Gulek, J. Demirtas, H. (2005) Learning with technology: the impact of laptop use on student achievement. Journal of Technology Learning and Assessment. 3 (2), 3-38.
The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of laptops in one middle school’s laptop immersion program. The study is grounded in a great deal of relevant theory on the issue of technology in education, recent findings on laptops and learning outcomes, and the reasoning behind those findings (p. 5-7). The layering of this theoretical framework leads to an appropriate purpose and supplementary research questions by proposing to examine the effects of laptop learning on middle school students by examining grades, GPA, writing skills and standardized test scores (p. 7).
The study also employs a very sound design structure by implementing the necessary tests and analysis on various levels. The authors used qualitative measures to determine the effects on scoring of learning outcomes (p. 14), cross-sectional analyses to examine prior achievement (p. 20) and longitudinal studies (p. 22) to provide the results with great construct, predictive, and convergent validity on top of its already glaring amount of face validity.
The authors also are explicit in discussing the limitations of the study such as the lack of random sampling (p. 29) and the extent to which students used laptops for specific types of learning (p. 30), but also draw on the concurrent validity of the results given a meta-analysis of similar studies (p. 29). As a result, the study is sound in its conclusions that “students who participated in the program tended to earn significantly higher test scores and grades for writing and overall GPAs” (p. 29).