Evaluating the impact of a tablet-based intervention on the mathematics attainment, receptive language and approaches to learning of preschool children

Walton, Jodie M. (2018) Evaluating the impact of a tablet-based intervention on the mathematics attainment, receptive language and approaches to learning of preschool children. DAppEdPsy thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Hand-held technology is increasingly being used in educational settings as a medium of instruction for young children (Hubber et al., 2016). Although the evidence base is developing, little is currently known about the effectiveness of mathematics interventions delivered through tablet technology, particularly for preschool children in the UK. The present research evaluates the impact of the onebillion tablet-based intervention on the mathematics attainment, receptive language and positive ‘approaches to learning’ of 3-4 year old children.

An embedded mixed methods design was used in this study. The primary aims of the research were addressed through a quasi-experimental, ability-matched design. Across two nurseries, forty-seven children were allocated to either an experimental group, who accessed the intervention for fifteen minutes per day over 9 weeks (n = 23), or a control group (n = 24). Additional nested data was collected, including qualitative semi-structured facilitator interviews and observations, to further illuminate factors affecting outcomes.

At post-test, the experimental group had significantly higher mathematics attainment than the control group (controlling for pre-test ability), assessed on a researcher-developed measure of curriculum knowledge. At 5 month follow-up, the experimental group still appeared to outperform children in the control group, but differences between groups were no longer statistically significant. There was no significant intervention effect on a standardised measure of mathematics, or other aspects of development, including children’s receptive language or ‘approaches to learning’.

Based upon analysis of embedded data, a model is proposed of the potential mechanisms underpinning the efficacy of the intervention, accounting for individual differences and implementation factors on outcomes.

Findings from this study are discussed in relation to relevant literature and theory. Methodological limitations of the study are also acknowledged, as well as the implications of these findings for the use of educational technology in the early years, the practice of educational psychologists and further research.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (DAppEdPsy)
Supervisors: Gulliford, Anthea
Lambert, Nathan
Pitchford, Nicola, J.
Keywords: mathematics, tablet, app, intervention, preschool, educational technology, nursery, receptive language, approaches to learning
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1050 Educational psychology
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
Item ID: 53872
Depositing User: Walton, Jodie
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2018 04:40
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2019 09:01
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/53872

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