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Abstract

Contextualized learning is considered beneficial for student success. In this article, we assess the impact of context-based learning tools on student grade performance in an introductory computer science course. In particular, we investigate two central questions: (1) does the use context-based learning tools, robots and animations, affect student performance? (2) How do age, gender, and ethnicity impact performance? To explore these questions, we compare the impact of educational robots in conjunction with animations against a second group of students who use only animations, while controlling for the effects of gender and ethnicity. We find that the addition of robots did not improve the students’ performance in our setting. Instead, our findings support the existing literature stating that gender and ethnicity are important predictors of student success. We also find that attendance is a strong predictor of student success.

ref_ijsotl2015090110.pdf (180 kB)
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