Technology-enabled Learning: Exploring differences worldwide

julie-smallPosted by Julie Chazyn

What makes technology-enabled learning and assessment different in the rest of world? Language instantly springs to mind when we consider what sets one country apart from another. But other differences need to be considered, too, when deciding how best to use technology- enabled learning and assessments.

A recent post in Questionmark CEO Eric Shepherd’s blog explores the differences that arise when you cross social, economic and geographical boundaries.  Eric poses the question: Apart from Language, What Challenges Make Technology Enabled Learning and Assessment Different in the Rest of the World? He then identifies four key points that might drive us to use different kinds of assessments depending on where we are in the world:

  1. Invalid Assumptions About Internet Connectivity (Internet connectivity will create dramatically different experiences for a student in the Amazon and a student in the USA or Europe)
  2. Cost of Internet Device – The cost of purchasing a computer or PDA  in Europe or North America represents a fraction of an average annual salary, whereas in some areas of the world the cost might be 6 – 12 months of an average person’s salary. The resulting use of smaller, lower cost, generally mobile devices in poorer areas of the world calls for the re-sizing of content to accommodate them.
  3. Conformance with Local Laws: Laws regarding data privacy, accessibility and equal access vary from country to country.
  4. Culture: Contrasting value systems can cause different cultures to think differently about such aspects of assessment as cheating. Cheating may be thought of as solidarity within a culture that promotes collectivism and loyalty. 

For more insights on this subject and many others, visit Eric’s blog at http://blog.eric.info.

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