Evaluation Strategies for Open and Distributed Learning Environments

Evaluation Strategies for Open and Distributed Learning Environments

Thomas C. Reeves (University of Georgia, USA) and John G. Hedberg (Macquarie University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-410-1.ch013
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Evaluation falls into the category of those often neglected human practices such as exercise and eating right. All of us involved in education or training know that we should engage in systematic evaluation when designing or implementing any type of learning environment, but we rarely get around to it. Perhaps this lapse stems from the fact that most instructional design models such as the ubiquitous ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation) model (Molenda, 2003) appear to suggest that we can postpone evaluation until the end of the process. Whatever the reason, evaluation often remains in the realm of promises made, but not kept, such as “I’ll eat better tomorrow.”
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Why Evaluate?

We recommend a primarily pragmatic philosophy of evaluation that maintains that you should evaluate in order to provide the information that you and other decision makers need to make better decisions about the design and implementation of open and distributed learning environments. We view this as analogous to the conclusion that you should exercise and eat right to provide the necessary ingredients for a long and healthy lifespan. Exercise and evaluation are not ends in themselves in most contexts, but means to longer life on the one hand and better decision making on the other.

As a developer, manager, or implementer of open and distributed learning environments, you must make decisions, similar to those made by other professionals. For example, before rendering a diagnosis, a physician usually questions a patient to ascertain the patient’s presenting complaint and medical history, conducts a thorough examination, and runs various tests. In fact, the quality and reputation of a physician is determined largely by how skillful he or she is in conducting “evaluative” acts such as interviewing, examining, and testing. The same is true of an evaluator.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Gary Poole
Christine Spratt, Paul Lajbcygier
Chapter 1
Selby Markham, John Hurt
Reliability and validity have a well-established place in the development and implementation of educational assessment devices. With the advent of... Sample PDF
Re-Assessing Validity and Reliability in the E-Learning Environment
Chapter 2
Päivi Hakkarainen, Tarja Saarelainen, Heli Ruokamo
In this chapter the authors report on the assessment framework and practices that they applied to the e-learning version of the Network Management... Sample PDF
Assessing Teaching and Students' Meaningful Learning Processes in an E-Learning Course
Chapter 3
Charlotte Brack
Within the notion of Web 2.0, social software has characteristics that make it particularly relevant to ELearning, aligning well with a social... Sample PDF
Collaborative E-Learning Using Wikis: A Case Report
Chapter 4
Mike Hobbs, Elaine Brown, Marie Gordon
This chapter provides an introduction to learning and teaching in the virtual world Second Life (SL). It focuses on the nature of the environment... Sample PDF
Learning and Assessment with Virtual Worlds
Chapter 5
Paul White, Greg Duncan
This chapter describes innovative approaches to E-Learning and related assessment, driven by a Faculty Teaching and Learning Technologies Committee... Sample PDF
A Faculty Approach to Implementing Advanced, E-Learning Dependent, Formative and Summative Assessment Practices
Chapter 6
Christine Armatas, Bernard Colbert
Two challenges with online assessment are making sure data collected is secure and authenticating the data source. The first challenge relates to... Sample PDF
Ensuring Security and Integrity of Data for Online Assessment
Chapter 7
Robyn Benson
This chapter addresses some issues relating to the use of e-learning tools and environments for implementing peer assessment. It aims to weigh up... Sample PDF
Issues in Peer Assessment and E-Learning
Chapter 8
Paul Lajbcygier, Christine Spratt
This chapter presents recent research on group assessment in an e-learning environment as an avenue to debate contemporary issues in the design of... Sample PDF
The Validity of Group Marks as a Proxy for Individual Learning in E-Learning Settings
Chapter 9
Robert S. Friedman, Fadi P. Deek, Norbert Elliot
In order to offer a unified framework for the empirical assessment of e-learning (EL), this chapter presents findings from three studies conducted... Sample PDF
Validation of E-Learning Courses in Computer Science and Humanities: A Matter of Context
Chapter 10
Richard Tucker, Jan Fermelis, Stuart Palmer
There is considerable evidence of student scepticism regarding the purpose of team assignments and high levels of concern for the fairness of... Sample PDF
Designing, Implementing and Evaluating a Self-and-Peer Assessment Tool for E-Learning Environments
Chapter 11
Andrew Sanford, Paul Lajbcygier, Christine Spratt
A differential item functioning analysis is performed on a cohort of E-Learning students undertaking a unit in computational finance. The motivation... Sample PDF
Identifying Latent Classes and Differential Item Functioning in a Cohort of E-Learning Students
Chapter 12
Christine Armatas, Anthony Saliba
A concern with E-Learning environments is whether students achieve superior or equivalent learning outcomes to those obtained through traditional... Sample PDF
Is Learning as Effective When Studying Using a Mobile Device Compared to Other Methods?
Chapter 13
Thomas C. Reeves, John G. Hedberg
Evaluation falls into the category of those often neglected human practices such as exercise and eating right. All of us involved in education or... Sample PDF
Evaluation Strategies for Open and Distributed Learning Environments
Chapter 14
Madhumita Bhattacharya
This chapter presents a description and analysis of salient issues related to the development of an integrated e-portfolio application implemented... Sample PDF
Introducing Integrated E-Portfolio Across Courses in a Postgraduate Program in Distance and Online Education
Chapter 15
John LeBaron, Carol Bennett
Teachers and designers of computer-networked settings increasingly acknowledge that active learner engagement poses unique challenges, especially... Sample PDF
Practical Strategies for Assessing the Quality of Collaborative Learner Engagement
Chapter 16
Som Naidu
Many teachers commonly use assessment as the starting point of their teaching activities because they believe that assessment drives learning and... Sample PDF
Afterword: Learning-Centred Focus to Assessment Practices
About the Contributors