An Overview of an Evaluation Framework for E-Learning

An Overview of an Evaluation Framework for E-Learning

Maria Alexandra Rentroia-Bonito (Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal), Joaquim A. Jorge (Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal) and Claude Ghaoui (Liverpool John Moores University, UK)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-562-7.ch067
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Abstract

Technology-based education is taken as an effective tool to support structured learning content dissemination within pre-defined learning environments. However, effectiveness and efficacy of this paradigm relate to how well designers and developers address the specificities of users’ learning needs, preferences, goals, and priorities taking into account their immediate work, social, and personal context. This is required in order to focus development efforts on the design of e-learning experiences that would satisfy identified needs. Thus, studying and assessing the human computer interaction side of such projects is a critical factor to designing holistic and productive e-learning experiences. Literature does not show consistent and integrated findings to support the effectiveness of e-learning as a strategic tool to develop knowledge and skill acquisition (Rosenberg, 2001; Shih & Gamon, 2001). The objective of this article is to develop on one hand, main identified issues of an integrated evaluation framework, focusing on key variables from people and technology standpoint within context of use, and, on the other hand, to summarize the relevant tasks involved in designing e-learning experiences. Main identified issues of an integrated evaluation framework include: (i) some relevant context-specific factors, and (ii) other issues that are identified when people interact with technology. Context-specifics factors such as culture, organization of work, management practices, technology, and working processes may influence the quality of interaction (Laudon & Laudon, 2002) and may also help define the organizational readiness to sustain the acceptance and evolution of e-learning within organizational dynamics. Thus we propose an e-learning evaluation framework to be used as a diagnostic and managerial tool that can be based on: (a) an observed individual vari able, as a visible sign of implicit intentions, to support development effort during instructional design and initial users’ engagement, and/or (b) usability and accessibility as key identified technology variables addressing acceptance and usage. The Background section presents our proposed theoretical evaluation framework to guide our analysis based upon the reviewed li es arising from the proposed framework. Last, we elaborate on some future work and general conclusion.

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