Using mobile technology to facilitate formative assessment and support learning in apprenticeship programmes


  • Richie Ryan Institute of Technology Carlow
  • Gina Noonan Institute of Technology Carlow
  • Eddie McElheron Institute of Technology Carlow



Formative Assessment, Technology Enhanced Learning, Quizlet


Regular formative assessments can encourage students to spread learning effort throughout entire programmes and afford more feedback opportunities to tutors (Gibbs and Simpson, 2004; Nicol and Macfarlane‐Dick, 2006), while the proliferation of smart mobile phones has contributed to an increasing trend for ‘bring-your-own-device’ (BYOD) activities in higher education (Johnson et al., 2015; Merga, 2016; Sundgren, 2017).As students take more responsibility for their own learning, technology has a greater role to play in facilitating and supporting solutions that can provide more flexible learning opportunities. Quizlet - one such technology, is a web-enabled mobile learning application that repurposes study-sets for use in any of its eight different quiz modes. For a relatively modest time-investment by the tutor, students are provided with a re-usable, interactive, mobile learning resource that can be personalised to suit specific learning needs.This technology review focuses on Quizlet and our experience of using it to increase levels of student engagement and improve learning outcomes in craft apprenticeship programmes.

Author Biographies

Richie Ryan, Institute of Technology Carlow

Richie is a Carpentry & Joinery lecturer at IT Carlow where he is currently studying towards a Master’s degree in Teaching and Learning. He has more than 20 years’ experience in education while his research interests and publications relate to areas associated with construction quality, peer assessment, and mobile learning technologies.

Gina Noonan, Institute of Technology Carlow

Gina is the Head of the Teaching and Learning Centre in the Institute of Technology Carlow and has over twenty years’ experience in higher level education. She has published in the areas of professional development and technology-enhanced assessment and is currently a candidate on a Doctorate programme in Maynooth University.

Eddie McElheron, Institute of Technology Carlow

Eddie is an Electrical and Instrumentation lecturer to apprenticeship students in Institute of Technology Carlow. Eddie has spent over 19 years working in both industry and academia and is currently studying towards a Master’s degree in Teaching and Learning at IT Carlow. His research interests include technology enhanced mobile learning.


Gibbs, G. and Simpson, C. (2004) ‘Conditions Under Which Assessment Supports Students’ Learning.’ Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, 1(1), 3-31. Available at: (Accessed: 04 March 2017).

Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V. and Freeman, A. (2015) NMC Horizon Report: 2015 Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Available at: (Accessed: 15 April 2017).

Merga, M.K. (2016) ‘Bring Your Own Device: Considering potential risks to student health.’ Health Education Journal, 75(4), 464-473. Available at: (Accessed: 28 March 2018).

Nicol, D.J. and Macfarlane‐Dick, D. (2006) ‘Formative assessment and self‐regulated learning: a model and seven principles of good feedback practice.’ Studies in Higher Education, 31(2), 199-218. Available at: (Accessed: 22 November 2017).

Roediger, H.L. and Karpicke, J.D. (2006) ‘Test-Enhanced Learning: Taking Memory Tests Improves Long-Term Retention.’ Psychological Science, 17(3), 249-255. Available at: (Accessed: 24 Febuary 2017).

Sundgren, M. (2017) ‘Blurring time and place in higher education with bring your own device applications: a literature review.’ Education and Information Technologies, 22(6), 3081-3119. Available at: (Accessed: 02 Feburary 2017).






Technology Reviews