Evaluation in Computer-assisted Language Learning
Benjamin L. McMurry, Brigham Young University, United States
Brigham Young University . Awarded
Evaluation of Computer-assisted language learning (CALL) needs to be scrutinized according to the same standards of evaluation as other professional materials. Evaluation can be divided into two distinct, yet similar, categories: formal (following a prescribed evaluation model) and informal. The aim of this dissertation is two-fold. The first purpose is to benefit the field of CALL by situating CALL evaluation in the context of frameworks used formal evaluation. The second purpose is to discover informal evaluation practices of CALL practitioners. First, with regard to formal evaluation of CALL materials, practices and insights from the field of evaluation would help CALL researchers and practitioners to conduct systematic evaluations that report findings that other researchers and practitioners find useful. An evaluation framework is proposed that includes common evaluation tasks conducted by evaluators in the field of formal evaluation to produce a workflow model for designing and conducting evaluations in CALL. Second, regarding the informal evaluation of CALL materials, learning about the processes of teachers when evaluating CALL for classroom use will help direct developers of CALL materials, address user concerns, and may indirectly increase the quality of CALL materials.
After looking at this two-fold question—formal and informal evaluation of CALL materials—we found that formal evaluation in CALL may benefit from the adoption of evaluation practices from formal evaluation literature. Regarding informal evaluation, we found that teachers consider pedagogy, accessibility, and authenticity when reviewing CALL resources and activities for consideration for use in the classroom. Based on this finding we provide implications for language program administrators, teacher trainers, CALL software developers, and language teachers.
McMurry, B.L. Evaluation in Computer-assisted Language Learning. Ph.D. thesis, Brigham Young University.
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