Evaluating Apps

Whenever choosing an app to use in your instructional context, it’s important to test it out. Evaluate the ease of use. Are there tutorials readily available? Is there a community of users whose knowledge can be drawn upon? Determine the cost – is there a cost to use it or a cost to share your work? If this app were to disappear, how disappointed would you be?

Here is a set of guiding questions/statements for evaluating apps for teaching and learning:

  • Consider the credibility of the app developers
  • Determine whether the app is relevant in your context
  • Is the written and visual content aimed at the appropriate level?
  • Is there an advantage to using an app over a web-based equivalent?
  • Consider the design and usability of the app.
  • How does the app perform?
  • How much does it cost and are the updates free?
  • Consider whether the app providers keep the information private?
  • Consider whether the app can be customized or is extendable.
    (Jonas-Dwyer, Clark, Celenza, & Siddiqui, 2012).

Read the full paper for more details (available freely under a Creative Commons Attribution license).

If your chosen app is ready to go as-is, that’s great! If you would like to learn about developing your own augmented or virtual reality experiences for your learners, read on.

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