Cognitive Tasks in the Core Content Areas: Factors That Influence Students' Technology Use In High-School Classrooms

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Journal of Computer Assisted Learning

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Prior studies have focused on general technology use and technology use in domain-general applications and quantity of technology use. Recent evidence suggests that investigations should consider how technology is used in more contextually specific ways, including how technology is used for various cognitive tasks in specific classrooms. The purpose of this study was to examine the ways in which classroom content area and student goal orientation have a coordinated influence for how students used technology to support learning. The sample included high school students in a Midwestern state who were surveyed on their motivation and how they used technology to support learning. The study employed hierarchical linear modelling to examine how goal orientation and classroom content area predicted various levels of Bloom's Digital Taxonomy. Students who adopted mastery-oriented goals were more likely to use technology for various cognitive tasks, especially those at higher levels of complexity. Lastly, the association between mastery goal orientation and some aspects of technology use was conditioned on content area, although effect sizes were small. This study showed that, overall, technology is used differentially across four core content areas. Students in mathematics classrooms used technology less, however much of technology use was evident at lower cognitive levels. Second, students' goal orientation, and in particular their mastery goals influence how technology is used across content areas, and this is marginally conditioned on content area. Technology use should match the instructional context to maximize technology use and students' goal orientation.


Bloom's Digital Taxonomy; Cognitive strategies; Computer technology; Content area; Goal orientation; Secondary students


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