Ensuring Ethics and Equity With Classroom Assessments and Mobile Technology: Advancing Online Education

Ensuring Ethics and Equity With Classroom Assessments and Mobile Technology: Advancing Online Education

Nancy P. Gallavan (University of Central Arkansas, USA), Stephanie Huffman (University of Central Arkansas, USA) and Erin C. Shaw (University of Memphis, USA & University of Central Arkansas, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2122-8.ch011
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As online education continues to grow in both K-12 and higher education environments, teachers are becoming more attentive to the presence and power of their classroom assessments via mobile technology to enhance their self-efficacy. In online education, classroom assessments change both the role of the teacher and the function of the assessments. Mobile technology offers more choices for conducting assessments and providing feedback, accommodating learners' lives and locations, and increasing democratic participation and social inclusion. However, prevalent across online education are ethics and equity: two essential elements that can be difficult to guarantee with many approaches to classroom assessment via mobile technology. This chapter examines the essential elements of ethics and equity with classroom assessments via mobile technology in online education with recommended guidelines for teachers to enhance their self-efficacy.
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Technology supported education continues to grow in both K-12 and higher education environments (Haynie, 2015). K-12 school districts are beginning to transition to multiple forms of technology supported education through approaches designed to integrate mobile technologies in classrooms as well through initiatives offering purely online educational programs (Basham, Smith, Greer, & Marino, 2013; Corry & Stella, 2012). [For this reference, mobile technology encompasses all cellular communication (rather than the individual devices) conducted via the Internet as Code Division Multiple Access (DCMA) (Miao, Zander, Sung, & Slimane, 2016)].

Higher education has been offering technology supported education in the form of online education in sundry formats for 25 years. The emphasis on online delivery in higher education provides a means to increase revenue by reaching more students across a wider geographical population and offering courses for more students with nontraditional schedules (Caywood & Duckett, 2003; Gillett, Cole, Kingsbury, & Zidon, 2007). K-12 schools are now seeing the utility of reaching students across a wider geographical footprint and see online and mobile learning as a means of connecting with students anytime, anywhere. Additionally, school districts across the nation are beginning to require students to take online coursework as part of their required high school curriculum. Virtual high schools are becoming commonplace and offering whole degrees as well as individual (often advanced) classes for high school students unable to access courses or programs in their traditional high school context.

Specifically, colleges of education preparing undergraduate and graduate students for careers in K-12 school districts have experienced a push to increase online and mobile programming from students and administrators. Education candidates are requesting instruction via online formats to prepare for their careers where online education and mobile technologies are evident, for personal convenience, for the potential to provide individualized and personalized experiences, and for the possibility for quick feedback (Gillett et al., 2007).

Teachers in K-12 and higher education milieu need to realize that the role of the teacher and the function of the classroom-based assessments change as a result of the presence of online course formats and course formats supported by mobile technologies (Runyon & Von Holzen, 2003). In these contexts, the role of teacher shifts to a mentor of students and facilitator of learning; the function of the assessments redefines the course foundation and design frame.

Whereas face-to-face classroom instruction frequently emphasizes activity-based explorations (planned to fit within specified time limitations and physical restrictions), online education and education supported by mobile technology integration tends to focus on problem-based outcomes (planned to advance individual accessibility and customized flexibility). Technology supported education (online and classroom based) can be tailored for personalized practicality (connecting objectives with outcomes) via the delivery allowing students to participate with respect of their time, geography, and energy.

Specific to online education, the use of mobile technology becomes a necessity for online education for many students rather than an option as may be the case in face-to-face education. Ultimately, in technology supported education, verbal and written communications transfer to mobile technology in ways that enrich and extend the learning by providing every student with access to information and opportunities for expressing and exchanging their individual voice and choice (Arend, 2007).

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