Excellence Comes From Ongoing Assessment And Refinement

About week 5 ask for informal feedback on “How is the course going?” and “Do you have any suggestions?”

Course evaluations have been called “post mortem” evaluations as they are done after the fact, and nothing can be changed to increase satisfaction or facilitate learning. Early feedback surveys or just informal discussions ask students to provide feedback on what is working well in a course and what might help them have a better course experience. This early feedback is done early in the course so corrections and modifications can be made. It is an easy opening for students who might have comments or suggestions or questions.

The use of evaluation and refinement can be the difference between a course that works to one that is absolutely riveting.

 Apply regular and systematic review of all aspects of your course and follow through by changing and updating the course.

Evaluation is essential and should cover at least two important areas:

  • course effectiveness
  • course efficiency

Were the learning outcomes attained (effectiveness) and did the pedagogical tools used in the courses facilitate the attainment of those outcomes (efficiency)? Aligning learning and assessment tasks with intended learning outcomes is challenging to accomplish but is an important part of higher education and facilitates deep learning .

Continuous evaluation of student learning and the openness to refining objectives, content and use of technology are all elements that must be considered in course development (Ferguson & Wijekumar, 2000; King, 1998).

There are many ways in which feedback can be collected from within the course:

  • discussion forums
  • feedback assignments
  • daily or weekly reflections
  • journaling assignments
  • formal course evaluations

An absolutely riveting online course: Nine principles for excellence in web-based teaching

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