Thursday, May 29, 2008

Summary : Weeks ten and eleven: Conducting your evaluation

Some very interesting posts this week with presentations of evaluation plans appearing. There are presentations from Hilary, Gordon and Yvonne. Gordon has posted some of the feedback he has been getting on his plan and his discussion around the suggestions makes for interesting reading.

has emailed a Flash presentation to everyone so if you did not get it you had better let her know. Helga had some difficulty finding a website where she could upload a Flash file, and the one I suggested did not work. This demonstrates how it is not always easy to display one's work in an open environment, even though we would like to do this.

Hilary had some glitches with Myplick when uploading the presentation, and it was very time consuming doing the recording; finding the right tool for the job is always a tricky one. Hilary's finished plan is now available as well.

Rika has posted her second plan and good on her getting it adjusted so quickly after being let down by red tape. It is good to hear that Sue is still with us after being out of action for a while. Watch out for her updated plan which will be coming soon.

I have to say I am impressed by the variety of the evaluations being conducted by everyone, and the range of approaches. The support you are giving each other is fantastic and there are some wonderful ideas coming through. It is also heartening to see your perseverance in learning new tools to create and upload your presentations. For most of you the next couple of weeks will be busy with data collection. It would be good to see an update on how it is going on your blogs, and do not hesitate to ask for help. There are plenty of heads here to help you solve the problem.

Recording audio
I find Audacity is always a good bet and is available as a free download. It enables you to edit and export the file as an mp3 format - essential for ensuring everyone can access and listen to the recording one has spent so much time on.

Discussion about measuring grades in an evaluation - a synopsis
There has also been some interesting discussion in the comments area on Yvonne's blog around whether measuring grades is a good indication of the effectiveness of a course. In my opinion better grades unfortunately do not always indicate a deep level of learning - it depends on how the assessments are designed. So I am dubious about using grades as a key factor in measuring effectiveness.

In the early days of elearning researchers focussed on grade comparisons between f2f and online learning. They used scientific experimental models of research design with control groups. Little evidence was shown that one mode was better than the other. Nowadays it is often more important to find out if students are using the tools, how they are using them and if they are learning through using them. Enjoyment may be a big factor in learning as Yvonne is about to establish in her evaluation.

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