Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Evaluation Paradigms and Models

Evaluation Plan

It was really interesting reading all the different ways we can make an effective evaluation through all the readings for this course. Interesting to look at the qualitative and quantitative methods with the different paradigms. The Eclectic-mixed Methods Pragmatic Paradigm looks at qualitative and quantitative evaluation including triangulation. The information gathered from using mixed methods approach allows us to improve our teaching and learning. It was quite neat to see how Bronwyn had compared the two models.

I would prefer using the Multiple Methods evaluation model Mark & Shotland 1987 to conduct my evaluation project. I have thought of evaluating unit 2780 – Operate a Personal Computer for the evaluation project. This unit is theory based and there was a text book for this unit in combination with unit 2781. Just recently it has been all made online and there is no text books for it. So students now have to navigate through online resources and complete their course work before attempting the assessments.

I would look at evaluating this unit with respect to the guidelines that I chose earlier TD2: Do students get clearly defined learning objectives that assist them in focussing on their learning activities? I would like to find out whether the students are able to know what they need to do to cover the course materials and follow through the assessments. And TD5: Have a representative sample of students tested the e-learning materials, and any necessary modifications been made? Since the online materials have been just introduced, there are still room for improvement – “pragmatic aspect … things can get better.” It was interesting to see when the change happened from the text book to everything being online – the students who were in between the change – some students preferred online and some preferred the text book. It would be good to evaluate and see the advantages of having it online and how we can make it better if need be. So I would be carrying out an Effectiveness Evaluation – to see how effective the online course for unit 2780 is or I can look at the modification side with TD5, where Maintenance Evaluation can be looked at, Depending on the time frame for this course – I think it would be best to just stick with one evaluation. Since this course has just come online recently – I think the maintenance will be looked at a later stage, so it would be better for me to concentrate on the effectiveness of it for now, so I would concentrate more on the summative evaluation.

I like the usability principles – where the Structure, Simplicity, Visibility, feedback, tolerance and reuse are very essential principles while evaluating an Elearning course.

Thought: When evaluating using a group of students, Does the age of students matter? if your sample of students are older students or if sample is majority younger teens - how effective is your evaluation based on age factor??

Feed back and comments are welcome.

Wish you all a very Happy Easter Break !!!



  1. Hi Krishan, I think it would make a difference. Some older students struggle with technology. Some younger students (digital natives) struggle with motivation and time-management.

    I think part of a needs analysis includes a look at student demographics - age, computer literacy, prior learning, learning styles etc.

    One of your guidelines mentions a representative sample of students, so you would make sure that you had some older and younger students in that group.

  2. Krishan I agree the effectiveness evaluation would be sufficient and probably the best approach at this stage. Your guidelines are a good starting point.

    However I am not totally convinced that the guidelines you have chosen are the best ones for your situation. First of all I would like to understand what you hope to find out?

    Are you interested in how the students learned in the online environment? Do you need to find out whether they had the necessary skills? Or do you want to know if replacing the textbook with online materials is a more efficient or cost effective way to learn and teach?

    Or do you want to know how they used and accessed the online materials?
    One of the things you say is important is finding out: "whether the students are able to know what they need to do to cover the course materials and follow through the assessments".

    I think if you list some sub-questions under the guidelines it will help to clarify what you are hoping to find out. And for TD5: Have a representative sample of students tested the e-learning materials, and any necessary modifications been made?

    This is fine but why is this important? Perhaps add: How have learners with low, medium and high levels of ICT skills responded to online learning?
    Just some suggestions - I hope we can talk soon.