Literature Review on the Impact of Digital Technology on Learning and Teaching

This literature review was commissioned by the Scottish Government to explore how the use of digital technology for learning and teaching can support teachers, parents, children and young people in improving outcomes and achieving our ambitions for education in Scotland

Annex 4: Meta-analysis literature reviews included in the review

Review publication Scope of review Criteria and quality assessment Sources included
Li, Q and
Ma, X.
This study examines the impact of digital technology on mathematics education in kindergarten to pre-college classrooms through a systematic review of existing literature. Almost all studies were controlled, employing either random assignment of learners to experimental/ control conditions or using statistical control for quasi-experimental designs. Nearly two thirds of the studies were published journal articles, and the rest were doctoral dissertations or unpublished reports. 85 independent effect sizes extracted from 46 primary studies involving a total of almost 37,000 learners. Studies are international.
Higgins, S,
Xiao, Z, and Katsipataki, M. (2012)
The aim of this review is to present a synthesis of the evidence from meta-analysis about the impact of the use of digital technology in schools on children's attainment, or more widely the impact of digital technology on academic achievement. The research considered published reports from 1990 to 2012, separating the analysis (1990-1999 and 2000-2012) to check that the findings and implications from earlier and possibly obsolete technologies were not influencing the overall findings. 48 studies which synthesised primary research studies on the impact of
technology and the attainment of school age learners (5-18 year olds). Studies are international.
Liao, Y-k C, Chang, H-w, and Chen, Y-w
To synthesize existing research
comparing the effects of digital technologies
versus traditional instruction on elementary school learners' achievement
in Taiwan.
To be included studies had to report sufficient quantitative data on both digital technology teaching and traditional teaching methods so that effects could be compared, and be available through university or similar libraries. Studies were from 1995-2003. 48 studies were located from four sources. Statistical and reference information on the studies is included in the report. Studies were international.
Archer, K,
Savage, R et al. (2014)
To reevaluate previous digital technology based studies by examining the reported quality of the training and support teachers received and the reported quality of implementation fidelity. Used information from 3 previous meta-analyses, selected because they reviewed comparable criteria with control groups, adequate study duration and valid achievement measures and reported robust statistical information. Studies ranged from 1970-2007. 38 studies from 3 previous systematic reviews that examined the impact of ICT on literacy learning for learners aged 5-16 years of age. Studies were international.
Cheung, A, and
Savage, R.
Examines the effectiveness of digital technology tools and resources in improving the
reading achievement of struggling readers in elementary schools.
To be included studies had to cover children with reading disabilities, learners in at least the lowest 1/3 of their classes, or any learner receiving additional tutoring, or having special educational needs; use a control group, use standardised tests and last a minimum of 12 weeks. Studies were from 1980 with most (14) being from 2000. A total of 20
studies covering 7,000 learners aged 5-11 were included in the final analysis. Studies were international.


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