Understanding How Teachers Influence the Effectiveness of STEM-Based Mobile Apps
Abstract: Limited research has been conducted on teacher-related factors that influence student learning performance after using STEM-based mobile apps. The purpose of this study was to examine a wide range of teacher-based factors that might influence student learning performance including teacher attitudes, preparation and implementation strategies, and demographics. Twelve mathematics and science classes (n=838 students), grades 7 to 8, and 20 teachers participated in the study. Overall, student learning performance increased by 26% after using STEM-based apps. Teacher attitudes towards the design, engagement and learning value of apps were significantly correlated with learning performance. With respect to teacher preparation and implementation strategies, longer preparation time, customized (vs. pre-designed) support materials, not using a teacher-led approach, and using apps for review or homework resulted in significantly higher student gains in learning performance. Regarding teacher demographics, students who had female, older, or more experienced teachers achieved higher gains in learning performance. More research is needed, perhaps in the form interviews, focus groups and observational data to better understand the interaction between teacher-related factors and student performance.