In this particular instance, the evaluation will be interesting. As noted before, a simple multiple choice test will not really show if what I am hoping to accomplish has indeed been accomplished. I propose to evaluate the usage of Google Cardboard (Expeditions) by creating a control class and an experimental class with both classes learning about sharks (or the Great Wall). One class will utilize a more traditional method involving lecture, readings, and class discussions, whereas the other class will utilize the Google Cardboard set to see sharks in their underwater domain and learn via pop ups or instruction from the teacher. Once the lesson runs its course, the students of both classes can then interact with each other to discuss key understandings of sharks with a culminating survey that utilizes Likert scales for the students to self-report their perceived understanding relative to the students in the other class.
Additionally, while a simple test is not necessarily going to tell me of students’ deeper understanding of the topic, a test will provide a baseline that can be used to compare the growth of knowledge. I would propose using a pretest and a posttest in both of the above classes to see how the students’ knowledge increased over the course of the lesson. I would make sure that there are questions that require deeper understanding rather than regurgitation of facts, because students should be expected to explain the how rather than just regurgitating the what.
A third evaluation could be anecdotal. The teachers of the two classes can observe the students as they learn and then also observe them as they explain what they have learned to one another. The teachers can use their expertise to determine the depth of knowledge attained by the students by engaging in informal conversations with them to determine what they know and what they can explain.
Finally, as mentioned above, having the students prepare video explanations for their parents/guardians would be an excellent way to judge what the students have learned. This again could be utilized in two classes with a control and an experimental group. The teachers could review the videos together and look for patterns of understanding to determine what each class grasped better if at all. This will allow for gauging the efficacy of the Google Cardboard while also sharpening their skills as educators to glean what methods work best for different students.
By utilizing these four different but related methods, we will be able to gain a clearer picture of the efficacy of the Google Cardboard to help students to uncover the information that we want them to grasp over time. It will also be important to gain a good idea of when the Google Cardboard is useful and when it is just an excuse to use technology. The more we know in this regard, the better I will be able to help teachers know the best times to use the tool and when it would be wise to look somewhere else.
This is the fourth of five parts, which are Part I: Brief project description, Part II: Outline the transformation you would like to see in your teaching and your students’ learning, Part III: Presenting the Total PACKage, Part IV: Evaluation, and Part V: How does your project connect with other key issues in educational technology? If you prefer, you can view the project all on one page here.