Evaluating your eLearning course by the toughest judges – your learners, is the cornerstone of eLearning development. Receiving feedback from your learners enables you, the instructional designer, to improve your course.
Since iteration is a recurring step in the eLearning course design, it follows each time after the evaluation step.
There are many advantages of conducting a post-course evaluation. For starters, it helps you understand your weak areas – both in design and delivery of your course. The core of this activity is to upgrade the course information according to the current times and needs of the performance environment.
A post-course evaluation usually appears as a comprehensive survey. Most of the time, we see this survey too short or too long, but seldom covering the key areas of an eLearning course’s design and delivery process.
Now is the chance to involve your learners in the design process of your next course. This step is highly crucial to determine the desired pathway of future course designs.
In this article, we will discuss all elements that need to be present in the post-course evaluation survey. Use this checklist to guide you to create your next survey.
There are no shortcuts to this step. You cannot cut corners. You need to make sure nothing is left behind. And trust me, this list is anything but short! A total of 15 criteria need to be included in your course evaluation towards the end of your course. Notice how these criteria comprise of a complete eLearning course design:
Accessibility issues deal with the aesthetics of your course. Were your learners able to navigate easily? How accessible was the online material? Could your learners find information quickly? Did the buttons and links work? Were the footnotes readable?
Content is king! It is the main gameplayer of your course. You need to determine if the content was relevant to your learners.
Did they get what they signed up for? Was the content complete, current and appropriate? This includes your examples, case studies and scenarios.
3. Goals and objectives
Did your learners find the course’s objectives clearly defined? Did the content follow the objectives or was it out of scope? Did your objectives tie closely to the performance context of your learners? Do your learners have extra objectives to include in your course?
Was your course’s topics and subtopics logically arranged? Was the table of contents a good guide for your learners? Were the topics arranged in a predictable pattern: topic, reinforcement activity, revision, short quiz?
5. Visual design
Ask your learners about the choice of colors, font, and graphics etc. – the overall visual design of your course.
Was it appealing? Was it obtrusive? Was it confusing to them? Was the content designed effectively? Is there anything that could have been done better?
Ask about spelling, grammar, language, tone, style and composition of the text used in your course. What are their comments? What could be done to for the text to be more effective?
This is critical to know. Every course has an estimated seat time and activity time.
Was the time given by your learners close to what you estimated? What sections took the most time? What sections took the least?
8. eLearning resources
eLearning resources are additional aids that help your learners gain a better understanding of your eLearning content. Ask your learners if they used the resources provided.
Were the instructions to use them clear and understandable? Were these resources useful to understand the content? Do your learners have extra resources as suggestions for this course?
Interactivity should be appropriate to the content and context of the course. Find out what your learners think about the interactivity. Did it encourage them to think critically? Did your learners find the technology easy to use?
Not all learners can use multimedia like video, audio or interactive diagrams easily. Ask your learners about the software and hardware needs of the course.
Were the instructions complete or was something missing? Ask them to rank the multimedia in the course from 1 to 10 in terms of effectiveness, quality and relevance.
Did your learners find assessments too hard or too easy? Ask them to rank assessments in terms of quality and relevance. Was the feedback provided constructive and clear? Is there any way that your quizzes and tests could be improved?
12. eLearning professional contribution
This is where you rate the mentors, facilitators or instructors hired for your course. Ask your learners if they found the mentors responsive enough and whether their feedback was meaningful.
Could the learners contact the mentor? Was the mentor reliable? All these responses help in improving the next session of the course.
13. Social interactions availability
If you have a collaborative course in which you used various social learning elements, you need to know their effectiveness. Ask your learners if they could form peer-to-peer interactions.
Did the collaborations improve their learning experience? Look for learners who complain of being isolated and alienated.
14. eLearning course expectations
Did your learners meet or exceed their personal and professional learning goals through this course? Were there any exceptional topics? Were there any missing topics? Were the assignments and activities reasonable?
15. Overall eLearning experience
This is a summing up question. You need to find out the emotional reaction of your learners towards the course.
Do they feel empowered or bored after completing the course? What was their overall impression? Did the course fit their schedule easily or did it demand too much of their time?
After completing the course, do the learners feel confident of their new skills and capabilities? Finally, ask your learners if there are any ways in which the design and delivery of the course can be improved.
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