Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Weeks one to three summary - Part two

art at Denver Art Museum by jkonrath

The summaries continue with information about two different perspectives about the Engineering Mechanics taster.

Rachel in her post about evaluation processes has provided some interesting examples of evaluation - some worked and some did not. She illustrates how evaluation when it is inappropriate is a waste of time, and where important aspects are missed because the right questions are not being asked.  

Rachel and Katie have chosen the Engineering Mechanics taster. Look out for the link to the finished product. They have prepared this on Wikispaces. They have decided that a needs assessment (also called needs analysis) is an appropriate evaluation method. One of their suggestions was to use "Gilly Salmon's five-stage method as it would allow the [lecturer] to move the students through the e-learning meeting and [evaluate] their needs within the course".

Check out Katie's cartoons about evaluation - they are great. Katie has also defined evaluation using a back stitch analogy: "To move the stitch forward you must always go back first and revisit where you have just been...and when it is going well you check up less often!" How true is that!  Check out how Katie's eLearning Guidelines align with quality on her post about quality.

Mareena and Veronique have decided that a formative evaluation in the form of a needs analysis is required for the Engineering Mechanics taster.  I really like the way Veronique has hyperlinked to Mareena's post and to the case study: "I hooked up with Mareena for this exercise. We looked at the Engineering Mechanics case study."  They are very clear about why the evaluation process they suggest is appropriate because it would  "...help to inform teaching staff of the usefulness and effectiveness of eLearning as well as identifying what additional support students and staff might need, and ensure time and effort is not wasted on implementing and developing resources that may not be useful."

One of the solutions suggested by both pairs which have looked at the Engineering mechanics taster was to find out how the learners were using the Merlot resource. Rachel and Katie suggest using an experimental model with two groups, a control group without access to the resource, and another with access, and then to investigate if there was any " ...difference in their formative or summative assessment scores." Veronique and Mareena in contrast suggested: " ...trial the eLearning resource with students; this could be done by observing the students using the resource and providing a follow-up interview or questionnaire." Which approach appeals to you?

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