[Olpc-open] Fwd: Defining success

Sandra Thaxter sandra.thaxter at verizon.net
Mon Jan 30 07:38:25 EST 2012

Greetings List,
       The question is what kind of evaluation of OLPC usage do we want, and what is the most useful educational measure. 
  1.. Document Activity Usage:  Are students accessing the XOs, how often,  which activities:  this could be answered by pulling the XO data to the school server and tablulating it.  Not hard to do, however the value as far as education isn't clear.  Possibly why no one has done that.
  2.. Document Conventional School Testing for XO students:  This means measuring differences in the students performance on conventional testing comparing students using XOs to those without.   These outcomes are useful for those of us making a case for funding, but educationally only somewhat useful.  Each country organization might do this if they had sufficient funding to cover the effort.
  3.. Long term impact:  Almost all sites are too young to measure long term impact, which in the end is the best measurement.
  4.. This program is learning through doing, through solving problems.  The change in attitude toward learning is the most important factor.  This can be measured by site visits, and inteviewing students and teachers.   
      What we need is a big grant to do some field research and get the data.  

Sandra Thaxter
sandra at smallsolutionsbigideas.org
(617) 320-1098
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Samuel Klein" <meta.sj at gmail.com>
To: "olpc-open" <olpc-open at lists.laptop.org>; "Ahmed, Farhan" <farhan.ahmed at chicagobooth.edu>
Cc: <bdmoss at ku.edu>
Sent: Sunday, January 29, 2012 11:14 PM
Subject: [Olpc-open] Fwd: Defining success

Replying to the list.

On Mon, Jan 30, 2012 at 4:10 AM, Samuel Klein <meta.sj at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello to you both.
> On Sun, Jan 22, 2012 at 8:15 PM, Ahmed, Farhan
> <farhan.ahmed at chicagobooth.edu> wrote:
>> Is there a methodology through which OLPC tracks the concrete educational
>> development a child goes through after he or she gets access to a laptop? It
>> seems that tracking a child's progress over the years will allow OLPC to
>> make substantial scientific claims about its impact.
> Agreed. There is no method shared among all deployments; each
> country/school system has their own set of soft and hard measure of
> development.
>> I do understand the limited effectiveness of
>> quantifying "educational development", but I'm sure there's a
>> well-researched methodology widely used.
> I don't know that it is theoretically limited in effectiveness;
> however I am not aware of any single widely-used methodology across
> different cultures or systems.
>> Furthermore, with regard to the Sugar interface, is it enabled to collect
>> metrics on usage patterns (anonymized, of course)? Information on how often
>> certain activities are enabled and used, the times of day a laptop sees most
>> usage, the average data usage (mesh or the internet) and other such metrics
>> would allow more targeted development and prioritization. Once again, I
>> could not find any such data on the website.
> At a low technical level there is some capability to gather data - for
> instance all machines 'call home' once after they are turned on.
> However beyond this it has never been used to my knowledge to do so --
> implementations so far have privileged user privacy over research
> efficacy. I would also love to see (anonymized) collection of data as
> you describe.
> Uruguay is the largest deployment that has gathered comprehensive data
> on what activities are used for how long.
> You can see theirs and other reports here:
> http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPC_research
>> My motivation here is to understand how OLPC prioritizes it work and backs
>> its claims on the impact. I am doing this as part of a research project I
>> have undertaken at my university (The University of Chicago Booth School of
>> Business). I'd be happy to answer any questions.

Thanks for sharing.  Can you tell us more about your research?

Brian Moss writes:
>> I'm currently writing my master's thesis on the OLPC program and why --
>> despite the most honorable of intentions -- it has largely failed to live up to
>> the hype.

Ditto - can you elaborate on your view of what this means?

Cheers, Sam.
Olpc-open mailing list
Olpc-open at lists.laptop.org

No virus found in this message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 2012.0.1901 / Virus Database: 2109/4775 - Release Date: 01/29/12

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/olpc-open/attachments/20120130/f0d8755a/attachment.html>

More information about the Olpc-open mailing list