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Technology's Edge: The Educational Benefits of Computer-Aided Instruction

  • Lisa Barrow
  • Lisa Markman
  • Cecilia Elena Rouse

We present results from a randomized study of a well-defined use of computers in schools, a popular instructional computer program for pre-algebra and algebra. We primarily assess the program using a test designed to target pre-algebra and algebra skills. Students randomly assigned to computer-aided instruction score significantly higher on a pre-algebra and algebra test than students randomly assigned to traditional instruction. We hypothesize that this effectiveness arises from increased individualized instruction as the effects appear larger for students in larger classes and in classes with high student absentee rates. (JEL H75, I21)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/pol.1.1.52
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/pol/data/2007-0082_data.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 52-74

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:1:y:2009:i:1:p:52-74
Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.1.1.52
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-policyEmail:


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  1. Grogger, Jeff, 1996. "Does School Quality Explain the Recent Black/White Wage Trend?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 231-53, April.
  2. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Olmo Silva, 2006. "New Technology in Schools: is there a Payoff?," CentrePiece - The Magazine for Economic Performance 199, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Leigh Linden & Shawn Cole, 2005. "Remedying education: Evidence from two randomized experiments in india," Framed Field Experiments 00122, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. Figlio, David N. & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 2006. "Do accountability and voucher threats improve low-performing schools?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-2), pages 239-255, January.
  5. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "New Evidence on Classroom Computers and Pupil Learning," NBER Working Papers 7424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Cecilia E. Rouse & Alan B. Krueger, 2004. "Putting Computerized Instruction to the Test: A Randomized Evaluation of a "Scientifically-based" Reading Program," NBER Working Papers 10315, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Austan Goolsbee & Jonathan Guryan, 2006. "The Impact of Internet Subsidies in Public Schools," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 336-347, May.
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