What is the impact of digital tech on learning?

We have all witnessed the digital explosion but do you actually know its impact on learning and motivation? In partnership with the Laboratory of Human and Artificial Cognition at the Paris X University we conducted a scientific study with 250 participants to measure the impact of a digital tool on learning and motivation in comparison to a more traditional, non-digital option.

There aren’t many studies of this scale on the way in which the various key components that make up the learning and motivation processes interact in education digital tools. This study will therefore enable us to measure the validity of existing theories and develop new ones.

Over the coming months the Laboratory of Human and Artificial Cognition at the Paris X University will analyse the data collected. Here is an overview of what was measured over the course of this 3-month study:

  • Knowledge of 500 English multi-words verbs by French native speakers: we measured every 3 weeks the progress made by the group learning with the Henoïda app and the group without a digital aide.
  • Sense of personal efficacy: participants answered questionnaires to determine how their perception of their English language skills evolved over time.
  • Self-determined motivation: were the participants motivated by their own personal interest or because an external factor was pushing them to learn English (e.g. future job opportunities)? According to the current theories, those motivated by external factors tend to be less determined in their learning in the long-term compared to those who have a personal interest.
  • Interest: the level of interest in the application was measured to confirm a 2006 theory developed by Hidi and Renninger. According to these 2 researchers, the interest in a specific field, ‘English’ in the context of this study, can develop in phases. First, the focus of the user’s interest is on their use of the application. The user enjoys using digital technology in general. Then, with each use of the application, the user’s interest initially rooted in the use of digital technology, gradually transforms into an interest in the content ‘English’ for the purposes of this study.
    This theory has not yet been validated so it is one of the key points to analyse in this study.
  • Zone: Csikszentmihalyi (2005) defines the zone as a state of deep absorption in an activity (no awareness of the passage of time, disconnection from the external world…) during which individuals achieve peak performance. So questionnaires were used to measure the extent to which the application led those using it to learn into a ‘zone’ state.Individuals who experience the zone once have more change of reproducing this state and achieving peak performances again.

This study enables us to use the latest scientific research to optimise continually the motivation and the efficiency of learning with Henoîda.

Thanks to Laetitia Legoux of the Paris X University for her work on this study and for this post.