As part of an independent study this semester, I am assembling an eMentoring tool box for teachers, teacher trainers, and others who are involved in facilitating the professional growth of novices.
Using Kathy Schrock’s Software Evaluation Form along with the NETS Educational Software Evaluation Form, I cobbled together my own little rubric for assessing tools that might enhance teacher-to-teacher induction and mentoring activities. Since my focus is on web-based tools, many of the common evaluation criteria just didn’t seem applicable.
I recast bits and pieces of both forms into a series of questions. But I wonder if there are new questions that I haven’t even considered? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
So far, these are the factors I will consider when reviewing tools for online mentoring:
- Technical quality: Is it accessible, installable, operational? What is the start-up/registration process like? (simple, difficult, time consuming)
- Documentation: Where is tech support?
- License terms: Do they apply?
- Cost: How much to acquire and to train/support staff?
- Scalability: Does it scale by numbers of users, documents, posts, etc.?
- What are the system requirements (memory, OS)?
- Are there any additional requirements (hardware or software)?
- Design: Is the user interface attractive and intuitive?
- Reliability: Is it bug free?
- Usability: How “friendly” is it? How easy to use? What is the learning curve? Basic? Intermediate? Advanced? Are there testimonials?
- User features: What are they?
What do you think?