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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Evaluating Online Programs

Evaluating Online Programs
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Author(s): Kathleen D. Kelsey (Oklahoma State University, USA), James R. Lindner (Texas A&M University, USA) and Kim E. Dooley (Texas A&M University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 3
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch134


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Systematic evaluation of distance-education programs is necessary for program improvement (formative) and accountability (summative). When evaluating distanceeducation programs, it is advisable to consult the best practices literature for determining the criteria and standards for quality programming in order to judge the merit and worth of the program under consideration. The most frequently cited reference for best practices comes from the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications (1997) ( telecom/), otherwise known as WICHE. Pennsylvania State University (PSU) (1998) published a document for designing distance-education programs that incorporate the literature base of best practices. WICHE and PSU offer principles for best practices in distance education in regard to curriculum and instruction, institutional context and commitment, and evaluation and assessment. General concerns with each category should be considered in developing an instrument for measuring quality in distance-education programs (Law, Hawkes, & Murphy, 2002).

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