Academic journal article Research in Learning Technology

Practical Assessment on the Run - iPads as an Effective Mobile and Paperless Tool in Physical Education and Teaching

Academic journal article Research in Learning Technology

Practical Assessment on the Run - iPads as an Effective Mobile and Paperless Tool in Physical Education and Teaching

Article excerpt

Responsible Editor: Meg O'Reilly, Southern Cross University, Australia.

Copyright: © 2015 R. Franklin and J. Smith. Research in Learning Technology is the journal of the Association for Learning Technology (ALT), a UK-based professional and scholarly society and membership organisation. ALT is registered charity number 1063519. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.

Received: 25 March 2015; Accepted: 22 November 2015; Published: 18 December 2015

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There is growing interest in the potential to extend the use of mobile technology in pre-service teacher education. Research indicates that replacing traditional and time-consuming methods of written assessment and provision of feedback can significantly enhance the assessment process (Barnett et al . 2002; Bennett 2002; Buzzetto-More and Alade 2006; Byers 2001; Vendlinski and Stevens 2002). Gallo et al . (2013) argue that teaching large numbers of students, time restrictions, complex assessment procedures and associated record-keeping are the main barriers for effective assessment in physical education. However, little research currently supports the use of digital technology to improve the time-consuming written process of assessing practical performance tasks of pre-service teachers particularly in physical education. This pilot study aimed to evaluate the potential of a mobile paperless assessment method using iPads and the effectiveness of online rubrics. Mobile devices such as iPads can be easily used in the assessment of physical education performance tasks that can link to the university Blackboard site where student grades are stored. The following questions framed the focus of the study:

1. Whether the use of iPads with a dictation function in combination with online rubrics would improve the time-consuming written process of assessing pre-service teachers undertaking physical performance tasks by tutors.

2. The relationship between the use of online rubrics and pre-service teacher's perceptions about assessment requirements and expectations and methods of receiving feedback.

To provide a context for the study, the next section examines the literature relating to various aspects of assessment in pre-service teacher education, especially the use of mobile technology and rubrics. The studies mentioned in this review have relevance to the current study as they predominantly examine rubric-based assessment in practical performance tasks.

Literature review

The majority of research relating to the use of mobile technology, such as iPads, for supporting learning has been directed towards primary and secondary education (Chen, Kao, and Sheum 2003; Rogers et al . 2005; Sharples, Corlett, and Westmancott 2002). Several studies have focused on technology use in teacher education (Blackwell et al . 2013; Herro, Kiger, and Owens 2013) and addressed issues regarding the use of mobile devices in learning and teaching and how the specific functionalities of these devices can be employed to support learning and assessment. However, there remains a paucity of research investigating the potential of using these devices specifically for practical assessment tasks such as those undertaken in physical education despite the fact that mobility is the distinctive feature of devices such as iPads.

Traditional paper and pencil methods to record the assessment of the practical performances of physical education students has proven cumbersome and time-consuming. …

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