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Online system adoption and K-12 academic outcomes

Journal of Computer Assisted Learning Volume 31, Number 4, ISSN 1365-2729 Publisher: Wiley


This study seeks to understand the relationship between K-12 online system adoption (e.g., Blackboard, Edmodo, WordPress) and school-level academic achievement ratings. Utilizing a novel approach to data collection via website data extraction and indexing of all school websites in a target state in the United States (n = 732) and merging these data with publicly available data on school academic achievement ratings, this study provides generalizable results of online system adoption on academic achievement ratings for the 2011–2012 and 2012–2013 school years. Univariate general linear modelling is used to determine significant relationships between categories of systems (e.g., any, education-specific, generic, cost, no-cost, proprietary, open-source) or specific systems and school academic ratings for each year. The results indicate some general positive effects, but effect sizes remain small and account for 2% or less of variance in ratings. Implications of this study suggest that online system adoption does not impact student academic achievement at a sufficient level to justify adoption that is not meaningfully coupled with other essential factors of school development (e.g., professional development, curricular development), and we propose that decision-makers should be wary of large-scale, technocentric attempts to improve schools that are not grounded in generalizable research findings.


Kimmons, R. (2015). Online system adoption and K-12 academic outcomes. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 31(4), 378-391. Wiley. Retrieved February 24, 2020 from .