Evaluation of E-Learning Courses
The following matrix designed by Badrul Khan, an expert on e-learning and educational technology, to evaluate online courses. If the question does not apply to the course being evaluated, print Not Applicable (N/A).
Q1. Does the course provide clear instructional goals (or are clear learning outcomes specified?)
Q2. If appropriate, are objectives for each section of the course clearly specified?
Q3. What is the instructor’s role?
Q4. If the course design allows the
instructor to serve as facilitator, how/ where does facilitation occur?
Q5. Does the course provide clear
directions of what learners should do at
every stage of the course?
Q6. Does the course provide a sense of continuity for the learners (i.e., each unit of the lesson builds on the previous unit where appropriate)?
Q7. Does this course utilize a matrix of media to create a rich environment for active learning?
Q8. Does the course exploit the flexibility of the hypertext/hypermedia environment of the Web?
Q9. Does the course have personnel who can assist learners to set up for starting the course? (Or does the course have orientation programs that provide technical training prior to a course?)
Q10. Is the cost of required hardware,
software, and Internet service a deterrent to taking this course?
Q11. Do students receive any guidance on how to set up hardware equipment for desktop video conferencing (if needed for the course)?
Q12. Are the hardware requirements for the course clearly stated?
Q13. Are the software requirements for the course clearly stated?
Q14. Do students receive any guidance
on how to do the following:
INTERFACE DESIGN DIMENSION
Q15. Do Web pages look good (i.e.,
effectively designed) in a variety of Web
browsers and devices-in text-based
browsers, all recent versions of Internet Explorer and Netscape, and so on?
Q16. Does the course use a standard font type so that text appears the same in different computer platforms and browsers?
Q17. Does the course follow “one idea per paragraph” rule?
Q18. Is the text chunked and presented
in a way that enables scanning and
Q19. Does the course provide structural
aids or a site map to guide the learner’s
Q20. To avoid bandwidth bottlenecks, does the course ask students to download large audio, video and graphic files to their hard drives before the instructional events?
Q21.How quickly can users find answers to the most frequently asked questions on the course site?
Q22. Does the course use easy-to understand terminology?
Q23. How is the learner’s assessment
on various parts of the course administered? Check all that apply:
Q24. Does the assessment provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned in the course?
Q25. Does the course have a system
to accept students’ online evaluations of the following?
Q26. Does the course provide an instant feedback button on most screens/pages in order to receive learners’ feedback for improvement of the course?
Q27. What content exists and what content must be created? Of existing content, what content requires “reprint” permission?
Q28. Does the course acquire permission to use copyrighted information and materials?
Q29. Does the course provide students with designated and secure (e.g., password protected) online spaces to store their notes and resources?
Q30. Does the course have a system of keeping track of student submissions, and online quizzes?
Q31. Does the course notify students about any changes in due dates or other course relevant matters (e.g., server down) via the following means?
Q32. Does the course provide back-up materials or alternative activities for students (i.e., what students will do) if any of the following is either not operating properly or unavoidable during a schedule lesson period?
Q33. Does the course provide guidance on how to organize for online learning?
Q34. Does the course provide information or ideas about how many hours (approximately) per week students are expected to spend on course assignments?
Q35. Does the course provide toll-free telephone numbers for online support services?
Q36. Does the course provide clear guidelines to the learners on what support can and cannot be expected from a help line?
Q37. Does the course provide examples of previous students’ work on the Web? If yes, select all that apply and circle whether searchable and browsable:
Q38. Does the institution’s library have library resources online? If yes, do students have access to its databases via the Internet or other networks?
Q39. Does the host institution’s library have a system of getting books and other materials for students via interlibrary loan?
Q40. Does the library fax documents to students?
Q41. To improve cross-cultural verbal communication and avoid misunderstanding, does the course make an effort to reduce or avoid the use of jargon, idioms, ambiguous or cute humor, and acronyms?
Q42. To improve visual communication, is the course sensitive to the use of navigational icons or images? For example, a pointing hand icon to indicate direction would violate a cultural taboo in certain African cultures by representing a dismembered body part (Reeves & Reeves, 1997).
Q43. Is the course offered to a geographically diverse population? If yes, is the course sensitive about students from different time zones (e.g., synchronous communications are scheduled at reasonable times for all time zones represented)?
Q44. Is the course designed to have tolerance for learners who adapt to individualized distributed learning environment more slowly than others?
Q45. Does the course allow students to remain anonymous during online discussions?
Q46. Does the course provide any guidance to learners on how to behave and post messages in online discussions so that their postings do not hurt others’ feelings?
Q47. If a student fails to follow the etiquette of the course, how does the instructor work with students to promote compliance?
Q48. Does the course provide privacy guidelines on online postings?
Q49. Does the course provide policies regarding fraudulent activities in course-related testing, assignments and projects?
Q50. Does the course get students’ permission to post any of the following on the Web?
Q51. Do faculty receive training on how to moderate and/or maintain a listserv?
Q52. Does technical and other staff receive training on how to communicate with remote learners in difficult situations?
Q53. Does the course limit the number of students per faculty member?
Q54. Does the course provide academic quality such as one would expect in a traditional course?
Q55. Does the site provide any information regarding whether the course is transferable to other accredited institutions?
Q56. Is the course offered at a lower fee than on-campus courses? It is not uncommon for students to expect lower fees for online courses.
Q57. Would student information submitted online to the registrar’s office be kept secure and confidential to the extent possible?
Q58. Are instructor/tutor and technical staff available during online orientation?
Q59. Can students purchase packages of course-related supplemental reading materials online from the campus bookstore?
Q60. Can students apply for financial aid/loans online?