A meta-analysis of wearables research in educational settings published 2016–2019

Abstract

The integration of wearables in education environments to enhance teaching and learning is an emerging area of research. However, many studies lack the rigor of formal research designs and results are inconclusive. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to examine the overall effect of wearable use on learning and motivation outcomes and describe the characteristics of the studies that comprise the body of quantitative wearables research. Searches for wearables research were conducted in three databases resulting in 144 results with duplicates removed. Coding based on specific inclusion criteria resulted in 12 studies with 20 effect sizes published between January 2016 and August 2019. The overall weighted mean effect size for 20 learning and motivation outcomes was .6373 (SE = .1622). It should be noted that while this result was statistically significant (z = 3.9292, p = .0001) with 95% CI [.3194, 9552], the heterogeneity was also statistically significant. Additional weighted mean effect sizes relating to study characteristics were significant while meeting the assumption of homogeneity. A discussion of the findings, implications, and limitations are provided.

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Appendix

Appendix

Field parameters for codebook

Study ID Uniquely identifies a study; first author’s last name and year
Coder The individual who coded the entry
Publication type Publication type “1 Journal article, 2 Book chapter, 3 Dissertation, 4 Conference proceeding, 5 Technical report, 6 Other, 7 Unknown”
Published date Publication date “1 2016, 2 2017, 3 2018, 4 2019”
Study information  
 Continent The continent where study was conducted “1 North America, 2 South America, 3 Asia, 4 Africa, 5 Australia, 6 Europe, 7 Antarctica”
 Study environment Study environment “1 K-12, 2 Higher Education, 3 Business/Industry/Military, 4 Healthcare, 5 Other (type in), 6 More than one (type in)”
 Participant age Age(s) of participants “1 Adults 25 + , 2 Adults 18–24, 3 Minors < 18, 4 Adults 65 + , 5 More than one (type in”
 Participant gender Gender of participants “1 Mixed, 2 Male, 3 Female”
 Pedagogical strategies The pedagogical strategies used within the study conducted “1 Problem-based, 2 Project-based/Collaborative, 3 Game-based, 4 Task-based, 5 None, 6 Other (Type in)”
 Wearables Type of wearable(s) used in the study “1 Implantables, 2 Smartwatches, 3 Smart Jewelry, 4 Fitness Trackers, 5 Smart Clothing, 6 Head-Mounted Displays, 7 Health Related Devices, 8 Sensors, 9 Other (type in), 10 More than one (type in)”
Method quality  
 Selection bias Systematic differences between groups at baseline “1 Low risk, 2 High risk, 3 Unclear risk”
 Performance bias Something other than the intervention affects groups differently (blinding of participants) “1 Low risk, 2 High risk, 3 Unclear risk”
 Attrition bias Participant loss affects initial group comparability “1 Low risk, 2 High risk, 3 Unclear risk”
 Detection bias Method of outcome assessment affects group comparisons (blinding of data collectors) “1 Low risk, 2 High risk, 3 Unclear risk”
 Reporting bias Selective reporting of outcomes “1 Low risk, 2 High risk, 3 Unclear risk”
 Reliability provided Was reliability assessed? “1 Yes, 2 No”
 Validity provided Was validity assessed? “1 Yes, 2 No”
Design  
 Research design Study design “1 Two-group pretest–posttest, 2 Two-group posttest, 3 One-group pretest–posttest, 4 One-group posttest, 5 Unclear, 6 Other (type in)”
 Time relative to treatment Time after treatment was measured “1 Immediately, 2 Days, 3 Over one week”
 Sample assignment Type of sample assignment “1 Individual, 2 Group, 3 Program area, 4 Unclear”
 Sample design Type of sampling “1 Random, 2 Matching, 3 Convenience, 4 Quota, 5 Other (type in)”
Sample size  
 Total sample size Total reported sample size “type in”
 Treatment sample size Total reported treatment sample size “type in”
 Control sample size Total reported control sample size “type in”
Outcomes  
 Outcome measured The outcome measured in the study “1 Cognitive, 2 Affective, 3 Psychomotor, 4 Motivation, 5 Engagement, 6 Support/Performance, 7 Functionality/Design Evolution, 8 Evaluation, 9 Applications, 10 Other (type in)”
 Construct The construct(s) used in this study “type in”
 Measure scale The measurement scale of the outcome “1 Continuous, 2 Discrete, 3 Ordinal, 4 Nominal, 5 Other (type in)”
 Effect size The effect size of outcome, if reported “type in”
Exclusion  
 Reason for exclusion The reason the publication is excluded from this meta-analysis “1 Insufficient data to calculate effect size, 2 High risk of bias, 3 Wearable application unclear, 4 Other (type in)”

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Havard, B., Podsiad, M. A meta-analysis of wearables research in educational settings published 2016–2019. Education Tech Research Dev (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-020-09789-y

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Keywords

  • Wearables
  • Learning outcomes
  • Meta-analysis
  • Technology integration