Sunday, May 11, 2008

Summary Weeks 7 & 8: Negotiate and write an evaluation plan,

The highlight this week was a presentation by John Milne, project manager of the eLearning Guidelines project at Massey University. You can view the recorded session on Elluminate here.

John took us through a very interactive session about the eLearning guidelines and tried out some of the features on Elluminate e.g. polling. I really liked the way he got us all to place our locations on the map at the start. People voted to keep the format of the guidelines as questions rather than a checklist - as working through the questions helps people to think more about what they are doing in an organisation. They can then develop their own guidelines once they have thought through the fish hooks.

John's session was great for clarifying how to use the guidelines - the way we have used them in this course as overarching questions is different and you could also use some of the guideline questions to develop a questionnaire or checklist.

As mentioned in my last summary, several people have evaluation plans underway. For example:

Rika has an evaluation plan shaping up for a needs analysis and wants to find out if an "existing marine programme should be developed into an electronically delivered programme". My suggestion was to undertake a needs analysis to determine how the existing marine programme could be re-developed using digital materials and electronic communication methods which will "best meet the needs of key stakeholders and the primary target audience".

The reason being, if the answer to the first part was no - then the eLearning needs analysis would not go ahead fully. Also sometimes people are not aware of eLearning options until an exploration is undertaken. In Rika's latest post she has asked for more feedback on her updated plan. I hope you can take the time to do this.

Gordon in this week's post is making some changes to his plan, following my feedback, to gather evaluation data more in line with a maintenance evaluation - this is where you investigate whether an existing resource or course is meeting the current needs of an organisation. He also mentions in his post that "a high scoring example from a previous course" would be more useful than the example currently provided - good suggestion. Only thing is the criteria have changed slightly.

And each year I find the standard seems to increase, and so far we have seen some excellent plans. I tend to push for excellence when I see potential as well, something I have seen in all plans submitted so far as part of the negotiation process. Thank you Gordon for your astute suggestions and attention to detail in your planning.

Gordon also makes the point that the assessment criteria give the best guide to what is required. Agreed. Perhaps I also need to develop a template specifically for this course which is more in line with the criteria. That is, insist on inclusion of a list of objectives and outcomes.

Jennifer has been doing some catching up in her latest post, and needs some help to decide - whether her formative evaluation is going to be about the usability of the new learning tool - expert review and student feedback, and peer review, or should she conduct a summative evaluation and look at the students reactions (level 1) and measure what they have learned (level 2) - kirkpatrick's model? Could Jennifer get away with adapting Kirkpatrick's model, level one for a formative evaluation?

She has presented some indepth critique about a needs analysis she conducted previously, and also about an evaluation conducted on some online information literacy modules.

Yvonne mentions in her post this week that she has her evaluation plan pretty much sorted, but is worried the potential participants might be disappearing. If this does happen to any of you, be prepared to move to plan B so it is a good idea to have several options for data collection in your plan.

Helga says in her latest post that she is about to conduct her evaluation and is going to provide us with a presentation in the near future. She is providing a high standard of role modeling in how to conduct an evaluation project - I am impressed. Helga mentions her dilemma about revealing who has developed the resource - my feeling is that although you want honest feedback you may also need to be transparent about the development. I found a similar situation occurred when observing users of the online information literacy modules.

What you are after is constructive feedback anyway, and people seem able to be able to provide this regardless.

There is also some great discussion going on around Hilary's plan as several people have added to the comments on her post. I am impressed with the way you are all helping each other.

Anupam in his latest post, mentions he has selected four guidelines to evaluate elearning from an organisational perspective - they are excellent; this is a different approach to others' plans where courses or resources are being investigated. These guidelines will be relevant in his situation as he is not involved directly in any eLearning. For example,MO17 - how does the institution monitor the impact and effectiveness of eLearning? I have made several suggestions about people in the organisation who might assist and participate in his evaluation.

Oneteachersview08 assures us in his last post that he is still with us and it was good to have him join John Milne's presentation this week. Like several of you, he has found work and other PD gets in the way.

For those people who have gone a bit quiet in the last few weeks there is still time to negotiate your plans and I hope you can have something in draft soon - even some very brief ideas for others to comment on will be helpful for you. And we would also like to know you are still with us.

If you take a look at Sue's latest post you will see how some "thinking out loud" about your ideas can help you clarify things. I have left Sue a very long comment, but she stimulated lots of suggestions from me. All her ideas have value and I was pleased I could help her untangle some of the areas she mentioned. It looks like Sue is heading towards a summative effectiveness evaluation. The guidelines will help you sort out the real purpose of your evaluation as they provide the over-arching questions. I am looking forward to her plan unfolding. Some really good thinking going on there.

I found this site, sent by a colleague quite useful and you may also find some of the tips helpful.
Tips on how to write better blog posts

To not have them this long is one tip, but what is a gal to do when you are doing such great work? :)

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