Sunday, March 8, 2009

Week2 Quality and Evaluation

Post answers to the following questions to your blog and send a short email out to the class about your main points.

· Why is evaluation important to you and how do you define it?
· What sort of evaluations mentioned on the presentation are familiar to you already and why?
· Why is quality important in eLearning?

Evaluation is…

Definition of evaluation can be found in the webpage of (What is evaluation? 1999)

Evaluation is the analysis and comparison of actual progress vs. prior plans, oriented toward improving plans for future implementation.

Another definition from webpage (What is evaluation?) is listed below:

Evaluation is about using monitoring and other information you collect to make judgements about your project. It is also about using the information to make changes and improvements.

Widely speaking we evaluate all the time. For example, when having a class in a F2F environment we evaluate the situation and change teaching strategies according to students’ response. We might give more explanation and exercises when students are confused, we might go through the course quickly if students are all “switched on “.

I think generally, evaluation is based on asking questions, collecting data or information that answer the questions, through analysis then make the decision and take action to ensure the whole project / system fulfil planned outcome. It can be varied depends on what questions we are asking and what result we would like to get.

Why evaluation is so important to me:

I like the ADDIE model which shows how important the evaluation is. I personally believe evaluation from the beginning of a project is crucial to ensure the whole project is on the right track.

Evaluation can be applied to improve our service and help improving the quality of training / teaching. We can evaluate the effectiveness and quality of our training by asking questions e.g. How do we find if the course material we delivered can be easily accessed and understood by students? Do our students achieve their learning goals? Can they apply the skills they learned into their further study, etc.

What sorts of evaluations mentioned on the presentation are familiar to me already and why?

There are several methods I know or have the experience using it. For example, we do observations for our Level 2 / Level 3 students quite often as part of their assessments.
Personally as a student, I experienced quite a lot more on formative assessment (assuming part of our assignments for this course will be formative assessed?) and summative assessments. I had been asked to fill in questionnaire at the beginning of courses ( guess to provide more info of our learning background to tutors?). Filled in feedback at the end of a course is quite popular and we did it for each of Applied e-learning courses.

From my experience, checklists are more used when assessing if we have achieved the planned outcomes.

Why is quality important in eLearning?

E-learning is different from fact to face learning. Learning material is mainly be accessed digitally. Unlike f2f situation, e-learning tutors are not able to response to students’ questions immediately all the time, neither to get the feedback of teaching by observing students’ activities or talking to students.

So the quality of e-learning is extremely important in e-learning. Assuming following ADDIE model and each stage of the system development has been well evaluated, the e-learning system should be very well designed to meet students’ learning needs and adapt to diverse learning /teaching styles. A good system will help both students and tutors achieve their learning / teaching goals.

What is evaluation? (n.d.). Retrieved 03 05, 2009, from Charities Evaluation Services:

What is evaluation? (1999). Retrieved 3 5, 2009, from SIL International:


  1. What a wonderful post Joy!!! Very well researched and thorough :) Keep it up.

  2. Joy
    It is good to read about your view that we tend to evaluate constantly when teaching. Thank you for providing us with some definitions from the web as well as describing your views on evaluation. I see you are a fan of the ADDIE model of design, and you give us a good overview of why it is a useful model to follow to ensure quality in eLearning. Like Herve, you can see how the different ways we interact online compared to face-to-face classrooms, can make it hard for lecturers to gauge how students are understanding or enjoying their learning. Therefore, evaluation is even more important in eLearning. Great post Joy. Try and add hyperlinks to the material you are referring to in your posts as well as referencing at the end.

  3. Thx Minhaaj.

    Thx Bronwyn. You summarized my thoughts in brief and it's so clear. I am really happy when reading ur comments.

    I feel it's really important to follow ADDIE model. Maybe some people will think it's waste of time while getting evaluation for each stage, but it is essential and important to ensure we are heading to the right direction. Otherwise the whole system probably needs to be amended or even redo from the beginning, and it will be very costly both in financial and working time.

  4. Hi Joy
    Agree with comments above. Very good post and I agree totally with your comments about the difference between f2f and online learning.

    I believe that it is more important than ever for online learning to be of a very high standard (more so than face to face) because it would be so easy for learners to become discouraged or unmotivated with poor course design online.

    Keep up the good work,

  5. Great to see some discussion going on here and we are all of the same mind about the importance of evaluation and quality in eLearning. Measuring quality of course is only as good as the evaluators and the approaches they take - hence the need for this course. I am very excited about the projects you are going to do for the course.

    Each year people do a wide range of different evaluations which is part of what makes teaching this course so interesting. Of course learning about all your different perspectives is also what makes it worthwhile - never a dull moment! :)