Introduction and Concepts in Distance learning

What is distance learning

Explanation of Various Terms.

Glossary of Web Based learning


Practical self experience with Distance Learning?

Difference between Distance Education and Correspondence Courses

 Can skill oriented courses be covered by DE?

Technologies used in distant education

Instructional Qualities for Web Based Learning

Challenges of Web-based Learning

DE in providing medical education to non traditional students

Teacher and student qualities for distance education

Assignment - Preparation of Distance Learning Module

Evaluation of Distance Learning

Advantages and Disadvantages of e-Learning

Famous quotes

Discussion end- Compliments from Sir & Friends

Summary - Distance Learning


Evaluation of Distance Learning

Measuring evaluation is a very important aspect of any task that we implement. It also helps in accreditation of the course.

And thus we have to be very careful while evaluating learning methodoligies.

Find herewith an article by Barbara, Mike & John on evaluation strategies for distance education as an attachment.

It describes different stages and types of evaluation for distance learning. It takes into account both evaluations at formative and summative stages.

As an extension of the article sent by you,please find below some guidelines for evaluation
 Evaluation should always be based on the objectives of a program or course. Without the specification of objectives, there are no criteria on which to base an evaluation. Program/course evaluation should be based on answers to the following questions:

A. What is the purpose of the evaluation?

1. Who are the stakeholders that need to know the outcomes of a program or course?
2. What needs to be known? What is the purpose of the evaluative data?
3. Why do these stakeholder need to know?
4. When do the stakeholders need to know-during and/or after the completion of a distance learning program or course?
5. How should the data be presented?
6. Is the evaluation design empirical or anecdotal?
7. How often do the stakeholders need the data?
8. How will the data be used?

B. What needs to be evaluated?

1. Student learning outcomes?
2. Student attitudes before, during, and/or after a program/course?
3. Physical skills-fine and gross motor coordination?
4. Course/program administration?
5. Learning environment?
6. Method of course delivery?
7. Appropriate use of the delivery technology(ies)?
8. Instructor presentations?
9. Course logistics?
10. Marketing?
11. Reliability of the technology?
12. Availability of the instructor?
13. Degree of student familiarity with the hardware/software?
14. Instructor familiarity with the hardware/software?
15. Relevance of the course content?
16. Value of team projects?
17. Effectiveness of the support staff (hotline, etc.)?
18. Availability of library resources?How will the data be used?

Types of evaluation instruments

1. Questionnaires
2. Surveys
3. Interviews-structured and open ended
4. Computer data logs
5. Student personal diaries
6. Direct observations
7. Portfolios
8. Tests and exams
9. Self-tests
10. Pre/post test
11. Multiple-choice
12. True/False
13. Matching
14. Essay questions
15. Attitude surveys
16. Scenarios
17. Simulations
18. Games
19. Product assessment criteria

Suman Singh
Like in any other teaching learning process DL should also have , formative and summative evaluations:

 In the distance learning environment, an instructor might have an online evaluation form that focuses on the course strengths/weaknesses, technical/delivery concerns, content areas in need of further coverage.

While summative evaluation  would focus on student performance, course relevancy, learner attitudes toward delivery methods, and the instructor's teaching style and effectiveness.

In the distance learning environment, qualitative approaches may be preferable to quantitative methods of evaluation Though the best evaluation combines quantitative measurement of student performance with qualitative methods to assess information about the attitudes toward the course’s effectiveness and delivery technology.

Nicely enumerated. Can we have some formats for the evaluation instruments?
Some more elaboration on Scenarios,Simulations,Games,Product assessment criteria if possible Sita?
Suman Singh
Most of the parameters that can help in evaluation of the online learning program have been well summarized by Sita. Some of the more parameters that can tell us about our online learning experience can be-
• number of people participating in the group discussion
• quality of inputs received from them
• practical use and shareing of experience of the tips learned through online discussions
may be we can have some form of questionnaire to evaluate the effective ness of our learning experiences.

I am enclosing a questionnaire for evaluation

Teacher Questionnaire
District: ____________________________________________
Name: __________________ School: _____________________
Goals: As a result of being involved in this project, I hope to:
(Check all that apply.)
__ Increase my comfort level and use of technology in the classroom.
__ Increase my knowledge and understanding of science content.
__ Increase the amount of hands-on science done in my classroom.
__ Increase my interest in teaching science.
__ Increase the amount of field research being done by my students
__ Increase interdisciplinary science lessons.

Current Situation:
Please use 5= very high; 4= high; 3= so-so; 2= low; 1= very low
My current comfort level using technology in science education is _____.
Currently my use of technology in science education is _______.
My current expertise for teaching science now is ________.
My current expertise for teaching multidisciplinary science is _________.
My current knowledge of the JASON project is _________.
My current expertise in using distance learning is _________.

Professional Development/Student Learning Goals
The Student Learning Goals that I wish to improve are: (check all that apply)
___ Scores on the Oregon Science Knowledge and Skills test
___ Benchmark 2 (Grade 5)
___ Benchmark 3 (Grade 8)
___ Science Inquiry Scoring Guide
___ Benchmark 2 (Grade 5) – Designing an investigation; Collecting and presenting data.
___ Benchmark 3 (Grade 8) – Designing an Investigation; Collecting and presenting data; Analyzing and
Interpreting results
___ Increase skills to use technology
___ Increase interest in science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics careers
___ Increase participation in science fairs/student research
___ Increase enrollment in or intention to enroll in optional or advanced science classes
___ Other:

1 attachment(s) 
 E1_f.pdf (206.2 KB)

Find herewith an article attached on ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION OF STUDENTS IN DISTANCE  LEARNING WITH THE INTERNET by Mario Dumancic & Vladimir Šimovic
The assessment of students in the process of education within the Internet school includes:
1.      Assessment of students’ progress in the learning of educational materials
2.      Assessment of the use of Internet communication services
3.      Assessment of approach to educational materials.
The assessment of students' progress through educational
materials is feasible by means of

- tests
- students' papers
- final evaluation

In tests, several kinds of tests or their combinations are used in Internet schools:
- time-limited / unlimited tests
- interactive tests

Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Web-based Course

   Are web-based courses as effective as traditional, on-campus
offerings (Zirkle and Ourand, 1999)? To assist in answering this
question, several evaluation methods have been devised for web-based courses. One advocated by Fortune and Keith (1992) and Sweeney (1995) propose an AEIOU approach that has application to web-based courses:

    • Accountability - examines if course objectives and activities were
      completed. It also looks at quantifiable measures such as student
    • Effectiveness - examines quality indicators such as student attitudes, perceptions and knowledge
    • Impact - using follow-up measures, attempts are made to determine student progress in subsequent courses and to chart whether or not student enrollment in web-based courses is increasing
    • Organizational Context - examines what institutional barriers or
      issues might be hindering the effectiveness of web-based courses
    • Unanticipated Consequences - attempts to determine what changes or consequences of importance happened as a result of offering web-based courses?     Woodley and Kirkwood (1986) have also proposed evaluative measures that may have relevance for web-based courses and programs.

Their six measures and some examples of the various data to be
collected include:

    • Measures of activity - How many web-based courses were offered? How many students enrolled in web-based courses?
    • Measures of efficiency - how many students completed the course? What did the course cost to offer? How much tuition was generated?
    • Measures of outcomes - What was student performance in web-based courses compared to traditional courses(using grades and other relevant measures)? How many students enrolled in subsequent courses?
    • Measures of program aims - Did web-based courses generate students who not have normally accessed the courses through traditional means?
    • Measures of policy - Is the campus "web-friendly?" Can students
      register for courses easily? Can they access library materials and
      receive grades without problems?
    • Measures of organizations - To what extent are organizational
      resources being utilized for web-based course delivery? How are
      courses being developed? Are faculty being given adequate professional development in order to offer courses via web-based delivery? Both qualitative and quantitative measures should be utilized in the evaluation of any web-based course or program (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, and Zvacek 2000) and should be tailored to the specific goals and objectives set prior to its implementation.

Some Guiding Assumptions
   As stated before, web-based learning is a rapidly growing
phenomenon. However, individuals wishing to begin a course or program based on web-based learning should consider the following:

1. There is no "technological silver bullet" that is the cure-all for
every education/training problem. There is no one best way to deliver instruction to ensure learning. Technology can improve and augment instruction, be used for tutoring/remediation, and with web-based learning, can serve as a replacement for live instruction. But technology itself is not the answer to every issue faced by educators and trainers.

2. However, the only constant in instructional technology is change.
We have moved from filmstrip/audiotape, 16mm film, spirit masters and other innovations of the past to satellite television, interactive video, videoconferencing and Internet course delivery. Technological innovation will continue to give educators more ways to address learner needs and provide solutions to educational challenges.

3. Finally, technology can be seductive. We can become so enamored with the latest and greatest gadgetry that we can forget that the emphasis needs to be on the quality of the program, not the use of technology. The emphasis cannot be on form instead of substance (Rosenberg, 2001). If the "best way" to provide instruction in a given situation is through face-to-face contact in a traditional classroom, so be it. Technology should not drive course content: it should only be a delivery mechanism that aids in the learning of the content.

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Fortune, J., & Keith, P. (1992). Program evaluation for Buchanan
County Even Start. Blacksburg, VA: College of Education, Virginia
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