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ERIC Number: EJ787602
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 29
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-0007-1013
The Learning Credit Card: A Tool for Managing Personal Development
Rushby, Nick; Twining, John; Twining, Nick; Devitt, Thomas
British Journal of Educational Technology, v39 n2 p336-364 Mar 2008
This is the report of a five month study, undertaken by Sundridge Park Training Technologies in association with Guildford Educational Services to assess the potential of smart card technology to support learning and the management of learning. The study had two strands--the state of the art of the technology and its potential for supporting, delivering and managing learning. In addition to a study of the literature and extensive discussions with people using smart cards, potential users of smart card and visionaries, the project team developed two illustrative systems using cards to store personal data relating to education and training. The term "smart card" is often used loosely to describe three different types of card, each of which is similar in general shape and size to a traditional credit card. These are: memory cards, laser cards--and true smart cards incorporating a processor and memory. This study has been concerned with memory cards and smart cards. The focus for smart card applications has been predominantly financial: there are relatively few applications in education or training. A notable exception is the large scale project at the University of Bologna which uses smart cards to manage the progress and achievements of a large number of students in the Department of Electronics. The two illustrative systems provided valuable experience of using memory cards and smart cards in quasi-real education and training applications. They highlighted the problems of limited memory capacities and confirmed the high level of user acceptance reported by other trials. We can expect considerable advances in the technology of both memory cards and smart cards over the next months and years. The memory capacities of both types of cards will increase many-fold and the unit costs will fall as large quantities of cards are produced for financial applications. Education and training applications will benefit from this expanding market. The major surprise from the study was the level of interest in the work and the enthusiasm expressed by almost all of those who came to hear of it. The general level of awareness of smart card technology was found to be low. However, the requirement for a system which will enable individuals to manage and own their learning on an extended timescale was generally recognised. Some of the possible applications for smart cards and memory cards in education and training had emerged before the official start of the study and it is clear that the technology is potentially pervasive. The project team and those consulted identified a wide range of possible applications both in education and in training. These focussed on assessment, personal course planning and management, identification of relevant learning opportunities, and the ownership of learning. It was felt that, over the next few years, smart cards are very likely to be in common use as credit cards for financial applications. Therefore, their use for education and training should be planned now. The recommendations from the study are that: More detailed studies are needed to find out how smart cards and memory cards could be used by different organisations in a fully operational system; Standards should be established for smart card applications in education and training, similar to those governing financial applications; Applications should be developed after the standards have been established. To be convincing, these should take a case study approach with small pilot studies in a variety of contexts and must follow real needs rather than attempt to drive them; The case studies would then form the basis for a campaign to increase awareness of smart cards and their potential for education and training, together with a programme for building an infrastructure to support the proposed systems. The public sector should fund the task of developing standards and providing interfaces with existing educational systems and projects to demonstrate the feasibility of various applications. Since educational standards have a European dimension, the European Community may be a source of support for work in the area of standards. At the same time, private sector funding should be sought for skill development and career development systems in industry and in education. The Training Agency itself should consider the application of smart card technology to the control and management of the Youth Training Scheme (YTS). [This paper was first published in "Interactive Learning International," Vol. 6, no. 3, 1990, 119-142, by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.]
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom