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New Directions in the Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Educational Technology

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Computers in the Schools Volume 18, Number 2, ISSN 0738-0569


Drawing from work by Shadish, Cook, and Leviton (1991) on social program evaluation, the authors discuss recent changes in evaluation theory and practices, and they connect these changes to technology and student learning. Concluding with a list of recommendations for evaluating the effectiveness of technology in teaching and learning, the authors challenge the purposes of education and prevalent goals for evaluation. After questioning how technology can impact student learning, they call for new and expanded definitions of student learning outcomes. Recommendations include redefining technology as a process rather than as a product, conducting implementation evaluations prior to outcome evaluations; reducing the reliance on standardized test scores as the primary outcome measure; and adopting multifaceted evaluation approaches (including case studies).


Heinecke, W.F., Milman, N.B., Washington, L.A. & Blasi, L. (2002). New Directions in the Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Educational Technology. Computers in the Schools, 18(2), 97-110. Retrieved October 22, 2019 from .

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