Evaluating complex digital resources

Blake, Canan Tosunoglu; Davies, C.; Jones, A.; Morris, E. and Scanlon, E. (2003). Evaluating complex digital resources. ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology, 11(1) pp. 4–16.

URL: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/uwp/altj/200...


Squires (1999) discussed the gap between HCI (Human Computer Interaction) and the educational computing communities in their very different approaches to evaluating educational software. This paper revisits that issue in the context of evaluating digital resources, focusing on two approaches to evaluation: an HCI and an educational perspective. Squires and Preece's HCI evaluation model is a predictive model – it helps teachers decide whether or not to use educational software – whilst our own concern is in evaluating the use of learning technologies. It is suggested that in part the different approaches of the two communities relate to the different focus that each takes: in HCI the focus is typically on development and hence usability, whilst in education the concern is with the learner and teacher use. In the paper we consider a recent application of the CIAO! framework, developed at the Open University, to evaluating digital resources. We compare this with an evaluation model by Dorward, Reinke and Recker (2002): a recent approach from the HCI 'stable'. Interestingly, there are several similarities and consistencies between these approaches and there are also other recent indications that the communities may be drawing on each other's work, in at least some areas.

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