Research 2017-07-19T15:55:30+00:00

Extended App Reviews

Below you’ll find outputs of the various strands of research undertaken in the MICOOL project. As the project is still at an early stage, much of our research is still on-going and not due for completion and publication yet. However, we will update this section of the site as we produce new documents that you may find useful, and we encourage you to contact us about the project’s research outputs if you are interested.

The following extended reviews are a sample of those produced at Dublin City University using the DCU App Evaluation Rubric. The rubric was developed by MICOOL researchers at DCU in response to the lack of a publicly available and sufficiently detailed assessment tool for the evaluation of content-based tablet apps for use in European classrooms. The rubric was created in Google Forms, for ease of use and reporting, though it may be adapted to and used in other formats with the permission of the MICOOL project. The project defines content-based apps as those which contain instructional content, and often assessment, and may be used by teachers and learners directly to provide relevant information and testing on a topic (e.g. mathematics learning, language practice) – in contrast to creative apps, which may be used by teachers or learners to produce their own content (e.g. story-telling, movie-making, book creation). This important distinction defines the evaluation criteria of this tool.

Using this rubric, content-based apps are evaluated using thematic question sets that emphasise the following investigative criteria: Quality of instructional content, Interaction Design (including Usability & Accessibility), Assessment & Feedback Design, and Technical and Support considerations. Additionally, the design of the tool emphasises the collection of useful descriptive information on the app being evaluated, including details of its publication, pricing, stated age-group and education level, platform limitations, and suitability to classroom or collaborative learning environments.

Extended App Review: World War II Interactive (Touchzing Media)

This is a review of a Secondary-level History app for iPad, potentially useful as a reference for teachers and learners due to its rich media inclusions.
Download this (PDF) document.

Extended App Review: Duolingo (Duolingo Inc.)

This is a review of a language practice and learning app, suitable for many levels (subject to basic reading skills).
Download this (PDF) document

Extended App Review: Leo’s Pad (Kidaptive Software)

This is a review of a preschool skills app, which uses rich animation and interactivity to develop preschool skills with basic numeracy, shapes, reading and communicativity.
Download this (PDF) document

Extended App Review: Digital Mysteries: Shakespeare (Reflective Thinking)

This is a review of a Secondary-level English Literature investigative/collaborative learning app with links to the UK curriculum for content.
Download this (PDF) document