Formative Evaluation of Course Design

For faculty developers and instructional designers working with instructors in higher education who are interested in moving more into the online environment, a challenge can be helping faculty to shift their mindset from that of "teacher" to that of designer of learning experiences and environments. SDSU has recognized this change in instructor mindset as a process that typically occurs over an extended period of time as the instructor engages in a dynamic of rethinking learning outcomes, content delivery, and assessment of student learning. SDSU has emphasized an iterative approach to course design informed by data from formative evaluation measures such as the ones described below.

Resources/Ideas for Evaluation of Course Redesign and Instructor Effectiveness

Can Distance and Classroom Learning Be Increased?
Richard Hake presents his perspective on the question posed in the title of this article, which is that with student-centered ("interactive engagement") instructional practices, and sound measures, learning can be demonstrably increased. He includes his recommendations for a scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) based on methodologically sound pre- and post-testing of students. The article includes a thorough list of references.

Online or Face-to-Face High-Enrollment Introductory Courses: What’s the Right Blend?
Handout from SDSU poster presentation at EDUCAUSE 2007 annual conference describing elements of an exploratory study of the impact of large course (500 student) hybrid redesign.

Student Assessment of their Learning Gains (SALG)
"The Student Assessment of their Learning Gains (SALG) website allows instructors to gather learning-focused feedback from students. The SALG survey asks students to rate how each component of a course (e.g., textbook, collaborative work, labs) helped them to learn, and to rate their gains toward achieving the course goals. The SALG survey can be customized to fit any college-level course, and can be administered multiple times per course. A baseline instrument allows faculty to compare gains relative to incoming student characteristics."

Online Small Group Analysis (OSGA)"While the basic tenets of the time-proven Small Group Analysis in face-to-face settings remain, it has become necessary to add three additional components and adapt the original model to suit specific characteristics of the online learning environment. The aim of this article, therefore, is to share with practitioners in other institutions this formative model used for assessing the efficacy of online teaching and learning."

Instrument to Assess Online Facilitation (AOF)
"The "Assessing Online Facilitation" instrument (AOF) is for online course facilitators to objectively evaluate their facilitation for strengths and areas for improvement. Facilitators may choose to offer the AOF to others to guide a peer evaluation of their performance in the online classroom."