International Research Conference, Lancaster UK, 21-23 July 2014
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Using self-evaluative practices to impact technology enhanced learning: Engagement, use and usability

Claire Raistrick, University of Warwick, c.g.raistrick@warwick.ac.uk

This paper suggests that getting close-up to professional practice through use of self-evaluative practices can make a real difference. First, a research study on educators’ use of self-evaluative practices when making a technology enhanced learning (TEL) innovation in higher education is outlined. The paper then considers how engagement, and use and usability of knowledge arising from self-evaluative practices can promote self-evaluation as a vehicle for significant change. Self-evaluative practices are discussed in relation to an engagement continuum, depicting evaluation outputs as low through to comparatively high engagement and use. If an evaluation is more useful this naturally increases its usability. This study’s participants are located on the high end of this continuum, thus increasing the usability of evaluative outputs. Knowledge of what participants actually did in the name of self-evaluation was co-constructed using dialogical conversation. This provides new knowledge showing self-evaluative practices as iterative, responsive acts involving stakeholders and using reflexivity to establish provisional stabilities. A process of evaluative creep is produced by recurrent behaviours and is a way of coming to know. Four overarching characteristics associated with the social practice of self-evaluation are: authenticity, the journey process, evaluative moments and reflexivity. The resultant SEPT4TEL framework (self-evaluative practises typologies for technology enhanced learning) is proposed to assist evaluation design and to further enable usability of self-evaluations, depicting, as it does, the self-evaluative practices which this study found were really useful. The relevance of this research-based framework and the potential of its 25 guiding principles to provoke a new way of understanding how to go about self-evaluation of a TEL innovation are emphasised. Consideration of usability throughout implementation and self-evaluation of a project may be a powerful way to achieve greater impact or influence – to gain leverage and consequently greater worth from the effort of utilising self-evaluative practices. Ultimately, there is the potential for educators to use self-evaluative practices to influence improvements in TEL innovations, benefitting their professional practice, their learners and their institutions. The SEPT4TEL framework is suggested as potentially valuable to support an enhancement agenda and by acting as change agents, driven by an enhancement approach, self-evaluators may well be able to move towards transformational education.

Link to Full Paper (If submitted)

Conference Organisers

Paul Trowler
Lancaster University, UK

Alice Jesmont
Lancaster University, UK

Malcolm Tight
Lancaster University, UK

Paul Ashwin
Lancaster University, UK

Murray Saunders
Lancaster University, UK

Chrissie Boughey
Rhodes University, South Africa

Suellen Shay
University of Cape Town, SA

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