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The impact of computer usage on academic performance: Evidence from a randomized trial at the United States Military Academy

Susan Payne Carter, Kyle Greenberg and Michael S. Walker

Economics of Education Review, 2017, vol. 56, issue C, 118-132

Abstract: We present findings from a study that prohibited computer devices in randomly selected classrooms of an introductory economics course at the United States Military Academy. Average final exam scores among students assigned to classrooms that allowed computers were 0.18 standard deviations lower than exam scores of students in classrooms that prohibited computers. Through the use of two separate treatment arms, we uncover evidence that this negative effect occurs in classrooms where laptops and tablets are permitted without restriction and in classrooms where students are only permitted to use tablets that must remain flat on the desk.

Date: 2017
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