Mobile Phones for Assessment: Anywhere, Anytime, by Anyone

Mobile Phones for Assessment: Anywhere, Anytime, by Anyone

Füsun Şahin (American Institutes for Research, USA) and Dominic Mentor (Columbia University, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 32
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9351-5.ch005
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This chapter focuses on using mobile assessment (m-assessment) for teaching and learning in formal and informal education settings. M-assessment has been helpful in making traditional classrooms more interactive and support the individual and class cognitive wealth. Unique affordances of m-assessment can also extend its benefits to digital classrooms, informal and formal learning settings, professional development settings, and other places where learning happens. M-assessment has increased accessibility to assessment, making it available anywhere, anytime, and to anyone.
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Assessment via mobile means, mobile phones in particular (referred to as mobile assessment or m-assessment in this chapter), has increased opportunities for formative and summative assessments. Mobile assessments can be used to assess various learning goals, ranging from basic goals, such as checking for students’ knowledge of facts, to more complex learning goals, such as building critical thinking skills. Mobile assessment has also increased accessibility to feedback— any user can receive feedback anywhere, at any time. With the help of mobile assessment, teachers and students can generate quicker and more immediate feedback, which promotes the link between learning and tracking learning and increases student engagement. Moreover, the anywhere, anytime, and anyone availability of m-assessment aligns well with the saturated technology environments that students traverse in and out of school. As such, m-assessment can facilitate the measurement of performance and success in many civic, professional, and entrepreneurial contexts and serve as an integral – and perhaps seamless – part of these contexts.

This chapter will offer a variety of mobile assessment examples from different contexts and will also highlight their transferability to learning and education. While some examples will be offered from settings outside of learning and educational—such as sports, physical and psychological health, museums, and civic activism—such examples will provide a progressive overview of how m-assessment continues to grow and evolve into innovative everyday practices. The main focus of the chapter will be using mobile assessment for in teaching and learning for individuals’ personal development as well as for societal change in formal and informal education contexts. As m-assessment becomes an integral and almost a seamless part of education, before delving into mobile assessment, we first need to understand mobile learning (mLearning).

Mobile learning is the use of mobile or handheld technology to enable learning anytime and anywhere. Learning can take place in a variety of ways: users can use mobile devices to access educational resources, connect with others, create content both inside and outside of classrooms, and generate evidence of learning by taking mobile assessments. Even though this chapter will focus on using mobile assessments within the mobile learning context, we will also discuss how to leverage mobile devices in various other teaching and learning contexts. We believe that such discussions on using mobile assessments in contemporary classrooms can be applied to other cultural, personal, corporate and nonprofit spaces. Since mobile devices are highly accessible, and in some cases the only available technological tools, mobile learning becomes a natural and critical part of any learning infrastructure.

As mobile-learning can happen anywhere and anytime, the concept of a classroom has become more fluid. Today’s contemporary classrooms are not bounded by physical space, but rather can be imagined and realized as any place where students can engage in student-centered, active learning using various technological means. Some examples of contemporary classrooms are kitchens, museums, one’s commute, online massive open online courses (MOOCs), subscription-based online courses (e.g., Udemy, Khan Academy), and app-based skill building (e.g., Scratch, Duolingo). Unlike traditional classrooms—held in physical spaces created for formal teaching and learning—contemporary classrooms are not restricted by physical environment or fixed times. For example, every learner in a MOOC environment can progress through the courses at their own pace and return to content as needed. MOOCs and other similar services generally operate outside of traditional educational time frames and deadlines. There can be staggered start dates to set deadlines for assignments and grade submissions, or a course may not have suggested deadlines if students’ progression is based on accomplishing milestones rather than attendance or time spent. Contemporary classrooms offer more temporal and physical freedom to the learners than traditional classrooms.

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