Monday, January 07, 2008

Evaluating E-Learning

Happy new year!
Students in my facilitated multiweek "Online Trainer" course look at lots (and lots) of examples of e-learning, good, bad, and ugly. One of their final assigments is to apply their new learning in developing criteria for evaluating an asynchronous program. One of the groups in the Fall 2007 class came up with this excellent list, with items not seen on many existing checklists or tools. Thanks to the members of the "Red Group" for letting me share this.

And: "Better than Bullet Points" ships on Wednesday! Order early and often!

Evaluating an E-Learning Program
by Stephanie Freeman, Steffi Adams, Deanna Sevits, & Freya Brannon

What criteria would you use to evaluate the quality of an e-learning program, either one a vendor is offering or one you were developing in-house?

Objectives: Does the course clearly state the objectives up front and does it deliver, does it provide the amount of information required, does it provide too much information?

Instructional Strategies: Are they varied, are the strategies appropriate given the subject matter and backgrounds of the learners, are different learning styles addressed?

Appearance (Graphics/Concept/Theme): Is there enough white space or does the course look “busy”, are the graphics of good quality, do they enhance the subject matter and are they consistent throughout the course? Does the course have a concept or theme – does it engage the learner, does it work with the subject matter and enhance the experience or detract from it?

Functionality (Organization/Navigation/Accessibility Issues): Is the material well organized, does it need to be provided in a specific order, are the modules too long or too short? Is the navigation easy to follow; is it consistent throughout the course, does the interface work? Are accessibility issues addressed, are accommodations made for hearing and vision disabilities – audio transcripts, color blindness, captions on graphics?

Language: Is the reading level appropriate for the intended audience, are unfamiliar terms explained, are acronyms spelled out, are neutral terms used regarding age, sex, race and religion, are there grammatical or spelling errors?

Interactivity and Feedback: Does the course allow for interactivity for the learner, does it provide positive reinforcement and is it helpful when the learner is incorrect, does it allow for interaction between learners and with the trainer, does it allow the learner to give feedback to the trainer?

Evaluation & Measurement: Does the course allow the learner to evaluate its effectiveness, does it allow for measurement of the learner’s progress - can they apply what they learned, does performance improve?

Delivery and Updates: How will the course be delivered, will more than one method be used, will it be a blended course, will the course require changes to keep it up to date, if so, how will they be delivered and will delivery be in a timely manner?

Technology: Is the required technology and software available, do the links work; are the file sizes acceptable for downloading or viewing, will there be support if the learner has a problem?

Cost and Copyright: Is the course cost effective to deliver, to maintain and update? Is the course material protected, are the resources referred to in the course properly cited? Will copyright issues increase the cost?

Additional Resources: Are they chosen so as not to overwhelm the learner, will they aide the learner and are they easy to find, are web-base resources reliable, trustworthy and kept up-to-date?

1 comment:

Karl Kapp said...


Your students developed a great list. Thanks for sharing.