Ch. 8 – Evaluating authentic elearning courses by Herrington et al.
This chapter entailed a general overview of the process for evaluating a program. Having taken 2 courses at BSU, in regards to instructional design and evaluation, I was able to make many connections to this chapter. There is an immense amount of work involved in evaluating a program that I just never realized until I went through the entire process. I recently completed an evaluation on a Blended model we are implementing in our district. We had a goal for the program; we wanted to determine whether the blended model would give students more opportunities to use the 4 C’s, communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. I sat down with the team who trains the teachers and developed our whole plan; a purpose of the evaluation, the outcomes of the program, the methods of evaluating and who would be involved. I took away many “ahas” from the process, but most of all the importance of each step in the process. I was fortunate to be working with the stakeholders, as we are the team who is implementing the PAC4-Blended Model. I did not have to build the relationship, because I already have one with them. This also helped with the negotiations of why we needed an evaluation. As the chapter said, having skills in negotiations is critical. This is a personality trait that I lack, but I knew the background information of the program and could persuade the team into allowing me to conduct the evaluation. We needed the data for our other stakeholders to tell the story of the PAC4 for future implementation and sustainability.
As a team, we also learned the area of concerns for the program and discussed the ways to improve it. This is a challenge people have with conducting or having an evaluation complete for a program. You expose the gaps and failures and no one wants to have those exposed. However, it can lead to a stronger program in the end because you have the opportunity to focus on the issues and fix it.