Web 2.0 Resource & Tools Evaluation for Education


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  • Web 2.0 Resource & Tools Evaluation for Education

    2. 2. Why Evaluate Web Resources? The Web has spawned a plethora of information which can assist in educational delivery, the problem is determining it’s authenticity and accuracy and evaluating the benefits of usage with regard to educational outcomes. Criteria are needed to assess the suitability of web resources and tools for use in an educational context.
    3. 3. Some of the key criteria to evaluate both web 2.0 tools and web resources are: • • • • Relevance – in relation to the student cohort and curriculum Accessibility – technically and contextually Credibility and Authenticity - is the information reliable and unbiased Efficiency – does the tool / resource provide learning outcome efficiently
    4. 4. Relevance Web 2.0 tools and resources need to be evaluated as to their appropriateness for the desired learning outcomes and that they meet the learning goals of a given cohort (Coiro, 2011). Outcomes need to consider not only curriculum content but also other desired outcomes such as the encouragement of critical thinking and collaborative learning (Grosseck, 2009). Web resources used should ‘activate more than one of the multiple intelligences’ (Nelson, 2007) Web resources need to be evaluated from a cultural perspective as to whether the content has meaningful associations for the learners as well as reflecting ‘multicultural teaching and learning principals’ (Gorski, 2000)
    5. 5. Relevance (continued) Rubric tools can be useful in determining and ranking site relevance and providing the educator with an objective framework on which to base decisions.(Taylor, 2013)
    6. 6. Accessibility Evaluating web resources for educational purposes should not be solely the responsibility of the educationalist, it should also involve student input and feedback. (Hwang, Huang, & Tseng, 2004) and tools such as the EWSE (Educational Web Site Evaluator) have been designed to assess not only accessibility from a technical perspective but also from a perspective of educational relevance to the user (Cheng-Kui Huang & Huang, 2010) Accessibility needs to consider technical issues such as browser incompatibility, platform independence or the need for specialist software to access tools or sites (Gorski, 2000)
    7. 7. Accessibility (continued) One cannot assume all students have the necessary software or hardware to access resources and therefore learning activities should not be designed that could marginalise individual students or cohorts.(Selwyn, 2010) Web resources should meet W3C standards for accessibility. They should provide access for screen readers such as Dragon, provide the ability to increase font size and colours should meet contrast standards.
    8. 8. Credibility and Authenticity It is important to determine the credibility and authenticity of websites and this can be achieved in a variety of ways. The credentials of the author(s) should be verified, this is often be achieved through a web search or library search. Author bias should be investigated and any affiliation with groups or causes (Gorski, 2000). The extent to which the site has adhered to WC3 standards or taken accessibility into consideration can also indicate legitimacy, as can be the use of referencing and linking to source materials.(Berger & Trexler, 2010)
    9. 9. Credibility and Authenticity (continued) Other indicators of authenticity are that the site is regularly updated and that the information is not linked to the advertisement or promotion of a product or service.
    10. 10. Efficiency Many educators are keen to adopt the use of technology, however, frequently do not identify whether using it either adds value to the learning or indeed is an efficient method of delivering the learning. A matrix identifying why a given tool is useful and how it is best used is essential (Grosseck, 2009) A face to face discussion may be of more benefit and efficient than using a discussion forum so it is important to understand how and where the learning occurs(Boateng, Mbarika, & Thomas, 2010).
    11. 11. Efficiency (continued) Using a blog to gather student evidence of reflective learning may be an effective tool but requires evaluation against non technology methods used in the past (Bennett, Bishop, Dalgarno, Waycott, & Kennedy, 2012) As the number and range of new technologies increase, it is difficult for educators to gauge their actual value in practical terms (Burden & Atkinson, 2008) however, there is extensive research available on the ‘affordances’ of educational technology and the evaluation of web tools and resources should leverage off this data.
    12. 12. References Bennett, S., Bishop, A., Dalgarno, B., Waycott, J., & Kennedy, G. (2012). Implementing Web 2.0 technologies in higher education: A collective case study. Computers & Education, 59(2), 524-534. Berger, P., & Trexler, S. (2010). Choosing Web 2.0 Tools for Learning and Teaching in a Digital World: Santa Barbara. Boateng, R., Mbarika, V., & Thomas, C. (2010). When Web 2.0 becomes an organizational learning tool: evaluating Web 2.0 tools. Development and Learning in Organizations, 24(3), 17-20. Burden, K., & Atkinson, s. (2008). Evaluating pedagogical 'affordances' of media sharing Web 2.0 technologies. Paper presented at the Ascilite 2008, Melbourne.
    13. 13. References Cheng-Kui Huang, T., & Huang, C.-H. (2010). An integrated decision model for evaluating educational web sites from the fuzzy subjective and objective perspectives. Computers & Education, 55(2), 616-629. Coiro, J. J. (2011). Using Websites Wisely. [Article]. Educational Leadership, 68(5), 34. Gorski, P. (2000). Toward a Multicultural Approach for Evaluating Educational Web Sites. Multicultural Perspectives, 2(3), 44-48. Grosseck, G. (2009). To use or not to use web 2.0 in higher education? Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1(1), 478-482. Hwang, G.-J., Huang, T. C. K., & Tseng, J. C. R. (2004). A group-decision approach for evaluating educational web sites. Computers & Education, 42(1), 65-86.
    14. 14. References Nelson, K. J. (2007). Designing internet-based activities. In Teaching in the digital age: using the internet to increase student engagement and understanding Thousand Oaks,CA: Corwin Press, pp.1-17. Selwyn, N. (2010). Degrees of Digital Division: Reconsidering Digital Inequalities and Contemporary Higher Education. [Article]. RUSC: Revista De Universidad Y Sociedad Del Conocimiento, 7(1), 33-42. Taylor, L. C. (2013). iRubric: Evaluation of Web 2.0 Tools. . Retrieved 12/12/2013, from http://www.rcampus.com/rubricshowc.cfm?code=N5XA4A&sp=yes