As this is my last blog, I’ve chosen the pic in my first blog (which is also one of my favourites) to insert above. It sets the scene well for at the end of a long day or process it is nice to put your feet up and enjoy the view or the outputs and outcomes you have created.
Mark, Tom and I met several times this week to work on Assignment 3 which we put together. It was a very fruitful session as together we brainstormed and collaborated on working on completing this Assessment. Our target was to complete it as soon as possible as we all wanted to relax and enjoy a well deserved holiday.
There was certainly a lot to do as we extracted what was required from the evaluation plan for the report. We worked together on the Executive Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations and slotted in our individual parts for the Discussion section. I had worked on Evaluation Q1, Mark on Evaluation Q2, and Tom on 3. I also did the overall summaries for the Teacher and Expert users and the Comparison between the two groups. Mark and Tom gave their valuable input and together we finalized it. There was a lot of camaraderie and as a team we were happy to have finally put it all together. When we reached the Conclusions … section, we were so tired as we had been working the whole day that we just ran out of steam and so I felt Bronwyn’ s suggestion to have ‘indepth summary of the evaluation outcomes’ was justified. Since then, we’ve been emailing each other updating on what needs to be done.
What was good about our team was that we each brought different areas of knowledge, skill and expertise to the project. This blend of strengths and weaknesses became self balancing with Tom lending his wisdom and experience and Mark contributing valuable feedback and his excellent skills in Excel, Word and formatting. We supplemented, supported and endorsed the overarching origination of the plan and like strands of wool together we wove a tapestry.
If someone were to ask me what is evaluation I would say in a nutshell it is about identifying what works and what doesn’t and why and how to improve it further. I was familiar with needs analysis, course and lecturer evaluation and summative evaluation. After doing this course, I’m more confident about conducting a formal formative evaluation in future.
I do see the need for theories on which to anchor practice. For example the mixed methods approach to evaluation enables a combination of both qualitative and quantitative analysis so that the results are more valid and reliable. Also you get rich data which can be used to inform logical, rational and well informed decisions. Upon reflection personally and professionally, we need to evaluate if we are to do things better in terms of being more effective and efficient. To me including aspects of evaluation as part of the initial design and development process of a tool or online course was very insightful as evaluation contributes to its ongoing development. I found the e-Learning Guidelines (2008) useful as they helped prompt the evaluation questions. I’ll certainly consider using them for future projects.
To me the whole process was engaging and stimulating. I have learnt lots from the literature, my interaction with my peers and Bronwyn and Bronwyn’s very detailed feedback on our assessments. What was different was working in a group to complete the assessments. That to me was a challenge as I do prefer to work on my own as I set my own goals and work towards achieving them. Working together with Tom and Mark has been a very good experience as we established a common goal to hand the work on time and to produce terrific work. It was a pleasure working together 🙂
I gave feedback to Sandra W and Pam’s draft evaluation report Feedback to Sandra W n Pam’s Assessment 3
E-Learning Guidelines. (2008). Retrieved from http://elg.massey.ac.nz/Guidelines-questions.pdf