Contexts for evaluating educational software

Jones, A.; Scanlon, E.; Tosunoglu, C.; Morris, E.; Ross, S.; Butcher, P. and Greenberg, J. (1999). Contexts for evaluating educational software. Interacting with Computers, 11(5) pp. 499–516.



The evaluation of educational software is of concern to two particular academic communities: HCI and educational technology. There is a danger that usability features are considered at the expense of educational issues (and the converse of this is of course equally true). This paper considers how the notion and practice of evaluation in the educational community differs from that in HCI and also identifies areas of overlap. It then describes how particular influences and contexts have led one group of evaluators from the educational community to develop a context, interactions, attitudes and outcomes (CIAO!) model of evaluation for computer assisted learning (CAL) evaluation in distance education. The application of this model is illustrated by case studies from a recent evaluation project and related research. The paper concludes with a discussion of the issues raised for both communities by this model for evaluation.

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