Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Summary weeks one to three - Part three

 Misha uses a wonderful analogy about her challenge to find a definition for evaluation: " ...it was a bit like trying to stuff a wriggling octopus into a small box...." Don't you love it. I was interested to read, with a reference no less, about the newness of evaluation - it is not a process, in the formal sense, which has had a lot of time to evolve. What do you think? 

octopus tattoo by kusine

 How did our ancestors gather feedback and evaluate their activities? For example, is the lack of evaluation the reason why chamberpots were happily tipped out of windows and into the streets in the US and Europe for many years up until the mid 1900s? Or was evaluation the primary reason why the practice was changed? The initiators of change - Ardern and Lockett (1914) - by describing the activated sludge wastewater treatment process to their peers invited critique and review; and through this evaluative process enabled the technique to rapidly become the most widely used biological wastewater treatment process.Read more:     Apologies I digress.....

Meena and Misha have also looked at the Career Development taster and come up with a number of solutions which are different again. They suggest both a needs analysis and an effectiveness evaluation and more. I really like the suggestion: "Know our learners - Perform a diagnostic survey and pre-technology survey to analyse learners' learning style and technological understanding to troubleshoot through learning process."  The other types of evaluation which are suggested are: Usability- how easy it is to navigate around and not lose your path. Viability. Review-Done during design /Development phase.Usability test before the module goes live. Expert review. You are going to be busy - which kind is most pertinent do you think?

Some questions and suggestions to you
When you do the Evaluate This exercise take notice about how you decide what to look for, and what criteria  you use and why? When you evaluate formally these will need to be explicit. The differences between your evaluations of the tasters illustrate that some things will stand out more than others for each of you. When it comes to evaluation, everyone brings a different perspective so that is why a careful and structured approach to evaluation helps to remove any subjectivity which may creep in.

Don't forget, even if you are working in pairs, what you post on your blog needs to include some material which reflects your uniqueapproach - Kevin and Jon demonstrate what I mean by this and to some extent Dana and Louise.

A tip about using images on your blogs
One thing to be careful with when using images is to make sure you reference them, and make sure you are only using images without copyright restrictions unless you have obtained permission to use them. For example, I only use images which are: Public Domain and Creative Commons by Attribution or have other  some rights reserved licensing. A good place to find material is: http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/