Evaluating EdTech Through Learning Sciences

Evaluating EdTech Through Learning Sciences

Evaluating EdTech Through Learning Sciences

Educational Technology has taken the country by a buzz, and not without reason. The increased market for growth and efficiency has only created opportunities for companies to expand their horizons. This offering covers the number of ways of creating online courses, editing content that a user wishes to upload, and the ease at which the created courses are published for online consumption. All these factors do make a difference when inviting potential customers into their fold, thereby providing a combination of ways to perform a few basic operations.

It isn't just companies that witness this jump in education. The younger, smarter generation expect better resources than before, and root for efficiency and usability over factors such as the number of courses a specific company offers. As technology progresses by the day, students expect to see the latest trends in learning make their way to the classroom space. And if you really wish to evaluate the progress these companies are making in the field of educational technology, one good tool to use would be learning sciences.

What is Learning Sciences?

Learning sciences is an interdisciplinary field that looks at the pedagogy behind learning and how people learn. In simple words, Learning sciences is a subject that tries to understand the process of learning and dives in deep to find the number of ways, and the most ideal way of learning.

This does come in handy, as it helps you assemble, distinguish and choose the most suitable EdTech apps that will aid you through your learning. And just for you, Learning science researchers have developed criteria to assess the quality of e-learning, which will further help you make the right decisions for your classroom space.



1. Is it inducing Passive Learning?

Passive activities involve behavior which is open to change. When you're able to convey information to a student who listens to the information you share, and accepts what they hear instead of openly indulging in discussions, it goes to show that your program, course or teaching style increases passive learning. What passive learning does is simply create a space for the student to receive information, and does the least amount of help.

2. Does it help increase Active Learning?

Active learning suggests movement while acquiring information. It could be as simple as copying text from a book, or highlighting information you wish to return to in order to fully grasp the subject. EdTech apps that support active learning perform better than their counterpart (passive learning), in the sense that this provides room for more than just receiving information.

3. How Constructive is it?



Constructive activities are a step ahead of being just active - these require a learner to generate ideas that are their own, or come up with a solution to reach a specified output. It could be an idea on how to split work amongst members of a group project to get the most out of the experience, or how to weave your thoughts or ideas to come up with solutions for a specific coding problem.

4. It doesn't get better than Interactive Learning

When a student interacts with their peers to come up with an effective solution, and constructs said solution collectively, the chances of them bringing about the best solution is high. It has been noticed that when students that partake in activities involving both Constructive and Interactive Learning experience very high learning gains. These higher learning gains are due to the higher level of cognitive engagement with the task and with their peers.

5. Is the Mode of Instruction direct?

Educators are trained to teach less and extract more, but often they fall into the trap of engaging in direct instruction and prompt while inducing knowledge. A good learning design provides learners space to explore and arrive at solution rather than direct instruction. A good E-learning platform will provide the learner with space to venture, collaborate, design and negotiate while acquiring knowledge to produce higher gains. As a teacher, your role is to facilitate, to help guide the discussion and collaboration amongst learners.

6. Quality of Feedback

If the EdTech product features a feedback prompt that contains more than a simple 'yes' or 'no', then it can be considered. Feedback should guide learners that point them in the direction of the solution, rather than spoon-feeding the answer. Interactive and meaningful experiences enhance learner capacity to assimilate, recognize and contextualize knowledge in differing contexts.

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