Methods for evaluating learner activities with new technologies: Guidelines for the Lab@Future Project

Mwanza-Simwami, Daisy; Engeström, Yrjö and Amon, Tomaz (2009). Methods for evaluating learner activities with new technologies: Guidelines for the Lab@Future Project. International Journal on E-Learning, 8(3) pp. 361–384.

URL: http://www.editlib.org/p/26176

Abstract

The task of evaluating learner activities with new technologies is becoming increasingly complex because traditional evaluation strategies do not adequately consider the unique and often dynamic characteristics of learners and activities carried out. Learner activities are largely driven by motives and relationships that exist in the context in which learning takes place. The article draws insights from theories of human activity and learning in order to understand learners and activities carried out using new technologies. Theory-informed guidelines were abstracted from activity theory and the theory of expansive learning and presented as a method for evaluating learner activities in an international project funded by the European Union (EU), specifically, Lab@Future.We describe basic features of the theories and use a case study to present an example implementation of the theory-informed guidelines used as a method for evaluating learner activities with new technologies. The ultimate goal of this study was to establish a method for applying activity theory-based pedagogical insight to the evaluation of learner activities in the Lab@Future project. The article concludes by reflecting on the benefits of using theory informed guidelines as a method for evaluating learner activities with new technologies.

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