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MirandaNet Fellowship Casestudy

Membership List | Publications | Research | Specialist Area List | Braided Learning Ejournal

Proposal: Teachers changing their minds

assessing the quality of learning in ICT courses

Christina Preston

Year of posting: 2005


Teachers changing their minds :

assessing the quality of learning in ICT courses


Although Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has been introduced into national curricula across the world since the late nineteen eighties, many of the tests designed to investigate the quality of learning expect only mono-modal hand-written or word-processed answers. If multi-media artefacts are requested, the tests are often designed to provide more information about the learners’ computer skills than about their multimodal literacy. This research focuses on one aspect of teachers’ multimodal literacy by encouraging teachers to express the quality of their learning in a more visual way through mapping. The first objective was to explore the potential of multimodal mapping in evaluating the effectiveness of ICT courses from the perspective of the tutors. The second objective was to compare the quantitative results between teachers taking an ICT skills course and teachers undertaking a year long practice-based research project. The third objective was to refine the quantitative methodology to provide a replicable model for other teacher educators. The method was adapted from Impact 11, a study of children’s cognitive understanding of computers in their world (Somekh 2002). The same method of scoring the maps was also used in this study about teachers’ learning. However, the twenty teachers in each of the cohorts were asked to complete two maps, a pre-and post course maps expressing their perceptions of the role of computers in their professional and personal lives. The scores for the two maps were compared and the findings indicated that the differences between the two cohorts of teachers in terms of cognitive activity were significantly different at the beginning and the end of the courses. Doubts were raised about the validity of this scoring approach, however, when teachers were interviewed. Some of the thinking behind the maps, whether drawn on the computer or by hand, was more complex than could be allowed for by the scoring system. In fact the scoring system tended to mark down teachers who had shown higher order thinking through a growing capacity to categorise and group ideas under simpler headings the second time round. Findings suggested that the multimodal mapping, can, however, be a useful tool for encouraging innovative self assessment and group assessment of the quality of learning through discussion and debate.


Somekh, B., D. Mavers and Restorick (2002). Impact2. Coventry, DFES.


multimodal mapping, ICT CPD, ICT skills, teacher education, quantitative methodology

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