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Handheld tools that 'Informate' Assessment of Student Learning in Science: A Requirements Analysis

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Journal of Computer Assisted Learning Volume 21, Number 3, ISSN 1365-2729 Publisher: Wiley


An important challenge faced by many teachers as they involve students in science investigations is measuring (assessing) students' progress. Our detailed requirements analysis in a particular school district led to the idea that what teachers need most are ways to increase the quality of the information they have about what students know and can do, not automation of typical assessment practices. We see handheld computers as promising tools for addressing this need because they can give students and teachers frequent, integral access to new ways of expressing and communicating what they know and can do. Our requirements analysis has led us to emphasize a need for handheld-based tools that informate science instruction by: Being oriented to the needs of teachers in transition to inquiry-oriented pedagogy; expanding the range of assessment tasks through a new representational medium and communication infrastructure; creating new roles for students in expressing what they know and can do; and focusing both students' and teachers' attention on scientific concepts.


Roschelle, J., Penuel, W.R., Yarnall, L., Shechtman, N. & Tatar, D. (2005). Handheld tools that 'Informate' Assessment of Student Learning in Science: A Requirements Analysis. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 21(3), 190-203. Wiley. Retrieved December 3, 2022 from .

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