Perceptions of Media Literacy Assessment: A Mixed Methods Study
Schilder, Evelien A
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Media literacy scholars have to a great extent ignored the assessment of media literacy outcomes and associated challenges. Martens (2010) states that evaluating and explaining the effectiveness of media literacy education is one of the most overwhelming challenges for current research in the field. Buckingham and Domaille (2009) claim that the lack of structured assessment procedures likely contributed to the lack of status of media literacy education. The purpose of this mixed methods study (exploratory sequential design) was therefore to explore the views of media literacy scholars and professionals on media literacy assessment through qualitative interviews (N = 10) with the intent of using this information to develop a quantitative survey to validate and extend the qualitative findings with a larger sample of media literacy professionals and scholars from all around the world (N = 171). The study provides an overview of goals and outcomes of media literacy education. In addition, it provides information about the extent to which outcomes are specified and by whom these outcomes are specified. The study also offers a comprehensive overview of assessment methods that were used by participants of the study, the role that media literacy plays in their work, and the entities which developed these assessment methods. It provides further detail about the extent to which the learning process and product are assessed, the importance of context in assessment, approaches that are used to evaluate and interpret students�[BULLET] work, and factors that influence the way participants assess media literacy. The study also offers an overview of assessment challenges that were encountered by participants and the extent to which these are considered challenges for the field. In addition, for each of the assessment methods that were used by participants, a distinct set of challenges is identified. An account of the extent that respondents felt constrained by any outside regulations or mandates is provided as well, along with a description of how they would assess media literacy void of these constraints. Finally, methods to overcome media literacy challenges are presented, along with recommendations to improve the effectiveness of media literacy assessment.
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