Evaluation Of Distance Learning And Classroom Training

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The evaluation of distance learning and classroom training are equally important to ensure that effective learning occurs, even though the measures used for evaluating both types of training differ quite substantially. The reason for the difference lies in the vastly different infrastructure components required by each. Despite the infrastructure differences, it is the outcomes of training that matter most, since the outcomes determine if effective learning took place (Lockee, Moore, & Burton, 2002). Several measures are employed to evaluate the effectiveness of distance learning training. Beyond Kirkpatrick’s four levels of evaluation, training coordinators often utilize formative and summative evaluation methods. Formative evaluations consider factors that will improve training during the planning and development stages of a distance-learning program. Summative evaluations determine if distance-learning courses meet the goals of the training program (Lockee, Moore, & Burton, 2002). The formative evaluation considers two main categories, namely instructional design issues and interface design issues. Instructional design issues include, among other, teaching strategy and assessment methods. Training evaluators consider instructional design issues to ensure maximum learning effectiveness in terms and alignment with training program goals. Other aspects evaluated during the formative evaluation include course clarity, clarity of learning objectives, practice opportunities, evaluation opportunities, and the use of examples that support learning. Interface design evaluations include among other, navigation, aesthetics, legibility, performance, and ease of use. Evaluators consider interface design issues because the best lea... ... middle of paper ... ...he absence of functionality to receive and evaluate student assignments. That and other design gaps were corrected before deployment (Lockee, Moore, & Burton, 2002). Virginia Tech also derived great value from summative information provided by students at the end of each course. Summative information gathered from several inputs demonstrated that the course was cost-effective. Outcomes, based on the measurement of learner achievement scores, demonstrated high performance levels and the achievement of training program goals. Finally, programmatic outcomes were collected at the end of each training cycle, which provided valuable student demographic information and insight into attrition rates. The evaluation of distance learning training programs are not just useful, but essential to measure the effectiveness of training programs (Lockee, Moore, & Burton, 2002).
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