What is the final step after implementation of something? How to assess if something has worked or not? Whether it has achieved the claimed goals or not?
The only proper way to get the answers to the questions like above is by properly evaluating the implementation. And this is what the final week of the course was all about.
Evaluation is the final frontier that you need to conquer.
Considering Evaluation :
Evaluation is systematic gathering of feedback to inform decision.
It can happen in 2 ways :
- During the time when we are developing the product.
- When the product is ready and you are gathering feedback.
Evaluations are generally useful in informing the next steps that are required to be taken.
In the context of ed tech, how to know if the ed tech is correct for you? Will it work? What to expect from it? And did it meet its expectations?
Evaluations in the case of ed tech :
Though evaluation is pretty generic term but taking it in with the context of ed tech implementation makes few points worth noting.
Pace of ed tech :
Again this is a king of thing that can only be informed by proper evaluation. In the case of ed tech there is no teacher who can detect whether he/she is teaching too fast or too slow.
Teaching should not be too fast to make the material overwhelming to the student nor it should be too slow to make the student feel bored and disconnected.
Proper evaluation of the implementation of the ed tech can reveal these pitfalls and the product can be further improved based in these.
How to evaluate?
Evaluation is not something that should happen only at end. It is a continuous process, and should be incorporated in the production pipeline of the project right from the beginning.
A very early evaluation scheme is called Front-end evaluation.
Framework for evaluation :
There is only one very obvious framework for evaluation :
- Know exactly what you want to evaluate?
- Usability of the tech. Is the technology itself is coming in the way of learning?
Learning from evaluation :
Projects have objectives and goals.
There can be many perspectives to the ed tech and hence varying goals for each stakeholder involved with the ed tech. Only proper evaluation can reveal what the truth is.
Projects never go as they were intended. They often side track. They become like a ship with hole in the bottom, water leaking in. The job of the evaluator is to keep the ship pointing in the right direction.
Stakeholders in evaluation :
Teacher, policy makers (ex. principal), funders and students.
Each stakeholder is a different audience. To understand all the stakeholders efficiently we should focus on data as much as possible.
That was it. The course 11.133x is over with this article. All I can say is it has been a journey full of exposure to new things.
I started this course because I have always wanted to make an impact in ed tech by creating amazing products. And this course has not disappointed me.
With the new learnt skills, its time to take things further.
BuildmLearn, Concord Consortium, Sugar Lab and FOSSASIA are few awesome open source organizations working in this field. Next step is to get in touch with people there and contribute to there brilliant products.
I have always wanted to launch my own start-up before graduation. After taking this course I am pretty certain that it will an ed tech startup. I am working on that also but not that seriously, that is something that will require some more work and research.
But I am working on prototyping a simple assessment tool for ed tech, that hopefully I will launch till December. Wish me luck! 😀