The authors note that the class materials can be retained by computerized or visualized instructions. They argue further that it would be useful to provide knowledge to the generation which has already been weaned on “tv hours.” Learners and educators who have a favorable view of technology-driven learning are main sources of this expectation.
The purpose behind the experiment is to decide if the ability of students to learn and retain knowledge can be enhanced by using short video clips at class. The authors highlight that past researchers such as Janda (1992), Spencer (1991), and Summers (1990-1991) found that technological innovations in the classroom DOES NOT significantly improve the performance of students. The review was inadequate since the author failed to highlight the various aspects of the literature. It is important to show the type of study conducted by the authors including the samples, place of study, and the procedures; this can help determine whether the studies were reliable.
How the topic was studied
To perform the experiment, the authors considered a student sample of American Government class from the United States Air Force Academy. The 117 students were divided into 6 sections in which they were assigned different teachers. Each instructor was to teach on 2 “video” sections and one for traditional lesson that acted as a control experiment. The teachers presented many video clips in the video sections to illustrate the course concepts. The treatment group was the sample that was taught using video clips; this constituted 79 students who were grouped in four sections that constituted 19 students in each. The control group was the sample secluded to use the traditional learning method; this included 38 students who were selected randomly.
The research hypothesis of the study was that the utilization of short video clips in the classroom actually enhances the ability of students to learn and retain information. Thus, the null hypothesis was that technology has no significant impact in enhancing student learning abilities.
One of the strengths of the sample selected is the method of sampling used to select them; the authors utilized random sampling which provides opportunity to present diverse populations. The fact that the treatment and control group samples had similar aptitude levels at the beginning of the study also reveal the accuracy of the research results. A key weakness, however, of the sample is the small sampling frame. There were only 117 participants in the study. Furthermore, only freshmen were included; there is a possibility that student experience in relation to technology use in the classroom varies across the different school levels.
During the experiment, the video clips presented represented the concepts of the course. The instructors ensured that students received similar video clips in every section, and were used to enhance the actual course content. For instance, while discussing the restraint process of the judicial system, a short video clip of Judge Robert Bork was shown during the senate Judiciary Committee hearing. This is similar to most video interventions made in the classroom. However, in some instances, video clips are used to illustrate the concepts that had been covered in the classroom. For example, students may be taught about the World War I; they would later be shown the film of the war in the next classroom session.
The results of the study reveal that there is no difference in the performance of students in the test questions that was never aided by video augmentation. I believe that the methods of measurements used were accurate for testing teaching effectiveness; by correlating the test results with the video clips-related classroom teachings, it was possible to identify the impacts of technology on the teaching process.
It would have been important to include the cost dimension as one of the variables in the study to measure the possible impact of technology education on the school expenditure. This could be measured by including the time taken to view the video clips as well as the total costs of the technology hardware and software used by the students.
Difference of means t-test is important in measuring statistical significance since it is used to compare the means of two different groups in a randomized experimental design. In the case of the study conducted, there are two groups of study, control and treated, which can only be effectively measured using the difference-of-means.
A one-tailed statistical test has been used to measure the significance since the study measures the possibility of relationship in one direction as it disregards another possibility completely. In the study, the mean of the groups is measured whether it is greater than or less than a specific digit, but not considering both.
The t is calculated using a pooled variance method since there are two independent means from the different samples. The mean for the treatment group is different from that of the control group. Since they are also randomly sample from a population that is approximately normally distributed, the pool variance method is appropriate to generate results.
The independent variable, the use of video clips, in the study had less impact on the dependent variable, the performance of the student. Although an increase in the student score was established, it was evident that there was a slight significant difference in the performance of the students using digital and traditional learning methods.
Various factors can influence the statistically difference between the two groups of study. A bigger sample, N, for instance increases the chances of uncovering the specific mean difference which is also statistically significant. A larger sample, thus, reliably reflects the mean of the population. A large difference between the mean of the treatment and control group can also result in the increase in statistical differences since a greater difference between the mean or averages shows a great difference between two groups.
The meaning of the results
The authors do a great job for summarizing the results of the study. They reveal that there is no correlation between video clip usage and student performance since the variables showed good performance for students who used both traditional and digital learning modes. Various factors are highlighted to have muted the results including: the inability of video augmentation to enhance student understanding, videos used may not have been adequate to explain the classroom concepts, using a smaller sample, and the Hawthorn effect.
Using a mixed methodology in collecting data can enhance reliability and accuracy of data. In case interviews and questionnaires are to be used, they would provide greater insight on the perception of students regarding the usage of traditional versus digital method of learning.
A follow-up activity recommended would include administering questionnaires and holding focus group discussion among students from different university levels in order to represent the whole student population.
Being a budgetary official, it would be important to ensure that there is a greater statistical difference among the two groups in order to consider the implementation of technology in the school. A difference of at least 40% would mean that technology greatly influences learning.