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A Model for Evaluating Online Programs

A Model for Evaluating Online Programs
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Author(s): Amy J. Nelson (Minnesota State College—Southeast Technical, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 11
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.ch207


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According to the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation (1994), “Program evaluation is a systematic investigation of the worth of an ongoing or continuing distance education activity” (Simonson, 1997, p. 88). As such, this article addresses the issue of evaluating programs rather than courses. Although it is true that content, instructional design, and delivery greatly affect the quality of the program, course evaluation is a topic in and of itself. Frydenberg (2002) noted that program evaluation was frequently listed as a separate item in standards documentation: “While assessment of student achievement is normally described as part of instructional design and tied to specific course objectives, program evaluation is an activity that incorporates all the aspects of the e-learning experience” (p. 7). High-level aspects of course design are, however, built into program evaluation as you will see because it is impossible to evaluate an educational program without looking at courses.

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