Friday, May 05, 2006

IAEA 2006 Conference

22, 23, 25, 26 May 2006 @ Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, Singapore
Paper presentation: Assessment using Mobile Phone - An Exploratory Study
by Cheow Cher Wong & Rajenthiran Sellan, SEAB; Lup Yuen Lee, NCS
In this presentation, the presenters shared their attempt to use the mobile phone to conduct testing. The subjects were from a primary school class, who the answered several questions (EL, Grammar) via the phone.

Basically, I think, from this 'experiment', 2 key things were surfaced - logistics and the value-add of technology (in the way it was used) - and these are very real issues that we will face and have to deal with.

The logistics caution us on the possible problems - such as software/application download, compatibility, etc. These are normally issues that are underplayed - though we agree that pedagogy matters most when T&L concerns. On the other hand, it is necessary to channel a reasonable amount of attention to this for the project to succeed or to make it possible to happen. It is not jus the job of TAs. No point invest huge amounts of effort and time, yet yield insignificant benefits (Well, don't get me wrong, I'm not dampering the spirit of experimentation).

Next, from the illustration, I feel that it might not have done justice to the mobile phone technology in assessment. The illustration was not strong enough to show how technology was employed to value-add the learning process. I belief the traditional pen-and-paper technology would have fared far better.

However, one point to note when I saw the similar technology being used in a different way/ context; and I was pretty convinced with its usefulness in the way it was employed. That was during the "Innovationation" exhibition in October this year. It envisioned that, mobile phone technology can be employed to give just-in-time and just-enough information, as well as a short quiz. This was contextualised with the environment.

For instance, there exists a wireless transmission of information (eg. background/history) of the Victoria Theatre. As far as one is nearby, the handphone can be connected to its hub to download and read information about the venue. It also came with a quiz. Hey, the first thing came to my mind was "Learning Journey". That will be interesting, isn't it?

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