Thursday, August 12, 2010

Case study

I hooked up with Veronique to do the case study exercise and looked at the Engineering Mechanics case study. Veronique has already published the response but I’m not sure if I am supposed to post to post a copy. Anyway, to be on the safer side here is the copy of the response.
What are the key issues?

Is eLearning appropriate for these students? Do they have the required abilities and skills? What support and training would students need to access and use eLearning resources.

He has limited time for developing interactive online resources but has found an online resource that looks useful. Does this resource provide knowledge and/or skills that will be useful for the job?

How can the problem be solved? What strategies can be used?

Need to assess students’ knowledge and use of computers; a questionnaire would be a good tool for this.

It would be useful to trial the eLearning resource with students; this could be done by observing the students using the resource and providing a follow-up interview or questionnaire.

Get feedback on the usefulness of the eLearning resource from teaching staff and from industry representatives; discussion group, individual interview or questionnaire.

How can the evaluation process assist in finding a solution? What type of evaluation is appropriate in this situation?

A well planned and carefully designed formative evaluation should provide information relevant to the specific issues being evaluated. In this example, the evaluation is being used to inform recommendations about the usefulness of eLearning in the course and the effectiveness of the eLearning resource in question.

The evaluation process involves clearly identifying the rationale, purpose and context of an evaluation. This information will then influence the type of evaluation and the choice of methods and instruments that will be used to collect data. Analysis of the data will provide information that can be used to make recommendations. A formal report detailing the evaluation process used and the final recommendations can then be prepared.

The type of evaluation used would be a ‘needs analysis’ to determine whether eLearning is appropriate for teaching and learning in this specific course. A thorough evaluation would help to inform teaching staff of the usefulness and effectiveness of eLearning as well as identifying what additional support students and staff might need, and ensure time and effort is not wasted on implementing and developing resources that may not be useful


  1. Hi Mareena our group did the same case study. One issue we felt was important was when to do the evaluation as time limits was one of the key issues - we felt it needed to happen as part of the course? what do yu think?

  2. Hi Katie
    My partner Veronique and I also identified time as a key issue. In this case I like your idea of building evaluation into the course …

  3. Mareena you are supposed to post the outcome on your blog as well. A needs analysis is spot on as an approach for the Engineering Mechanics taster. You and Veronique are very clear about why the evaluation process is appropriate with regard to "the usefulness and effectiveness of eLearning" and to gauge the level of support for students and staff. I agree it will ensure the time and effort "implementing and developing resources" is not wasted.

    it is a very good idea to observe students using the resource, and to also measure their perspectives by asking for their feedback about it and to discuss the usefulness of the resource with them. Involving industry is also a good idea and finding out how computer savvy they are. It is great to see you are thinking well ahead about how you will gather the information - interviews, observations and surveys.

    How did you decide on these particular sampling tools?