The purpose of this chapter is to provide an integrated evaluation framework of e-learning based on the basic concepts of evaluation and previous evaluation models. Several evaluation models were reviewed in order to lay the foundation for our proposed model of e-learning evaluation. Stufflebeam (1983), Kirkpatrick (1987), Phillips (1997), and Holton (1996) were chosen as four representative training evaluation models. The frameworks developed by Rosenberg (2001) and Khan (2005) were also reviewed to address several evaluation design issues for e-learning. Based on six evaluation models, an integrated framework is suggested for comprehensive e-learning evaluation. This integrated framework consists of six stages (i.e., context, resources, process, product, implementation, and outcomes) and two levels (i.e., program and organization). The practical case is introduced as an example that uses the integrated evaluation framework.
Evaluation is defined as “the process of determining the merit, worth, and value of things and evaluations are the products of that process” (Scriven, 1991b, p.1). Evaluation provides information to judge and assess an object’s merit and worth (Stufflebeam, 2001). Focusing on programs in an educational context, Tyler (1991) identified the six purposes of evaluation: (1) to monitor current programs; (2) to select a better program to replace the previous one; (3) to assist in developing a new program; (4) to identify the effects of a program; (5) to estimate the costs and effects of a program; and (6) to test the relevance and validity of a program.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Context: Specific conditions or situations of e-learning, including program level (instruction, learner, teacher, and technology) and organizational level (culture, capabilities, readiness, strategy, goal and job).
ROI: Cost-benefit ratio to clarify return on investment of diverse programs.
E-Learning: A type of learning where the medium of instruction is computer and Internet technology.
Product: Outcomes of design and development of e-learning.
Outcomes: The evaluation of e- learning quality in terms of reaction, learning, behavior and results.
Resource: human, physical, financial, and contextual resources of e-learning design, development, and implementation.
Kirkpatrick’s Four-Level Evaluation: The layered evaluation approach with four progressive stages: Level 1 (reaction), level 2 (learning), level 3 (behavior/performance) and level 4 (results).
Integrated Evaluation Framework for E-Learning: Comprehensive e-learning evaluation framework with six stages (context, resources, process, product, implementation, and outcomes).
Implementation: Assessment of e-learning readiness for publicity and applications of the feedback from learners in e-learning.
Process: Decision processes to create and manage e-learning.