Week 4 Education Evaluation paradigms

When I read the article on paradigms by Professor Tom Reeves. I thought that some one was having a joke, they had put together a lot a big words, mostly jargon, into paragraphs to try and baffle me, which they did successfully and then made conclusions about a group of people, as if they existed, about their view on humankind. After I read the other article Compare two different models put together by Bronwyn - I couldn't help thinking why Professor tom Reeves could not achieve the same degree of clarity.

What I understand is that teaching and learning has a vast number of variables, many of which can not be kept constant while studying a particular one. So quantitative methods alone may give misleading solutions. The use of qualitative and objective methods alongside of quantitative methods may help to alleviate that concern. So the use of 'multiple methods evaluation model' as developed by Mark and Shortland in1987 seems to me to make the most sense. Why would you limit yourself to only one form of evaluation. As an engineer we learn that even in engineering things are not absolute, as much as we like to quantify things we also understand that in the end not 'all the variables' can be accounted for and the solution is just a 'best guess'. So many time you end up looking at a problem from different angles and seeing what the common threads are, so as to give you a picture of best fit. I can see evaluation being like this also. So look at a teaching resource with as many evaluation tools as possible, to get as best a picture as possible makes sense to me.

Week 3 Guide lines

Firstly this week has helped me define my project a bit further. I will be doing a needs analysis on a elearning resource intended for use in upcoming engineering course. The intention is to add a resource into one particular topic area and at this stage continue to maintain f2f learning for the rest of the course, ie a slow introduction of elearnign into the course. So once this was decided coming up with two guidelines was easy.

The two guidelines that I selected from the elearning guidelines for NZ that interested me are

TD1 Is the use of e-learning the best way to achieve the intended learning outcomes?

What I have noticed in the teaching of Engineering is that currently there is not very much elearning being practised, my research is not extensive so I may be proven wrong. It certainly does not exist where I have been teaching. The reasons may be due to lack of knowledge and skills on the part of tutors about elearning and a fear of increased workloads due to the initial setting up of the resource. We do teach high level software applications in the form of Computer aided Design programmes, so students are and need to be familiar with computers. So you would think that the next step would be to use elearning as part of the teaching process

Link to guideline TD1

The second Guideline is
Do students gain knowledge relevant to employment and/or current thinking in their field?

link to the guidelines click here http://elg.massey.ac.nz/index.php?title=SD3

At Bahrain polytechnic one of our primary objectives is to produce work ready students. So the elarning resource should confirm with that.



Week 2
I have read a few of the responses already made and to avoid repeating them have taken a slightly different approach

Why is evaluation important to you and how do you define it?
Why is quality important in eLearning?

For me evaluation is about checking that something is fit for purpose. In the case of a educational course, that the objectives and outcomes are met.

Traditional evaluation in f2f teaching generally occurs at the end of a course as course reviews or programme reviews. This is probably suited for traditional course because our expectation of results from those course are seasoned by what has happened in past courses.

With regards to an elearning resource, course or programme the evaluation is there to check that learning is occurring as we suspected it would. We have expectation of new technology to deliver better results than our traditional teaching, otherwise why would we be using it. This expectation can lead to disappointment as actual results do not exceed what we have come to expect from traditional teaching. Unforeseen problems happen and our deliverables do not meet our expectations. So it is very important to ensure that the quality of the course is of a high standard and that quality is being maintained throughout the course. High quality standard also help to identify areas that require attention.

Quality and Evaluation are very intertwined, to maintain quality there needs to be regular evaluation - evaluation is the tool to checking quality. Unfortunately evaluation has been percieved as a tool for catching lame tutors and in fact at MIT student evaluations were linked to salary increases.

What sort of evaluations mentioned on the presentation are familiar to you already and why?

I have not experienced much formal evaluations. Of course I have encountered the summative evaluation that students give of both the teaching and the course at the end of the course. We used this at MIT primarily to check on student satisfaction, coupled with promotion up the career path.

We also had set up moderation process for assessments, which is a type of evaluation, in that it does check that the curriculum has been covered in sufficient depth. This is t check that our qualification standards confirm with other polytechnics around the country.

There was informal evaluation taking place in the form of one’s own work, or like a reflective appraisal of teaching strategies, to see what worked and if any improvement could be made.