The Future of Assessment for Personalized Naturalistic Learning

The Future of Assessment for Personalized Naturalistic Learning

Lauren Reinerman-Jones (University of Central Florida, Institute for Simulation and Training, USA), Martin S. Goodwin (University of Central Florida, Institute for Simulation and Training, USA) and Benjamin Goldberg (U.S. Army Research Laboratory, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2182-2.ch015
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Abstract

Education in general has transcended boundaries of a physical classroom and given rise to the phenomenon of ubiquitous learning (u-learning) and the ability to access knowledge on-demand. To understand the effect of learning as it is evolving, the present chapter puts forth a framework of formal, non-formal, and informal virtual learning environments discussed on the basis of nine components. As the learning environment changes, the role of assessment within this new learning paradigm must be reconsidered. The chapter concludes with a discussion of integrating assessment into intelligent tutoring systems and the importance of designing such systems as open architecture for accommodation of a variety of domains.
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An Updated Perspective Of Virtual Learning

There are many nuanced definitions of learning. For the purposes of this chapter, learning is defined simply as the process by which new knowledge and skills are acquired. It follows, then, that virtual learning is the process of acquiring new knowledge and skills facilitated by technology. In common practice, virtual learning is an umbrella term used to describe any form of technology-enabled instruction (Anohina, 2005). It may include computer-based instruction, online courses (synchronous and asynchronous), a combination of traditional and technology-enabled instruction (blended learning), and the use of Web 2.0 tools for instruction (wikis, blogs, apps, etc.). This broad characterization of virtual learning may be sufficient for instructional methods that are enhanced by technology, typically follow a prescribed curriculum, are structured to support formal individual or collaborative learning, and are most often delivered by educational institutions to meet specific academic objectives. However, while such generalizations may apply to technology-supported learning, they no longer appropriately capture the full range of technology-driven learning. It is one thing to use technology to accommodate an instructional strategy. It’s quite another when the technology becomes an integral part of the instructional strategy itself.

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