A focus of SchoolNet educator development programmes must be integrated and formative assessment. This would provide the testimony of SchoolNet's commitment to creating effective and sustainable learning communities with ICT's. Of particular concern would be the need for assessment of practice, since the impact of the programmes would need to be seen and measured in the classroom. This would require ongoing interaction between an educator and a tutor or mentor, with use being made of portfolios for assessment33.
The assessment for distance education programmes for educators should include
The educator development programme should lead to
Since there is some overlap and synergy in all the optional modules in the development programme, educators should be in a position to assess their competence, development and personal needs by referring to a global set of competencies / unit standards and performance indicators. The mentor programme would provide the crucial element of ongoing, formative assessment. The challenge that faces all distance education programmes is the logistics and cost of school-based observation. In the case of the SchoolNet projects this is alleviated to a certain extent by the fact that evidence of classroom activity integrating ICT is often visual and can be published. The projects also have education managers who could possibly be in a position to visit classrooms. External evaluators would also provide an opportunity for classroom visitation. This issue would also depend on the extent to which tertiary institutions are willing to buy in to the SchoolNet educator development for ICT programme. It is more likely that ICT will be a catalyst for change if such a programme of formative assessment through mentorship is implemented and if some class visitation could take place.
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The evaluation of the impact of ICT on the quality of teaching and learning could take place at four levels.
These measurements must be viewed as personal records of progress. They cannot be used for comparative purposes across schools or departments, since each individual would have unique needs in terms of ICT skills and it is not likely that all educators would need to know all the skills listed. As such, average scores could be used to compare progress of individuals or departments from one year to the next. The measurement could also be quantitative. Educators who wish to be accredited for their progress and achievement would take up one of the options available in ICT skills training courses such as the ICDL or similar courses.
Assessment of ICT skills should be a matter of personal choice and perception for each educator. There should be no association between the number of skills acquired and any indication of progress. The only comparable measurement of ICT skills should be of the specific ICT-related competencies, as mentioned in the Norms and Standards for Educators and the ICT competencies that are under review in this framework. These are:
The mastery of these skills should not be accredited and should be regarded as the norm for online educators. The rubric in Appendix L is recommended as a self-assessment tool.
2. Integration level. The following competencies form the basis of a global set of outcomes that should be available for educators and could influence the formulation of more specific outcomes related to each module.
Educators' Competence with ICT
Integration of ICT with the Curriculum
Appendix E shows an initial breakdown of these outcomes into more specific practical, foundational and reflexive competencies.
The impact on learning of each individual course will be evaluated by referring to the specific coompetencies for each optional module. Appendix G provides an example of foundational, practical and reflexive competencies, for the Eastern Cape project, which focuses on telecollaborative efforts and information skills. Reference will not be made to performance indicators in SchoolNet's assessment programmes.
Another evaluation tool that could be adapted for use is the WorLD Program administrator, teacher and student survey. The administrator survey examines
The teacher survey examines
The student survey examines
While acknowledging that both educator development and learner development with ICT is a process and not a product, impact can be visually evaluated by the changing nature of products that the process produces with time. Educators therefore submit portfolios of learners' work as part of the continuing assessment process.
Existing foundational, practical and reflexive competencies should be refined once the basic competencies or standards are finalised and approved by stakeholders
The educational team responsible for final materials development should formulate assessment criteria and performance indicators for each module.
WorLD programme administrator, teacher and student surveys should be adapted for use by SchoolNet, if this is recommended.
3. A growth in the educator as a professional. The professional growth of the educator is closely related to the competencies and evaluation of the impact of ICT on teaching and learning. These should be measured by initially conducting pre-course baseline studies in which the educator reflects on existing practice and perceived shortcomings. This process can be started in the introductory workshop and further pursued by the mentor in the follow-up period. Progress evaluation of the impact of ICT and the development programme on the educator as a professional should be monitored by prompting from the mentor and the educator recording entries in an electronic journal. An instrument such as Table 2 for Appendix F could be used to gauge educator teaching levels.Return to Contents Page
4. Whole schools level. Whole school ICT use could be measured in a number of ways. Staff ICT and integration-related proficiencies could be measured individually or on a departmental or whole-staff basis. This should be the choice of the school. The LoTi Framework (Appendix F) could be used to measure the instructional use of technology in a school. This framework categorises 6 levels of computer efficiency, ranging from non-use to refinement. The emphasis in this framework is given to the degree to which technology is used to support a constructivist orientation to classroom pedagogy. The result is a Computer Efficiency Rating, expressed as a percentage74. Staff levels of teaching practice have a correlation to their potential levels of computer use. Table 2 of Appendix F gives a brief summary of the levels of teaching. This could be refined and used as an indicator of staff computer use potential. It would be useful to test the hypothesis that this correlation between teaching level and computer use exists and to what extent.
SchoolNet should seek the guidance of accredited partners in formulating a set of evaluation tools to monitor progress of the implementation of its educator development programme. These tools should focus on
A complete set of measurement tools should be made available to educators as they embark on a professional path with ICT. These tools should also include self-assessment tools for monitoring the progress in mastery of ICT skills.
The LoTi framework should be used at SchoolNet's discretion.