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H809: Activity 4.4: Podcast

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Activity 4.4: Podcast on examining impact (30 minutes)

Listen to the Week 4 podcast. Peter Twining and Gráinne Conole discuss some of the challenges associated with examining the impact of ICT in education. Peter also describes his research into Second Life.


Research methods for looking at impact of ICT in Education

Conole: Comparison not necessarily

Small scale in depth are fairly easy but not easily transferable

Europe: contextual, mixed methods

States: large scale evidence-based

Twining: driven by US Gov.

Too complex, tiny change can have dramatic impact

Conole: dynamics of group, differences in group, tutor interactions

Twining: measuring the wrong things

e.g. BECTA impact of ICT on student's results in exams - not much as kids are not using ICT in lessons and tests. The things that they learn in ICT are not the things tests measure

Stephen Heppel - 1900s everyone rides on horses and suddenly car invented. Gov wants measure of impact car is having. Take people from cars put them back on horses and measure effect on results in gymkhana

Conole: Surgeon from 1800s in modern hospital would be lost but teacher from 1800s would be fine in modern classroom

Twining: Second Life -

People embedded within current system and cannot think of anything radically different.

Stick them in 3D virtual environment

150 kids 13-17 and stuck them on island. Provide support but them to take responsibility for own learning. Do not know age, gender, cultural background.

Chat log everything

Forum/Wiki for document analysis

Informal interviews/questionnaires

Interviews in world

Is there evidence for in world skills development (geometry, coordinates, measurements) script in world (C-programming)

Knowledge- age skills, collaborative working etc.

Looking at what they are doing, how they progress in dealing with each other in forum etc. Asking teachers and children for ideas on progress

Feed back to staff on team and kids and see if they agree

Results may be 3D environment or may be because they feel safe in this environment.

Conole: complex, exciting area. Look at sociology, globalisation, ICT research.

Methodological challenges are huge and how we translate up to policy makers and down to practitioners is also so important.



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