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This is your chance to get a taste of what evaluation is all about. Some cases are presented with problems for you to solve - with your partner.

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Take a look at ONE of the cases and work out how you might find solutions for the personnel involved. Let the class know which case you are taking (Hint: email forum). Post your solutions on the Discussion area for this page (you need to be logged in to do this). Answer the following questions:


  1. What are the key issues?
  2. How can the problem be solved? What strategies can be used?
  3. How can the evaluation process assist in finding a solution? What type of evaluation is appropriate in this situation?

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Case Study
Engineering Mechanics

A lecturer who teaches an Engineering Mechanics paper, wants to use more interactive online resources with his level 5 students. The paper is about to start so there is very little time for development beforehand. He has found one very useful e-learning resource on the Merlot website which he wants to introduce. The resource is: Mechanics of materials and at first glance it looks reasonably comprehensive. Presently, in the subject, e-learning is comprised of electronic notes and assignments made available to students on a web-based filing system. The lecturer wants to make more dynamic use of interactive resources in the form of quizzes, video recordings of lessons and group discussions. However, he is concerned about the computing abilities of his students, and their skills in using online materials. He wants to pre-empt any problems which may arise for both students and teachers, and find out if the resources he intends to use are appropriate for learning, and will prepare students for future employment.

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Case Study
Cisco Networking (computing)

A computer networking course uses a blended approach - face to face lectures and online course materials and activities. This means that all the materials are accessible through a web browser from anywhere with an Internet connection. Presently the course is offered at level 5 and 6, and the intention is to offer it as part of a Bachelor of Engineering Technology program. The students can access the on-campus laboratories at any time to complete the practical work , 7 days per week, when the room is not used by a class. They have online formative assessments on which they get immediate feedback (from the computer) on their mistakes. The marks from these tests contribute 10% towards the final results. There are also some computer-based simulator activities to help the students to assess their practical skills. Therefore, the assessment structure includes a combination of on-line tests, a practical test (on a computer on-campus) and an on-campus paper examination. The teacher wants to introduce more eLearning tools but is not sure whether they help the students' learning, and what combination of blended learning and assessment is appropriate.

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Case Study
Career Development

A previously face to face course has been re-developed to cater for off-campus, distance students, working independently and completing assessments (e.g., preparation of a Curriculum Vitae (CV)). One of concerns noted during development of the online content was that the students might scroll too quickly through one of the important resources, the virtual business tour, so they can get their CV done quickly. This means they might not engage fully in the real learning aspects of the programme, and end up with an incomplete or poor quality CV. The educational developer is worried about changing a programme which used to rely on a face to face approach with students being stepped through the programme by a Tutor in class. There will be tutors facilitating the online course, but they are new to online teaching. The developer is not sure how the the students will engage with the tutors, each other and with the online materials. The tutors are worried that they wont know when the students are struggling. The developer is not sure how to evaluate the changes to the design of the materials and how to find out the level of support required for the students.

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Case Study
Hotel Management

The Bachelor of Applied Management degree was offered as an on-campus, face to face programme (taken full time or part time) for three years. The tertiary organisation who offered it wanted to collaborate with another institution to develop a more flexible programme and offer the qualification to students further afield. The programme to be developed is a mix of theoretical papers, and includes a practical paper where students were previously taken on visits to local hotels and related industries. Students studying on the degree tended to be school leavers, or people who were returning to study after having been in the workforce for a short time. There were also some mature students who were re-training. A number of students had entered the programme at the third year of the degree, having been awarded the first two years of the degree through recognition of their prior learning. The programme manager needed to find out how existing hotel management papers could be re-developed. Firstly, so they were more flexible, and secondly, whether eLearning was the most appropriate option to meet the needs of the target audience and the lecturers.