e-ISSN: 1309-517X
Assumption Validation Process for the Assessment of Technology-Enhanced Learning

Denise Pauline-Graf 1 2 * , Susan E. Mandel 3, Heather W. Allen 4, Lynne E. Devnew 5

CONT ED TECHNOLOGY, Volume 13, Issue 4, Article No: ep316

Submitted: 06 November 2020, Published Online: 13 July 2021

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Technology-enhanced learning (TEL) is a broad term to denote the incorporation of digital technology to mediate activities that support education. Educational researchers need to validate critical assumptions about any new system that involves TEL early and throughout its development course to make quick, informed, de-risked decisions about the progress of TEL. We introduce an assumption validation process for educational researchers to consider utilizing when evolving ideas or prototypes of TEL. We present a preliminary study conducted in Russia of a knowledge sharing (KS) training program using digital games to illustrate the proposed four-stage process. The first stage is listing the assumptions that apply to initiatives of TEL. The second is identifying the methods most useful for testing those assumptions. The third is executing tests on each of those assumptions. The last stage is determining assumption validity. In the illustrative study, a single pilot trial was considered the appropriate approach to validate the assumptions selected in the first stage. We found that determining assumption validity requires testing many of the assumptions individually and in aggregate. Educational researchers can use this assumption validation process to assess the potential of TEL in a variety of settings before investing resources into its further development.



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