Class Acts


To evaluate the XOs' effectiveness in the schools' community, you may want to contain the scope you consider to the individual students, groups or types of students (entire class, at risk kids, homeless youth), a distinct project or program (after school activities, or science enrichment class) or, if ambitious. the entire implementation site evaluation.

For individual students, teachers report tending to use portfolios like artists, to evaluate progress and perhaps consider those that were with and without the XO as a tool, distinguishing the XO as the dependent variable.  If, for example, you considered the XO as just a calculator, and evaluated if the calculator helped in math, or conceivably harmed them lessening practice at calculating in the students' head, you might be limiting the possibilities of the machine's true potential.   For example, someone with short term memory issues, remembering the numbers might be  the problem.  If you corrected by writing the numbers on the board, on paper or even in the sand or dust instead of just auditory, then maybe the outcome would change for certain disabled students.

With portfolios, some teachers adjust for their student's best works during the school term, which may skew the data, but dropping a bad test, emphasizes that students are human, we all may have some issues and people are not machine's, increasing self worth and overall humanity.

Many people feel that test scores are mainly to determine the students' grade, but that may or may not be the whole XO outcome.  Anecdotal evidence and happiness may play a large part of participation and completion of the school curriculum.

Technically, accessing the XO Journal as a recorder of the student's activities use capacity is limited by computer memory, so backing that up to a USB stick or other memory, School Server(s) where available and requires performing periodic maintenance by cleaning out (hovering over the log entry, and clicking on Erase) periodically depending upon frequency of actual use.

This may be avoided somewhat by using a School Server, as an example elsewhere in this ClassActs may show.

Keeping a record of the student's activities might involve emailing in assignments (assuming an existing electronic media infrastructure) or using an intra or internet commercial courseware collaboration tool like Blackboard or the open source Moodle.

In designing an implementation and/or funding a business proposal, thinking ahead for a baseline test (how good were people before introducing the change), is a standard procedure.  Even becoming culturally aware and asking the community and learning from the community before assuming your initiative will change things, gives respect for the existing local knowledge and practices.

Without considering any outcomes, the pilot probably lacks hard data for continued funding, and/or expansion of the project.

Continually reevaluating and revising iteratively reach both what the marketing folks consider the target audience.

Some XO projects have noticed attendance goes up with introduction of the XO and increases motivation.

Some consideration of comparing apples to oranges, or year to year comparisons may not be valid statistically.  Interaction between a brother and sister in the previous year may effect results in a poorly designed study, since some of the courseware may have been communicated to the next siblings or acquaintances.

But anecdotal evidence is particularly juicy plus can be helpful too, though not entirely scientific.

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