Theories of motivation and assessment of ICT – some questions

2 October 2008

One of the books that I have cherished in this process is Tombari and Borich’s on Authentic Assessment in the Classroom (1999). I have returned to it to analyse their categorisation of theories of motivation and used this to generate some questions that may be useful in data collection.

Attribution theory

How do students perceive success in ICT tasks and what do they attribute that success to?

Self-efficacy theory

How do students see their ICT capability and where does that view comes from?

Goal theory

What assumptions, if any, does ICT assessment make of students goal-theory characteristics and how do students themselves view their capacity to succeed?


Taxonomy of difficulties in the assessment of ICT

2 October 2008

This paper, from the Assessment in Education Unit at Leeds, is again bang on the line of what I am doing. Albeit that they are looking at the KS3 onscreen ICT tests (the AEU were commissioned as part of the evaluation of that project). Nevertheless there are some very pertinent analyses of the didfficulties students, and the system, encounter in assessment of ICT. For example

… sources of difficulty that relate to the subject being assessed. The assessment of ICT brings particular risks. As McFarlane (2001) points out, assessment of ICT capability need not in itself be computer-based, but as in this case it was, the sources of difficulty in our set that are associated with this aspect all relate also to on-screen assessment, e.g.

Pupils know enough to succeed in the tasks without using ICT for all the steps.

The demands in the interaction between tasks and software on short-term memory and organisational skills are greater than the level of ICT capability that is being assessed.


Activity theory and ICT

2 October 2008

Now that the new academic year is under way, and I am in a new job (again) I hope to be able to crack on with this project. If not.. well I need to decide one way or the other.

Anyway, I am in the middle of three days study leave and ma busily writing up what I have so far. In doing so I have also come across some useful things which I will include here.

Firstly a paper from the School of Education conference at Leeds University by Aisha Walker. This makes some interesting links between activity theory and attainment in ICT and provides a model that may be useful when I come to look at the data colleection and analysis. 

The title “What does it mean to be good at ICT” really caught my eye. That’s what it’s all about isn’t it?