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Sempozyum: 6th Internatıonal Computer and Instructıonal Technologies Symposium
Quest For a Model to Evaluate Social Impact of Technologial Innovations
Hasan ÇAKIR
Gazi Üniversitesi

Ayşegül KOZAK
Uludağ Üniversitesi
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Sempozyum: 6th Internatıonal Computer and Instructıonal Technologies Symposium
Quest For a Model to Evaluate Social Impact of Technologial Innovations
Hasan ÇAKIR
Gazi Üniversitesi

Ayşegül KOZAK
Uludağ Üniversitesi
Abstract :

School systems in Turkey, as in the rest of the world, are increasingly integrating computers into the classrooms as a strategy to improve educational quality. Considering increasing importance given to large scale information and communications technologies (ICT) projects in Turkey, such as FATIH project (Eğitimde Fırsatları Artırma Teknolojiyi İyileştirme Hareketi – The Movement to Improve Technology and Increase Opportunities in Education), the need to evaluate social impact of technology in education gains importance. It is necessary to evaluate the impact of educational technology interventions on learning and educational outcomes to determine what works, what is appealing and how it can be improved. Evaluating educational interventions can be conducted in two types; goal-based and goal free. In goal based evaluation, goals and questions of evaluation study are set at the beginning of the study and no other aspects of the intervention are evaluated. By following goal based evaluation, an evaluation study becomes focused and cost eff ective.

The second major type of evaluation is goal free evaluation. Similar to goal based evaluation, goal free evaluation starts with general goals of the evaluation study, however, it tries to answer “what else in here” question. Goal free evaluation explores impact of any educational intervention beyond the intended outcomes. Purposes of implementing educational technology interventions are mainly focused on improving learning outcomes in educational systems. However, large scale educational technology interventions can have impact on beyond educational outcomes, therefore evaluating these impacts requires goal free approach to evaluation. Student achievement, student engagement, transfer of learning, and satisfaction from learning experience can be listed as traditional learning outcomes that have been examined in evaluation studies. Social impact of large scale educational intervention implementation can be studied with social impact assessment approach. Social impact assessment is mainly interested in social impact of newly introduced interventions on society, economy, and the environment.

Possible impact areas of FATIH project can be categorized as disadvantaged groups, parents, environment, and the economy. First, disadvantaged groups can be defined as people who do not have access to formal education opportunities due to health or life related obstacles such as people with disabilities, long term sickness, remote rural areas etc. Technology can provide access to education for these people. Second, impact on parents’ involvement with their children education can be changed due to monitoring student progress and giving instant feedback on student’s school work and status. Third, impact on environment can be defined as the level of awareness for recycling used electronic devices and disposable of used batteries without harming the environment.

Fourth, impact on economy can be evaluated to understand how producing and importing technological hardware and software have been changed since the implementation of FATIH project. Using FATIH project as a point of reference, this paper reviews the methodological options for social impact assessment (SIA) of one-to-one computer implementations in schools by intending to point the gap within the literature regarding the absence of the studies that employ SIA to study technology integration and evaluation models in education. It examines the choice of conceptual frameworks and presents variety of paradigms of impact assessment. It is argued that the central issue in social impact assessment design is how to combine diff erent methodological approaches so that a successful processes of monitoring and analyzing the intended and unintended social consequences of educational technology interventions and social changes stimulated by these interventions can be evaluated.

Keywords : ICT integration, evaluation, social impact
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