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Facing the challenge in evaluating technology use in mobile environments

McAndrew, Patrick; Taylor, Josie and Clow, Doug (2010). Facing the challenge in evaluating technology use in mobile environments. Open Learning: The Journal of Open and Distance Learning, 25(3) pp. 233–249.

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The process of developing innovative mobile approaches to informal and formal learning is challenging, not least in needing to satisfy stakeholders with diverse interests in the technology, the pedagogy and the overall system. Some approaches to evaluation may focus on examining the nature and quality of learning that occurs, while other methods may take a user-centred approach to understand interactions with the systems. In this paper we highlight a methodology that attempts to address these two analytical issues in parallel, and to communicate the results to stakeholders. The methodology is grounded in cultural historical activity theory and is compatible with other views emerging that such evaluation can have multiple levels. The method applies task analysis to examine the conflicts that emerge when learners are interacting with technological systems in an informal learning setting. Results from a trial involving first-aiders are used to illustrate the techniques as they were applied as part of a European project that developed a collaborative mobile learning environment. The method has been repeated in other studies and is suggested to provide a valuable tool to reflect on understanding and enable the sharing of

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2010 The Open University
ISSN: 0268-0513
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetEuropean Union
Keywords: mobile learning; activity theory; trials; task model
Academic Unit/Department: Institute of Educational Technology
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Centre for Research in Computing (CRC)
Item ID: 23820
Depositing User: Patrick McAndrew
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2010 10:43
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2012 20:29
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