Is there a plan for formatively evaluating the initial design and usability of the OERu courses before they go live, and when they are first piloted? This evaluation could collect really valuable information from stakeholders such as managers, teachers and students as well as from experts in the field. Doing this prior to going live can save a lot of time and money and ensure that the learning experience is as effective as possible. I couldn't see any plans for doing this here.
It appears that only summative and impact evaluation is being planned - traditionally impact evaluation measures how participants have applied the knowledge that they have gained, and is best collected a minimum of one year after the course is finished (Reeves & Hedberg, 2003). From my perspective, and measuring the effectiveness of the course design after it is finished is also valuable but too late to benefit the 'guinea pig' cohort. I was trained in evaluation with Professor John Hedberg, and adhere to the model put forward by him and Professor Thomas Reeves. Hence I regard the evaluation of the design and development phases as important as evaluating the implementation phase.
Reeves, Thomas, C. and John G. Hedberg (2003), Interactive Learning Systems Evaluation, Englewood Cliffs: Educational Technology Publications. ISBN 0-87778-304-7. The companion web site makes available a full set of evaluation tools (forms and protocol) - http://www.evaluateitnow.com/ --Bronwyn Hegarty 01:03, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
The intention is to use the prototype courses as the formative evaluation phase of the OERu design and development process. In other words, we are using the prototypes as a pilot to inform future design and development before the official launch of the OERu in November 2013.
As the OERu course design and development is executed transparently in the wiki there is some level of peer-review among the partners before going live with a prototype course.
Taking resources and capacity challenges into account, we feel this iterative and incremental design approach is best suited for the OERu network during phase of development.
Of course, if you would like to volunteer support for more robust and structured evaluation at this time -- your contributions would be well received ;-)