| TOOLS TO EVALUATE E-LEARNING
What SCHOOLS should have
in mind when creating E-Learning programs-
In an ACE(American Council on Education) article by Melissa Smith
entitled "Seven Principles of Adult Learning for E-Learning",
Bryan Polivka of Caliber Learning Network Inc. lays out 7 principles
for designing quality online coursework.
1. Provide Multiple Activities- People today
operate most effectively when doing more than one thing at a time;
multitasking. Give the student a variety of inputs(i.e. reading,
discussion, practice exercises, etc.)
2. Brand Online Material- A quality course starts
with quality content. Remind the learner where the content is
coming from, so that they are constantly reassured that the information
originates from a trusted, legitimate content provider.
3. Build a Community- Students are used to in-class
interaction between classmates, professors, teaching assistants,
specialists, etc. Online they need a similar interaction. The
program needs to bring not only the instructor to the student,
but also the campus.
4. Give a Sense of Direction- Provide students with
concrete goals to strive for. They need to be able to say where
theyve been, where they are, and where they are going with
5. Make Evaluation a Two Way Street- It is equally
important for learners to assess instructors as it is for instructors
to evaluate learners.
6. Accommodate Everyone- Address all learning styles.
Not everyone learns in the same way, so its important to
provide multiple opportunities for learning content based on individual
learning styles. The three major learning styles are doing, seeing,
and hearing. The course should be designed for all three styles
7. Align Goals- Students need to get relevant info
they need or want in a timely manner. The instructors need to
understand what they are teaching and why the student needs to
What STUDENTS should have in mind when evaluating E-Learning
In a recent study sponsored by NEA(National Education Association)
and Blackboard Inc., 24 ways to measure quality in Internet-based
distance learning programs were established. WorldStudent has
condensed the list into 7 essential ways to measure e-learning
1. Institutional Support- Does the program have a
reliable technology plan that includes electronic security measures
to ensure both quality standards and the integrity and validity
2. Course Development- Do they have strict guidelines
regarding minimum standards used for course development, design
and delivery? Are the instructional materials reviewed periodically
to ensure they meet program standards? Are the courses designed
to require students to engage themselves in analysis, synthesis,
and evaluation as a part of their course and program requirements?
3. Teaching/Learning- Is the essential act of student
interaction with faculty and other students facilitated through
a variety of ways, including voice mail and/or email? Is the feedback
to student assignments and questions constructive and provided
in a timely manner? Are students instructed in the proper methods
of effective research, including assessment of the validity of
4. Course Structure- Are students properly advised
about the program before they begin, to determine if they possess
the self-motivation and commitment to learn at a distance and
if they have access to the minimal technology required by the
course design? Are students provided with supplemental course
information that outlines course objectives, concepts, ideas,
and learning outcomes for each course? Do students have access
to sufficient library resources that include a "virtual library"
accessible through the world wide web? Do faculty and students
agree upon expectations regarding times for student assignment
completion and faculty response?
5. Student Support- Do the students receive information
about programs, including admission requirements, tuition and
fees, books and supplies, technical and proctoring requirements,
and student support services? Are students provided with hands-on
training and information to aid them in securing material through
electronic databases, inter-library loans, government archives,
news releases, and other sources? Do the students have access
to technical support throughout the duration of the course/program?
Are questions that are directed to student services personnel
answered accurately and quickly with a structured system in place
to address student complaints?
6. Faculty Support- Are faculty members assisted in
the transition from classroom teaching to online instruction,
and assessed in the process? Do they have access to technical
assistance in course development? Are faculty members provided
with written resources to deal with issues arising form student
use of electronically accessed data?
7. Evaluation and Assessment- Is the programs
educational effectiveness and teaching/learning process assessed
through an evaluation process that uses several methods and applies
specific standards? Are intended learning outcomes reviewed regularly
to ensure clarity, utility, and appropriateness?