Does Ubiquitous Learning Call for Ubiquitous Forms of Formal Evaluation? An Evaluand Oriented Responsive Evaluation Model

By Iván M. Jorrín-Abellán and Robert E. Stake.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

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Ubiquitous Learning is an emerging field that deeply relies on the Ubiquitous Computing paradigm reflecting the pervasive presence of computers in everyday living. In these days of technology reshaping almost everything, it is quite difficult to escape awareness that new forms of living have already arrived. Thereby, this new way of living is also promoting new learning scenarios where handheld devices allow our students to be connected anytime-anywhere.
Ubiquity in time and place also brings ubiquity in expectation and interpretation. However broad the scatter, ubiquitous technology by itself does not guarantee that practical and scholastic learning will take place in those scenarios. A step forward is needed to reflect formally and informally upon current Ubiquitous Learning practices. Educators, developers and curriculum designers should work together in the processes of designing, enacting and evaluating Ubiquitous Learning Environments (ULE). They should become more aware of whether or not a ULE is actually promoting new learning/teaching practices (and perhaps impeding old ones). This is a formidable challenge since much of Ubiquitous Learning is hidden from view, not prominent in experience, and requires special excavating to find.
Ubiquitous Learning necessitates constant innovation due to the incessant growth of new Instructional Computerized Tools. Standard approaches to formal evaluation have difficulty in dynamic, non-summative situations where practitioners play never-ending active and creative roles. To cope with this situation we address the perceived need to adapt and extend traditional evaluation models to these new circumstances. Notably, we will take into account some relevant issues within the UL field such as the increasingly elastic boundaries of Education, emerging agency issues, the serious recognition of learner differences, and the mix of representational modes of our mediated society. A more responsive and situated approach to evaluation seems to us the strategy to better illuminate the shadowed sides of UL.

Keywords: Ubiquitous Learning, Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, Responsive Evaluation

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.71-82. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.152MB).

Dr. Iván M. Jorrín-Abellán

Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Center for Instructional Research and Curriculum Evaluation, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Champaign, Illinois, USA

Iván M. Jorrin-Abellan received the M.A. and the PhD degrees in Psychology and Pedagogy from University of Valladolid, Spain, in 2001 and 2007, respectively. He is an Associate Professor at the same University.His current research efforts are devoted to the study of the educational implications of Computer Supported Collaborative Learning with special emphasis on the evaluation of these particular educational settings. At the present time he is working at the University of Illiniois at Urbana-Champaign with a Posdoctoral Fulbright Fellowship.

Dr. Robert E. Stake

Director, Center for Instructional Research and Curriculum Evaluation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL, USA

Professor Stake received his B.A. in Mathematics with a minor in naval science and Spanish from the University of Nebraska in 1950. He graduated with an M.A. in educational psychology in 1954 from this university. In 1958, he received his Ph.D. in psychology from Princeton University. From 1955 to 1958, he was a Psychometric Fellow at the Educational Testing Service. Then, an Associate Professor and Faculty Research Coordinator of the College of Education at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. In 1963, he arrived at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1975, he became director of CIRCE. He has been active in the program evaluation profession and has promoted an approach to evaluation methods called “responsive evaluation.”