Narrowing the Digital Divide in Early Maths: How Different Modes of Assessment Influence Young Children’s Mathematical Test Scores

McDonald, Sian and Fotakopoulou, Olga (2023) Narrowing the Digital Divide in Early Maths: How Different Modes of Assessment Influence Young Children’s Mathematical Test Scores. Early Education and Development. ISSN 1040-9289

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Research Findings: Children are increasingly using touchscreen technologies at home, which has become a recurring feature within their classroom too. Research has investigated the potential effect of using computer-based tests to assess pupils’ performance rather than traditional paper tests. An agreement has still not been formed about the impact of the mode of assessment on pupils’ mathematical test scores. A mixed methods design was employed to explore the impact of the testing on young children’s mathematical test scores. Thirty-seven children 4-7-years old were recruited from a primary school in England with their parents. A mathematical test on paper and an iPad was administered to each participant which was accompanied by an interview. Data regarding the use of touchscreens at home were explored with an on-line parental questionnaire. The results showed that gender and test type impact mathematical test scores, with females performing the best on the iPad test. The findings also suggested that as tablet usage increased at home, iPad mathematical test scores decreased. The interviews revealed that children rely on different strategies when resolving mathematical problems. Practice or Policy: Digital testing may enable a better investigation of mathematical skills in the first years of schooling and of differences between males and females’ responses to solving mathematical questions, which then could be used to tailor the curriculum.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
28 September 2023Accepted
28 September 2023Published Online
Subjects: CAH04 - psychology > CAH04-01 - psychology > CAH04-01-03 - developmental psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Psychology
Depositing User: Olga Fotakopoulou
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2023 11:36
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2023 11:36

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