The 5Ds Model for Planning and Teaching Online Courses: Stage 5 – Determining the Online Course Effectiveness

The 5Ds Model for Planning and Teaching Online Courses: Stage 5 – Determining the Online Course Effectiveness

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2042-0.ch006
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Given the special nature of online courses, an appropriate evaluation approach is needed to determine the effectiveness of the course and recommend the needed revision to make it more effective each time it is offered to a new group of students. This chapter covers the fifth D of the 5Ds Model for Planning and Teaching Online Courses, the determine stage. The determine stage constitutes the third phase of the 5Ds model, the evaluation phase. Primarily, the determine stage consists of three steps, formative evaluation, summative evaluation, and revision.
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Upon course completion, online instructors need to determine how effective their courses are in achieving the intended learning outcomes and also measure the course’s overall impact on the students. Instructors can make such determination by conducting both the formative and summative evaluation. According to the 5Ds model, the purpose of these two evaluation processes is mainly to identify the weaknesses in the course instruction and collect data to revise it and make it more effective. Also, the primary purpose of the Determine Stage of the model is to determine the effectiveness of the online course. Generally, an effective online course is the one that enables students to achieve its planned goals and objectives. No matter how fancy the course website is or how technology savvy the online instructor is, an online course is not deemed to be effective nor successful if the students fail to meet the planned learning outcomes of the course. Therefore, as discussed in the previous stages of the 5Ds model, online instructors should design and develop their online courses to be interactive, engaging, and promote students’ active participation. However, online instructors need to utilize specialized evaluation and assessment means to determine the effectiveness of their online courses by collecting the reliable data and information to revise it and make it more effective every time they teach it. Thus, online instructors need to treat their online courses as an empirical study during which the actual data and information can be collected to measure the intended learning outcomes and the course’s impact on the students. Usually, academic institutions provide its students with an end-of-course evaluation survey and ask them to complete and submit it upon the online course completion. All of these surveys, however, are designed to mainly collect descriptive or qualitative data that reflects students’ reaction to the course in general and the instructor. Although students’ positive reaction and attitude toward the course and instructor is significant, it only provides a subjective evaluation measure of the students’ opinion. Therefore, it should not be considered as the ultimate determining factor of the online course’s effectiveness and the instructor’s online teaching capability. Instead, the online course evaluation should be a systematic and continuous process that is a theory-driven and requires developing evaluation instruments that are capable of collecting both qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative or descriptive data that is based on the students’ feedback and quantitative data that is based on the scores obtained from the pretest and posttest results and other graded instructional activities. In addition to the statistical data analysis that can be automatically generated by the LMS System.

Figure 1.

5Ds model determine stage


Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this learning module of the 5th stage of the 5Ds model, Determine, you will be able to achieve the following three major objectives:

  • 5.1 Design and conduct a formative evaluation

  • 5.2 Design and conduct a summative evaluation

  • 5.3 Analyze and utilize the collected data to revise the online course

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