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ERIC Number: ED501849
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 80
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Evaluating Online Learning: Challenges and Strategies for Success. Innovations in Education
US Department of Education
This guide is designed as a resource for leaders and evaluators of K-12 online learning programs. In this guide, the term "online learning" is used to refer to a range of education programs and resources in the K-12 arena, including distance learning courses offered by universities, private providers, or teachers at other schools; stand-alone "virtual schools" that provide students with a full array of online courses and services; and educational Web sites that offer teachers, parents, and students a range of resources. The guide features seven evaluations that represent variety in both the type of program or resource being evaluated, and in the type of evaluation. These evaluations were selected because they offer useful lessons to others who are planning to evaluate an online learning program or resource. Part I of this guide focuses on some of the likely challenges faced by online program evaluators, and it is organized into the following sections: (1) Meeting the Needs of Multiple Stakeholders; (2) Building on the Existing Base of Knowledge; (3) Evaluating Multifaceted Online Resources; (4) Finding Appropriate Comparison Groups; (5) Solving Data Collection Problems; (6) Interpreting the Impact of Program Maturity; and (7) Translating Evaluation Findings Into Action. Part II synthesizes the lessons learned from meeting those challenges and offers recommendations based as well on research and conversations with experts in evaluating online learning. These are geared to program leaders who are considering an evaluation and to assist them and their evaluators as they work together to design and complete the process. Brief profiles of each of the seven online programs can be found at the end of the guide, and details about each evaluation are summarized in table 1. For readers who are less familiar with evaluation, a glossary of common terms is included. Appended are a list of resources for further information about evaluating online learning and the research methodology used in this guide. (Contains 4 figures, 2 tables, and 19 notes.) [This report was prepared by WestEd with Edvance Research, Inc. for the Office of Innovation and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. For a related report, see ED499392.]
US Department of Education. Available from: ED Pubs. P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Tel: 877-433-7827; Fax: 301-470-1244; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Education (ED), Office of Innovation and Improvement; WestEd
Identifiers - Location: Alabama; Arizona; Illinois; Louisiana; Maryland; Washington; Wisconsin