ICT and Academic Rigour in Middle Schools: An Australian case study

Document Type

Journal Article


North Carolina State University


Education and Arts






This article was originally published as: Chadbourne, R., Kershaw, P., Leadbetter, B., & McMahon, R. (2006). ICT and academic rigour in middle schools: An Australian case study. Meridian Middle School Computer Technologies Journal, 9(1), 1-4. Original available here


This project investigated the question: Does using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a teaching and learning tool in middle schools make a difference to academic rigour, and if so how? The project on society and environment was conducted at a Perth, Australia metropolitan middle school with two classes each completing two open-ended tasks (in digital and print mode) over two school terms, with the same teacher. Analysis of data showed that students displayed high quality intellectual work using both digital and print modes of learning. Overall the print mode provided greater academic rigour for students than the digital mode. This finding stands in contrast, if not contradiction, to another finding of the study; namely, that students working in digital mode engaged in more social and collaborative interaction and demonstrated more independent problem-solving ability than students working in print mode.