Evaluation in Distance Education and E-Learning: The Unfolding Model

Evaluation in Distance Education and E-Learning: The Unfolding Model

by Valerie Ruhe PhD, Bruno D. Zumbo PhD

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781606237953
Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
Publication date: 12/04/2008
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 306
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Valerie Ruhe is an Evaluation Studies Specialist at the University of British Columbia. Previously, she was an Assessment and Evaluation Consultant at the Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Minnesota. She has 10 years of professional program evaluation experience in distance education, K-12, and higher education.


Bruno D. Zumbo is Professor of Measurement, Evaluation, and Research Methodology, and of Statistics at the University of British Columbia. He is widely published in research methodology, validity, and validation processes, as well as statistical science and program evaluation methodology. His work has had wide-ranging influence across many fields in the social, educational, and health sciences.

Table of Contents

l. Why Do We Need a New Approach to Evaluation in Distance Education and E-Learning?

Distance Education versus E-Learning

The Rapid Expansion of Distance Education and E-Learning

What Is Evaluation?

Why Do We Need a Professional Approach to Evaluation?

What Does a Professional Approach to Evaluation Look Like?

Responding to the Call for a Professional Evaluation Approach: The Unfolding Model

Conclusions: Our Approach to Evaluation

2. The Theory and Practice of Program Evaluation

Why Are Program Evaluation Models Important?

Classification Frameworks for Program Evaluation Models

Alkin and Christie's Evaluation Tree: The Roots and Branches

Where Do We Diverge from Alkin and Christie?


3. Evaluation Theory and Practice in Distance Education and E-Learning

Evaluation Theory

Models with Scientific Evidence in the Foreground

Models Based on Evidence, Values, and Consequences

Models Based on Messick's (1989) Framework

A Summary of Evaluation Models in Distance Education

Evaluation Studies

Evaluation Practice

Do Unintended Consequences Emerge in Authentic Evaluation Studies?


4. Messick's Framework: What Do Evaluators Need to Know?

The Overlap between Test Validity and Program Evaluation

Messick's Contributions

Messick's Framework

The Overlap among the Four Facets

The Controversy over Unintended Consequences

Implications for Evaluation


5. Getting Started

Planning the Evaluation Study

The Ethics Review Process

The Political Context of Evaluation

Using the Unfolding Model as a “Road Map”

Mixed Methods: Blending Quantitative and Qualitative Data

What Is Essential to Our Approach?

Tailoring the Unfolding Model to Your Needs


6. The Unfolding Model: Scientific Evidence

Definition of “Scientific Evidence”

Scientific Evidence

How to Write Good Survey Questions

Using the Unfolding Model to Write Survey and Interview Questions

Administering Surveys

Analyzing Survey Data

Qualitative Data: Interviews, Focus Groups, and Online Ethnographies

Qualitative Data Analysis


The Evaluation of Environmental Quality


Cost–Benefit Analysis

Bringing It All Together: Mixed Methods


7. The Unfolding Model: Values and Consequences

Underlying Values

How to Identify the Values Underlying Your Course

Course Goals and Objectives

Writing Survey/Interview Questions about Underlying Values

Analyzing Data on Underlying Values

Unintended Consequences

How Can You Identify Unintended Consequences?

Writing Survey/Interview Questions about Unintended Consequences

Analyzing Data on Unintended Consequences

How to Enhance the Validity of Your Findings

Recommendations for Course Improvement

Writing the Evaluation Report


8. Findings from Two Authentic Case Studies

Methods and Procedures for Both Studies

Distance Learning: Computing Science 200 (CPSC 200)

E-Learning: Professional Writing 110 (PWRIT 110)


9. Bringing It All Together

Using Messick's Framework to Evaluate Distance and E-Learning Courses

Using the Unfolding Model to Evaluate Your Courses

Conducting Your Evaluation Study

What Have We Learned from Two Case Studies?

E-Learning and Beyond: Is the Unfolding Model the Last Word?

The Future of Distance Education and E-Learning

The Future of the Unfolding Model


Appendix A. Summary of the 1994 Program Evaluation Standards

Appendix B. Glossary

Appendix C. List of Associations

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