Date of Award


Document Type

Master's report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Science Education (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences


William L. Yarroch


Today’s technology is evolving at an exponential rate. Everyday technology is finding more inroads into our education system. This study seeks to determine if having access to technology, including iPad tablets and a teacher's physical science webpage resources (videos, PowerPoint® presentations, and audio podcasts), assists ninth grade high school students in attaining greater comprehension and improved scientific literacy.

Comprehension of the science concepts was measured by comparing current student pretest and post test scores on a teacher-written assessment. The current student post test scores were compared with prior classes’ (2010-2011 and 2009-2010) to determine if there was a difference in outcomes between the technology interventions and traditional instruction. Students entered responses to a technology survey that measured intervention usage and their perception of helpfulness of each intervention.

The current year class’ mean composite scores, between the pretest and post test increased by 6.9 points (32.5%). Student composite scores also demonstrated that the interventions were successful in helping a majority of students (64.7%) attain the curriculum goals. The interventions were also successful in increasing student scientific literacy by meeting all of Bloom's cognitive levels that were assessed.

When compared with prior 2010-2011 and 2009-2010 classes, the current class received a higher mean post test score indicating a positive effect of the use of technological interventions. The survey showed a majority of students utilized at least some of the technology interventions and perceived them as helpful, especially the videos and PowerPoint® presentations.