Harnessing Mobile Technology for Student Assessment

Harnessing Mobile Technology for Student Assessment

Jeffrey R. Stowell (Eastern Illinois University, USA), Jordan Tanner (Eastern Illinois University, USA) and Erin Tomasino (Eastern Illinois University, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8239-9.ch040


This article provides an overview of using mobile technology in the classroom to enhance assessment of student learning. Although research on mobile devices in education is still in the embryonic stage, students generally have positive views about using their mobile devices for classroom polling and backchannel communication. However, there are also several challenges including the increased opportunity to be distracted when using mobile devices for other purposes, cost of the technology, and privacy concerns. The information presented will serve as a focal point for future research regarding the use of mobile technology in the classroom, and may help teachers to find new ways to reach their students.
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Technology has influenced the mechanism of assessment of student learning throughout the history of education. One common element of using technology in education is the ability to transmit information simultaneously to many people. Whether it was the chalkboard, an overhead projector, or PowerPoint presentation, in every case the technology provided an efficient way to communicate information in a one-way route from teacher to student. In turn, assessment of student learning traditionally occurred through either oral questioning or taking written examinations. Some instructors seized the opportunity to formalize assessment in standardized tests, which were created initially to measure content knowledge and, later, general reasoning and critical thinking skills (Shavelson, Schneider, & Shulman, 2007).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Twitter: A social media tool for sharing brief messages with others, often using a mobile device.

Backchannel Communication: Communication that occurs among audience members while listening to a lecture.

Clickers: Handheld keypads used by audience members for sending polling responses.

Mobile Devices: Handheld portable computers that can be operated through touch screen gestures or small keyboards.

Digital Divide: The distinction between those who have and those who don’t have access to technology and the associated training in how to use it.

Student Assessment: A means of collecting data from students regarding their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

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