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eVIVA was an innovative “blue skies” pilot project at Ultralab which used mobile phones, voice recognition technology and the Internet to support formative and summative assessment. The two-year project ran from 2002 to an end in July 2004. Orange were our technology partners (where are they now in Education?):
The project started when I saw a QCA advert seeking bidders for the job of assessing ICT Key Stage capabilities - and after applying for the spec I was horrified - it didn't seem to me to be the right direction to take at all with its simulations of Word ("Can you format text? - how?"). And I couldn't see how you could do it without the learners' voices being a significant component. So I wrote a (for me) pretty sniffy letter saying so and to their credit the Qualifications and Curriculum Aurhority said "OK, how would you do it then matey?" or words to that effect - but they said it with funding!
Short version (detailed reports linked below) is that in our eVIVA project children used competency statements to set their own targets, used a web environemtn to lay down milestones that evidenced their progress towards those targets and at the end of the time phase, their mobile phone would ring for a phone based Viva.
It certainly didn't fetishise technology. One teacher said: "It is interesting that most of the things I have learned as a result of doing the project are about how children see learning – I didn’t expect that to be the focus. I expected it to be about the electronic nature of the activity."
Short version of the research is: it worked, indeed the children by and large outperformed the targets that schools would have set for them. Voice recognition based, mobile phone eneabled, this was very much seen a s future direction for e-assessment and for a loing time you could not vist QCA without being given, excitedly, a leaflet about eVIVA... but then folk changed there, people moved on and...
Rather bravely, the name eVIVA, stood for "electronic virtual ipsative valid assessment".
Anyway here are links to:
the report from Ultralab for QCA at the end - Lesley McGuire was project manager for most of the project - Sue Walton the hero at QCA.
QCA's quick fact sheet handout
a BBC news bulletin - sorry about the quality - which shows how sympathetic the media were to exams on the phone, so to speak.
another indicative screen from the web based environment
Two interesting little cameo memories:
- the children tended to set higher targets themselves than their schools would set for them, and they hit these targets too;
- the children spoke to a "robot" voice (Orange's WildFire) but their answers to the "child" voice for ICT capability were generally better than for the adult robot voice. we think they were dumbing down their answers for adults!
page last revised Friday, January 8, 2010 6:59 PM