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Evaluation

Without critical evaluation, courses risk becoming stagnant and dated, imposing barriers to learners looking to engage and utilize online education. Evaluation should occur both in a final review process and during each offering of a course, with evaluations conducted by the learners as well as members of the design team. This feedback helps identify challenges and barriers learners encountered as well as course features and strategies that do, or do not, work well in promoting engagement and learner success. By identifying the successes and drawbacks, the instructor and design team can then address issues as the course is in progress, or plan future revisions and enhancements.

Throughout Offering

From the initiation of coursework to the final days of the offering, it is important to observe learner progress to determine areas of confusion and difficulty, as well as request learner input regarding the comprehensiveness and functionality of the course.

 

Seek learner feedback 

Planned icon.Immediate icon.Mid-point evaluations and check-ins with learners provide valuable information to the instructor, course developer, and design team during the delivery of the course. Continually collecting learner feedback helps determine if course outcomes are being met, if any clarification or adjustments are needed, and can indicate barriers and difficulties with the design or content.

Associated UD Principles

  • UID - Principle 5: Supportive learning environment; Carter, I., Leslie, D., & Kwan, D. (2012), Palmer, J. and Caputo, A. (n.d.)
  • UDL - Principle 3: Provide multiple means of engagement; Tobin, T. J. (2014)
  • UDI - Principle 8: Community of learners; Scott, S. S., McGuire, J. M., & Foley, T. E. (2003)

Course Completion

Course completion is marked by the submission of official grades. Following this, instructors should have the opportunity to review any final student evaluations that have been submitted and, having completed instruction of all the materials, have an opportunity to reflect on the entirety of the course.

  

Request final learner evaluations

Planned icon.Similar to the use of mid-point evaluations and check-ins, the final learner evaluation is valuable in identifying barriers and challenges that learners encounter in the course. Through the final evaluation, learners can reflect on the entirety of the course, identifying design features as well as instructional strategies and practices that were beneficial, or suggest areas of improvement. The learner perspective is helpful in understanding the online environment and continuing to build courses that are accessible, engaging, and effective for learners.

Associated UD Principles

  • UID - Principle 5: Supportive learning environment
  • UDL - Principle 3: Provide multiple means of engagement;
  • UDI - Principle 9: Instructional Climate; Scott, S. S., McGuire, J. M., & Shaw, S. F. (2003)
Conduct a comprehensive course review 

Planned icon.Upon its conclusion, it is important to take time to complete your own review of the course. If working with a design team, consider a debriefing meeting to discuss where the course succeeded and which areas need improvement. Consider how well the assessments and supports aligned with the learning outcomes and assess which topics or sections learners found difficult or confusing. Are there additional supports or clarity that can be added, and how well were learners kept interested and engaged in the course. If the course has been run for multiple iterations and has had subsequent revisions since the initial design, this is also an opportunity to assess the course against quality standards.

Associated UD Principles

  • UID - Principle 5: Supportive learning environment; Open Learning and Educational Support (n.d.)
  • UDL - Principle 3: Provide multiple means of engagement; Langley-Turnbaugh, S. J., Blair, M, & Whitney, J. (2013)
  • UDI - Principle 8: Community of learners