ERIC Number: ED325097
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-May-23
Reference Count: N/A
Evaluating Distance Learning Technology.
Clark, Richard E.
In the past, distance learning evaluations have been conducted as afterthoughts and have relied heavily on reaction questionnaires, which are unreliable and nonrepresentative of the participants involved. Even when evaluations attempted to collect information about changes in student achievement, questions were asked that confused the separate contributions of delivery media, which provide access to learning resources, and instructional technology, which includes instructional design theories, teaching methods, and motivational strategies. More robust evaluation plans must be adopted in the future. Three features of a strong plan are: (1) evaluation should begin at the start of distance learning program planning, as an early commitment to evaluation will provide more useful information about the strengths of a program and allows changes to be made as the program develops; (2) evaluation plans should measure participant reactions as well as achievement of program objectives, and should collect both qualitative and quantitative data; and (3) cost-effectiveness of both distance learning delivery systems and instructional technology should be measured. Levin's "ingredients method" may be used, in which program ingredients such as personnel, facilities, equipment, and materials are listed and valued. (27 references) (DB)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper prepared at the invitation of the United States Congress, Office of Technology Assessment.