue. 19(2). Oxford: Pergamon Press. International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement 1993 Activities, Institutions, and People: IEA Guidebook 1993-1994. IEA, The Hague, The Netherlands.

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International Comparative Studies in Education: Descriptions of Selected Large-Scale Assessments and Case Studies Janssen Reinen, I.A.M., and Tj. Plomp 1993 Staff development as a condition for computer integration. Studies in Educational Evaluation. Special issue. 19(2). Oxford: Pergamon Press. 1993 Gender differences in computer use with emphasis on mathematics education. International Journal of Educational Research. Accepted for publication. Oxford: Pergamon Press. 1993 Some gender issues in educational computer use: Results of an international comparative survey. International Journal of Educational Research. Accepted for publication. Oxford: Pergamon Press. Pelgrum, W.J. 1993 Attitudes of school principals and teachers towards computers: Does it matter what they think? Studies in Educational Evaluation. Special issue. 19(2). Oxford: Pergamon Press. 1993 International research on computers in education. PROSPECTS. 18(5). UNESCO, Paris. Pelgrum, W.J., I.A.M. Janssen Reinen, and Tj. Plomp, Editors 1993 Schools, Teachers, Students and Computers: a Cross-National Perspective. IEA-Comped Study Stage 2. International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, University of Twente, Center for Applied Educational Research, Enschede, The Netherlands. Pelgrum, W.J., and Tj. Plomp 1991 The Use of Computers in Education Worldwide: Results from the IEA Computers in Education Survey in 19 Education Systems. Oxford: Pergamon Press. 1993 The use of computers in 18 countries. Studies in Educational Evaluation. Special issue. 19(2). Oxford: Pergamon Press. Pelgrum, W.J., and Tj. Plomp, Editors 1993 Computers in Education I: Implementation of an Innovation in Twenty Countries. Oxford: Pergamon Press. 1993 Schools, Teachers and Computers: a Cross-National Perspective. Preliminary report, IEA-Comped Study Stage 2. International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, University of Twente, Center for Applied Educational Research, Enschede, The Netherlands. Pelgrum, Willem J., and Tjeerd Plomp 1991 The Use of Computers in Education Worldwide: Results from the IEA Computers in Education Survey in 19 Educational Systems. Wolf, R.M. 1993 The role of the school principal in computer education. Studies in Educational Evaluation. Special issue. 19(2). Oxford: Pergamon Press. ****** NOTE: This study summary was reviewed and edited by Ronald Anderson at the University of Minnesota on July 8, 1994.