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Appears in:
Pages: 298-307
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain

ON THE EVALUATION OF LEARNING WITHIN TECHNOLOGY-SUPPORTED PHYSICAL LEARNING SPACES

B. Bligh, I. Pearshouse, S. Lewthwaite

University of Nottingham (UNITED KINGDOM)
For some time institutions, governments and funding bodies worldwide have been investing large amounts of money into the construction of physical learning spaces supported by various kinds of learning and teaching technology. Because of this, an interesting debate is currently taking place among academics and teaching staff, funding bodies, the management of educational institutions and even learners themselves about the effectiveness of these spaces.

This paper builds upon a recently completed study of learning space evaluations within UK universities, which showed that most such evaluations seek to demonstrate post-occupancy and a degree of student popularity, rather than the effect upon learning and teaching outcomes. We argue that these typical approaches, which are confined to a small niche within the possible spectrum of learning space evaluations, are not completely irrelevant but lack sufficiency in demonstrating impact upon users such as learners, teachers and support staff.

Our aim within this paper is to chart an alternative course for the evaluation of technology-supported learning spaces. We begin by presenting a framework and an associated methodology which can be used to describe evaluations of learning spaces using a common vocabulary, thereby allowing the detection of patterns within existing evaluations. We describe the components of an evaluation which must be considered: the intentions which render the evaluation necessary; the designs, context and practice being evaluated; and the resultant aspects of evaluative procedures and tools which must be considered.

Most significantly, we continue by demonstrating how such a framework can be used generatively to propose and create new evaluations for technology-supported learning spaces which assess a range of outcomes in a richer and more qualitative way, with greater emphasis on the impact of a space upon learning and teaching.

We conclude that more effective and appropriate evaluation can be undertaken primarily as a result of considering appropriate evaluation design, within a framework such as that we propose here. We emphasise the importance of considering the ecology within which any learning space is located, and caution against approaches that rely largely on the development of new evaluative technical tools or the generation of larger quantities of data.
@InProceedings{BLIGH2009ONT1,
author = {Bligh, B. and Pearshouse, I. and Lewthwaite, S.},
title = {ON THE EVALUATION OF LEARNING WITHIN TECHNOLOGY-SUPPORTED PHYSICAL LEARNING SPACES},
series = {1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN09 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-9801-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona ,Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {298-307}}
TY - CONF
AU - B. Bligh AU - I. Pearshouse AU - S. Lewthwaite
TI - ON THE EVALUATION OF LEARNING WITHIN TECHNOLOGY-SUPPORTED PHYSICAL LEARNING SPACES
SN - 978-84-612-9801-3/2340-1117
PY - 2009
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2009
CI - Barcelona ,Spain
JO - 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN09 Proceedings
SP - 298
EP - 307
ER -
B. Bligh, I. Pearshouse, S. Lewthwaite (2009) ON THE EVALUATION OF LEARNING WITHIN TECHNOLOGY-SUPPORTED PHYSICAL LEARNING SPACES, EDULEARN09 Proceedings, pp. 298-307.
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