Evaluation of student facing web-based services: Final integrated report (Nielsen/NetRatings) Publications
This report is the final summary of evaluations of three student facing web-based services (AnyQuestions, WickED, and Studyit) by Nielsen/NetRatings.
Author(s): Melanie Ingrey, Nielsen/NetRatings.
Date Published: August 2008
Current operation and impacts of web-based learning services within the contemporary learning environment of children and young people in New Zealand
New Zealand children and young people are increasingly turning to, and relying on, the online medium to support their learning – in both formal and informal contexts. Not only is the Internet a popular resource for homework, assessment and other school-specific activities, but it is an important means of sourcing information, generally, of entertainment, and a tool for communication and self-expression.
All of these activities contribute to students’ development and for this reason, an increasing set of web based tools are becoming available for New Zealand children and young people, catering also to teachers as in-class resources or tools for lesson preparation.
Three such services include online reference service Any Questions which aims to improve children and young people’s information literacy; Studyit – a website primarily catering toward NCEA students with a unique online forum moderated by teachers; and WickED – a website aimed at younger students aged between 7 and 12 years and their teachers, with dedicated content linked to the school curriculum, as well as forums, quizzes and games.
Through the service evaluations conducted of these three websites, it has been found that a large number of children and young people in New Zealand (and indeed teachers and parents) are finding value in these tools but it remains a challenge to ensure their access and regular use across a broad range of the population.
Inequality is particularly evident among students attending lower decile schools who are the least likely to have Internet access at home; and service use is skewed toward ‘higher achieving’ students and those more pro active in their learning.
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