Exploring Formative Assessment with a Project Using Mobile Phones

By Reshan Richards.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper describes an instructional intervention that explored formative assessment through students’ use of mobile phone devices. This activity is a part of broader research related to the author’s dissertation, which focuses on meaningful formative assessment through multimedia production. The intent of the learning design was to leverage aspects of constructivist learning theory, iterative instructional design, authentic assessment tasks, and elements of an emerging mobile learning theory. Qualitative research methods were employed to gain information about the following question: In what ways does formative assessment through oral responses captured by mobile phones help students’ understanding of algebraic inequalities? The learning activity took place at a co-ed New York City independent school in an 8th grade algebra class with 14 students and one teacher. The teacher posed an open-ended question and prompted the students to come up with an oral response to describe a situation involving algebraic inequalities that they may encounter in their lives. These oral responses were submitted via cell phones, and they were captured and shared via CinchCast, a free web-based service. Using a rubric with explicit criteria and expectations as a guide (Wiggins, 2009), the students received peer and teacher feedback (Pitler, Hiubbel, Kuhn, and Malensoki, 2007). They were then asked to make revisions and resubmit their oral response several times until the conclusion of the project, which spanned a 3 week period.

Keywords: Formative Assessment, Mobile Phones, Mobile Learning, Mobile Theory, Constructivism, Instructional Design

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp.91-102. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 7.424MB).

Reshan Richards

Doctoral Student, Communications, Computing, and Technology in the Education Department at, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

Reshan Richards is a doctoral student in Communications, Computing, and Technology in the Education Department at Teachers College, Columbia University. In the Instructional Technology and Media program, his research focus is design-based methodology, qualitative formative assessment, and mobile devices. He received his Ed.M from Harvard University and his B.A. from Columbia University. He was the Assistant Director of Technology at The Town School in New York City until June 2011, and he is now the Director of Educational Technology at Montclair Kimberly Academy in New Jersey. Reshan is the founder of The Constructivist Toolkit, LLC, which created the Explain Everything app for the iPad.