College in the Information Age: Gains Associated with Students' Use of Technology

Terrell L. Strayhorn, Ph.D.
University of Tennessee


Increasingly college students are expected to use computers and technology in their studies. This study estimated the relationship between students’ use of technology and self-reported educational gains. These gains range from general learning outcomes to specific outcomes related to computers and technology. Results suggest a modest, but statistically significant relationship between students’ use of technology and closely related learning outcomes. Four college activities related to computer use emerged as strongest predictors of gains from college: searched internet for course material, used computer to analyze data, used index or database to find material, and retrieved off-campus library materials. Implications for policy and future research are discussed.

About the Author(s)...

Terrell L. Strayhorn is Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling. Dr. Strayhorn is principal investigator on several research grants related to student persistence, academic achievement, and the impact of college on students. Dr. Strayhorn has conducted research on the impact of state merit-aid programs on access for low income students, graduate student persistence, and factors that influence achievement of Black and Hispanic college students. He has expertise in using national databases in educational research and teaches courses on statistics, research methods, and design. Dr. Strayhorn can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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