My name is Vanora Mitchell and I am a professional independent evaluator working in Washington, DC.
How do we evaluate online learning? About a year ago, a school that I volunteer with asked me to help them to evaluate their new online learning initiatives. They were in the process of developing online courses and wanted to know how to identify success and if the evaluation process was different than for the traditional classroom. Here are three resources I found particularly useful as I did my background research:
Rad Resource: Evaluating Online Learning: Challenges and Strategies for Success: Written in 2008 by WestEd for the U.S. Department of Education, this 80 page report was my go-to guide. It had concrete examples, came from a reliable source, and was research-based.
Rad Resource: E-Learning Concepts and Techniques: This online collaborative ebook was developed in 2006 by a class at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Instructional Technology. The entire book is useful and Chapter 9 is devoted to E-Learning Evaluation.
Rad Resource: eLearn Magazine: Focusing mostly on the online classroom context, this magazine is web-based and free and full of articles that helped me to understand more about electronic learning. I read a number of background articles, but here are a few that were directly evaluation related:
- Online Learning Indicators
- Tutorial: ffectively Evaluating Online Learning Programs
- Best Practices: Measuring success: raid on Deerfield revisited
- And..here is a link to where you can readily search and find all of their articles tagged “Program Evaluation”
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