Using Mobile Phones for Educational Assessment

Using Mobile Phones for Educational Assessment

Fusun Sahin (University at Albany, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8239-9.ch010
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Abstract

Mobile assessment (m-assessment) is a natural extension of incorporating technology into educational assessment. M-assessment is an emerging field, with foundational studies first published in 2005, but has drawn interest from scholars from all around the world, who have since examined the delivery and effects of m-assessment. Current research encompasses the use of m-assessment in various contexts, including mobile environments, classrooms, work-based settings, informal learning settings, and distance education settings. Current studies also report the effects of m-assessment on student achievement and attitude, as well as highlighting advantages and concerns regarding the administration of m-assessment. The article concludes with a statement of future research imperatives in four areas: extending the purpose of m-assessment, extending the context in which m-assessment can be used, improving delivery of m-assessment, and advancing research to evaluate effects of m-assessment.
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Overview

M-assessment is rooted in incorporating technology into educational assessment. The National Research Council (2001) stated that technological advances had enormous potential for advancing the science, design, and use of educational assessment, especially in classroom assessment context. It was suggested that influence of technology would spread beyond classroom tests and high stakes tests were seemed as influenced. For example, Bennett (1999) claimed that test design, item generation, task presentation, scoring, and testing purpose and location for high stakes testing would be influenced. Incorporating technology into educational assessment started with implementing computer-based assessments, then mobile devices such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDA) and iPads and iPods were used. Almost all affordances of these little computers were collected and in one single piece of equipment: mobile phones. Educational assessment also benefited from mobile phones.

The earliest studies on m-assessment were published in mid-2000s. Although m-assessment is an emerging topic, its emergence attracted the attention of scholars around the world. To start with, Dr. McGuire at Anglia Polytechnic University, United Kingdom is one of the first scholars published in m-assessment. McGuire (2005) utilized mobile phones to collect student feedback via automated mobile phone calls. Dr. Virvou and Dr. Alepis at University of Piraeus, Greece are also among the first scholars published in m-assessment. Virvou and Alepis (2005) assessed students’ writing performance and provide feedback with mobile phones. Dr. Susono and Dr. Shimomura (2006) at Mie University, Japan are also among the pioneers who made use of mobile phones for presenting in class survey questions in Quick Response (QR, i.e., visual square code) format. Following years, m-assessment studies focused on delivering computer adaptive tests via mobile phones with Dr. Triantafillou, Dr. Georgiadou, and Dr. Economides at University of Macedonia, Greece publishing the first studies on delivering computer adaptive tests via mobile devices in 2008 (Triantafillou, Georgiadou, & Economides, 2008a & 2008b).

As one of the earliest studies, McGuire (2005) benefited from the calling function of mobile phones by presenting some questions to students via automated calls. Automated call system was developed to use outside of classroom for self and peer assessment, as well as collecting student data easily and reducing teacher workload. Automated calls reached out students who were working on their end of year project and asked them questions about their progress. McGuire interviewed 25 students benefited from m-assessment and their teachers to learn about their experiences with the system. Students narrated that using m-assessment increased their motivation, facilitated self-directed learning, and improved student-teacher relationships. Consistent with students’ experiences, teachers also observed that students’ motivation and self-esteem increased, students took responsibility for their learning and became independent learners, and the system improved teacher-student relationships.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Application (App): Small software packages that can be installed to smart phones to enhance the capabilities of such devices using existent hardware.

iPhone®: A specific brand of smart phone, which is uses IOS operating system.

Mobile Learning (m-learning): Learning activities accessed through mobile devices preferably available to anyone, at anytime and anywhere.

Smart Phones: A specific type of mobile phone that works based on an operating system where the users can update the operating system and install new software packages to their devices.

Mobile Devices: Handheld electronic devices that can be used anytime, anywhere, by anyone through an interface.

Mobile Assessment (M-Assessment): A specific type of educational assessment where the delivery of assessment is done via mobile devices.

Mobile Phones: A specific type of mobile device that has calling and texting functions.

Educational Assessment: Measuring and attributing values about learners regarding their capabilities and experiences within the context of education and learning.

Educational Testing: A specific case for educational assessment including the process of measuring capabilities for demonstrating mastery of a skill or knowledge of a content domain of learners, using instruments constructed for this purpose called tests.

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