Introduction to Evaluation in eLearning

Evaluation is the key component of any e-Learning course or program that focuses on continuous improvement. Several professionals involved in the e-Learning industry asked me to provide them a set of resources around the evaluation in e-Learning.Evaluation enables us to:

  • determine the quality, effectiveness, and continuous improvement of the e-Learning,
  • understand the pros and cons of the e-Learning courses or programs, and
  • make improvements.

This post is the first of a series of posts concerning evaluation in e-Learning and I will focus on the introduction to evaluation in e-Learning.

The most people believe that evaluation occurs after e-Learning has been completed. Wrong! Evaluation occurs:

  1. Before the e-Learning (needs assessment) to plan e-Learning
  2. During the e-Learning (formative evaluation) to make improvements, and
  3. After the e-Learning (summative evaluation) to determine outcomes.

Here is a list that will introduce you to the evaluation in e-Learning

Evaluation Glossary
The Evaluation Glossary was developed by The Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University. You can find an online alphabetical listing of 571 evaluation terms and definitions.

Effectively Evaluating Online Learning Programs
John Sener describes how to effectively create an evaluation process for online learning programs.

Evaluating e-Learning Development
Searching & Evaluation Web Resources
Undertaking a Needs Analysis for e-Learning

e-Learning Concepts and Techniques: e-Learning Evaluation
This e-book, e-Learning Concepts and Techniques, is the result of a collaborative effort by students in the Bloomsburg University, Department of Instructional Design spring 2006 e-Learning Concepts and Techniques online class as well as several guest authors and contributors from around the world.

Evaluating e-Learning Course (Podcast)
An interview with professor, Dr. Mary Nicholson, of the Evaluating e-Learning course at Bloomsburg University can be found at:

Evaluating e-Learning: A Guide to the Evaluation of e-Learning (PDF)
This guide has been produced as a report on the work of the Models and Instruments for the evaluation of e-learning and ICT supported learning (E-VAL) project. The project took place between 2002 and 2005 and was sponsored by the European Commission Leonardo da Vinci programme. The project was coordinated by Pontydysgu from Wales.

Developing a Usability Evaluation Method for e-learning Applications (PDF)
In this paper the development of a questionnaire based usability evaluation method for e-Learning applications is described. The method extends the current practice by focusing not only on cognitive but also affective considerations that may influence e-Learning usability.

Evaluating e-Learning: Introduction to the Kirkpatrick Model (PDF)
Kevin Kruse analyzes how the Kirkpatrick Model could be used to evaluate e-Learning.

Kirkpatrick’s Level 3: Improving the Evaluation of e-Learning
This article is about determining when and how to use Level 3 evaluation. It describes the steps as: determining the organizational readiness for level 3 by assessing culture, processes, and people in existence; determining which courses to evaluate at the level 3; determining the measurable outcomes; designing the course methodology, and lastly troubleshooting.

Start Measuring Your e-Learning Programs Now
The “Bersin Five Step Program” is a basic methodology for measuring e-Learning Effectiveness based on enrollments, activity, completion, scores, learners satisfactions, and business results.

e-Learning Quality Aspects & Criteria for Evaluation of e-Learning in Higher Education (PDF)
The report e-Learning quality: Aspects and criteria for evaluation of e-Learning in higher education is part of an ongoing endeavour by the Swedish National Agency of Higher Education to develop knowledge about what constitutes quality in e-Learning, and how such quality may be assessed within the framework of a national quality assurance system.

Evaluation for Distance Educators
An introduction to evaluation in e-Learning with suggestions about when and what to evaluate.

e-Learning Evaluation (PDF)
Identifies 17 major categories and 105 separate criteria on which e-Learning courses can be evaluated. This checklist is based on industry research and over 30 e-Learning and multimedia evaluations performed by Sage Learning Systems.

by Christopher Pappas M.B.A., M.Ed.