This study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the mobile learning (m-learning) component of the World Education-implemented TRAC+ project. It focused on the value of Aan Khmer (“Read Khmer”), a game-based app developed with funding from All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development to teach Khmer alphabetical principles, vocabulary, and fluency in low resource environments.
The study adopted a mixed methods approach and was carried out in two main phases. Phase 1 involved using the School Director Survey to develop an understanding of the context within which the TRAC+ project was implemented and to identify 15 schools for a collective case study. Phase 2 involved collecting both quantitative and qualitative data. The quantitative data were gathered through administering two different reading assessments, the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and the School-based Test About Reading (STAR), to a sample of students in Grades 1–3 in the 15 selected case study schools. The qualitative data were collected using interviews with school directors, teachers, librarians, literacy coaches, and parents. Focus group interviews were also carried out with peer tutors and students in these schools. Furthermore, several observations of students using the tablets with peer tutors were undertaken.
Quantitative findings indicate that Grades 2 and 3 children in schools categorized as making higher use of the Aan Khmer app scored significantly higher in some subtasks of the EGRA tests than children in schools with lower use of the app. Nevertheless, these results should be treated with caution due to methodological limitations associated with the context.
Qualitative findings revealed positive views of TRAC+, including its m-learning component, among many teachers and students. However, the implementation of m-learning as part of TRAC+ was not necessarily carried out as intended in schools, and a number of issues were identified relating to: the design of the app itself; the links between the interval testing (also carried out on tablets used for Aan Khmer with Grades 1 and 2 children) and the use of the Aan Khmer app; staff training; limited involvement of classroom teachers; limited student use of Aan Khmer; peer tutoring processes; limited involvement of parents; and the resourcing of TRAC+.
Oakley, G., Pegrum, M., Kheang, T., & Seng, K. (2018). An evaluation of the integration of m-learning in Total Reading Approach for Children Plus (TRAC+): Enhancing literacy of early grade students in Cambodia. World Vision and Foundation for Information Technology Education and Development.
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