Research indicating students perform better in developmental classrooms that do not rely on technology has been published by two Rogers State University faculty members in an educational journal with an international audience.
Dr. Brenda Tuberville, coordinator of developmental studies, and Holly Clay-Buck, instructor of English and humanities, were published in the spring 2015 issue of Research and Teaching in Developmental Education, a peer-reviewed academic journal sponsored by the New York College Learning Skills Association.
“Students in these courses struggle many times with just learning how to navigate online platforms, while others do not have reliable or compatible computer access at home,” Tuberville said.
“Relying on technology removes that face-to-face element that so many of these students need in order to really grasp the concepts being shared.”
Tuberville and Clay-Buck’s article, “Going Off the Grid: Re-examining Technology in the Basic Writing Classroom,” examines the impact of having less dependence on technology in a basic writing classroom over the course of four years. Their research found that students in classes with little to no emphasis on technology did better than students in classes that were in some way dependent on technology. Tuberville said she’s honored to contribute to the RTDE journal, which she has used in the past as a source for research.
“Holly and I are both proud to be representing RSU with this research,” Tuberville said. “We hope that it will generate some meaningful conversations about viable alternatives for technology use in the developmental writing classroom.”
Clay-Buck, who considers herself a technology lover, said the research is not intended to prove or disprove attitudes toward using technology in education. Instead, she believes the research highlights the need to consider all learning styles in diverse classroom environments.
“In my opinion, the most important takeaway from this research is less about technology itself and more about realizing that we aren’t teaching ourselves,” Clay-Buck said. “We’re teaching a wonderfully diverse group of individuals who may have very different learning experiences than our own, and those experiences deserve our respect and validation.”
Tuberville and Clay-Buck were approached to write the article after presenting their research at the National Association for Developmental Education conference in March 2014. Tuberville said she hopes educators will use the research to rethink how much a developmental education classroom should rely on technology.