Friday, April 27, 2012

Implementing and evaluating your course

IN ADDIE, we call the final stages of course development the Implementation and Evaluation stages. In my model of course development, in the final two stages, I first determine if my expectations have been met, and review all my goals, actions, activities, resources, and expectations.

So how do I do that? First I have to ask myself: what are my expectations for this course? Way back in the beginning, I set the goals of this learning experience. A typical goal in corporate training is to improve performance, so my goal may be to "Increase sales by X% by the second quarter". In academia, the goal may be to "Apply instructional design principles to create pedagogically sound learning materials" (by the end of this course). The elements that each goal have in common? There is an action that must be completed to a specific standard within a specified time frame. 

To determine if my expectations have been met, I review the rubrics I made for each activity. If I find that most of my learners performed poorly, I'll have to determine what went wrong.Were my goals too vague? Too stringent? Did I provide relevant job aids, practice exercises, and other resources? If not, why not?

I can't rely on just my opinion! At the conclusion of every period of instruction, we have to see what the learners thought of the instruction - and the instructors! (Remember, we also solicit this information throughout the course of study) The best way to survey learners and faculty is probably via an anonymous questionnaire. (hint: survey monkey is a great place to host an online survey). When we get the survey results we'll know which elements of the course worked and which didn't...and then we make the modifications and run through the cycle again. Remember, all developments are ongoing. Every time we run a course, we should always be looking at the experiences of our learners and instructors and make changes as required.

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