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 International Journal of Education and Development using ICT > Vol. 17, No. 1 (2021) open journal systems 

Computer-assisted instruction tools: A model to guide use in low- and middle-income countries

Thomas M Kaye, Vrije Universiteit
Melanie Ehren, Vrije Universiteit

Learning outcomes in low- and lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) require significant improvement. With traditional reform efforts taking many years to realise results, education practitioners in LMICs are searching for innovative ways to rapidly strengthen learning outcomes. One tool showing promise is computer-assisted instruction (CAI). While a growing number of studies document CAI’s positive impacts on learning outcomes, others have found nil or negative effects. Research has yet to identify why these differences occur, and, most importantly, which factors must be in place to ensure that CAI contributes to improving learning outcomes. The aim of our research was to fill this gap in the research by developing a model highlighting those factors influencing the results of CAI interventions. Adopting a realist-informed methodology, we analysed 21 resources shared by 13 experts from around the world. We used the results of this analysis to develop a model that outlines key trends that facilitate and/or impede the deployment of CAI tools in LMICs. We find that key factors that should be considered when designing CAI interventions include the operating environment; stakeholder engagement; infrastructure; technological trust; CAI tool design; content curation/creation; student engagement; classroom integration; teacher capacity; student capacity; and data collection and use. This model highlights both these individual elements as well as noting how these elements interact. The model provides a foundation that can guide future research in this under-examined area.

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International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology. ISSN: 1814-0556