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Comparing the effect of tablet, desktop, paper-pencil based drill practices on spatial skills of vocational high school students

Şenel, Hüseyin Can
The aim of this study is to compare the effect of using drill and practice applications in tablet computers, desktop computers and traditional paper-pencil booklets for enhancing the spatial skills of vocational high school students. For this aim a mixed-method design was used. Quantitative part was aimed to provide data about the development of spatial skills of three group and compare them. Additionally, qualitative part was aimed to seek how participants perceived about the tablet computer based drill-practice application. A total of 85 vocational high school students were divided into three groups with 28 in tablet computer group, 30 in desktop computer group and 27 in paper-pencil group. Mental rotation test was used as pre-test before the interventions. After pre-test, experimental group used the application in tablet computers, the two control groups used the same content with desktop computers and printed materials. At the end of the 8-week treatment period, all students received the same mental rotation test as post-test. For qualitative part of the study, six students were chosen using maximum variation sampling in accordance with their test scores and were interviewed to identify perceptions of the students about tablet computers. The results of the study showed spatial skill scores of all groups increased significantly after eight weeks of intervention. When the post-test scores of the tablet, desktop computer and paper-pencil groups were compared, it was seen that tablet and desktop computer groups had significantly higher post-test scores than paper-pencil group. However, there was no significant difference between tablet and desktop computer groups. The results of the content analysis on interview data revealed students’ perceptions were gathered around five themes; facilitator for learning, technological value, the technical properties of tablet computers and software, the content of learning environment, and motivational factors.