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Assessing Efficacy of Ed Tech Tools

by Patrícia Gomes

EdSurge

Article excerpt

Five Things About Efficacy That Should Be Intuitive, But Are Not

In a recent chat with EdSurge, Means and Rochelle detailed some of the most important features of efficacy in education, particularly in EdTech tools. Most of them should be intuitive, both say, but very often they are not.

Our take

Whether Ed Tech “Works” Can’t Be Answered Until You Know What You Want a Tool to Do

It’s really not rocket science. The question about whether various ed tech tools really “work” is one that can be answered based on some very simple considerations, say the director and co-director of the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI. What do you need to know?

The answer starts with the expected learning outcome, say these authors, and teachers already know that. The process for assessing the value of ed tech tools is no different from assessing the efficacy of any teaching methods. That assessment requires a clearly defined, desired outcome; the alignment of the selected tools with the teaching purpose; adequate time to assess effectiveness; and systematic measurement. The question of “does this tool work?” is a question that can’t be answered absent an understanding of the purpose, approach and collection of data.

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