Smith, H. E., Blackburn, J. J., Stair, K. S., & Burnett, M. F. (2018). Assessing the effects of the smartphone as a learning tool on the academic achievement of school-based agricultural education students in Louisiana. Journal of Agricultural Education, 59(4), 270-285. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2018.04270
The purpose of this preexperimental study was to determine the effects of a blended learning environment on school-based agricultural education students’ ability to identify 30 species of trees by leaves. Louisiana agriculture teachers were recruited based on district policy regarding whether students could use smartphones for learning in the classroom. The treatment group utilized smartphone technology to aid in the identification of tree species, while the comparison group utilized traditional, printed materials. All students were taught via guided inquiry and engaged in multiple formative assessments during the course of the research study. No statistically significant differences were found between the groups on the posttest tree leaf identification. It is recommended that future research be conducted over a longer duration of time to better measure long-term performance and learning gains. Further, more research should be conducted to determine if motivational differences exist based on utilizing smartphones for learning. Teachers who desire to incorporate the smartphone into blended learning environments can do so without diminishing student achievement.