All of these reasons boil down to one large outcome for a course: to ensure that learners are transformed in some way. How do we measure transformation? How do we measure anything? By evaluating a set of data. This question leads to my first wand in course development!

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All of these reasons boil down to one large outcome for a course: to ensure that learners are transformed in some way. How do we measure transformation? How do we measure anything? By evaluating a set of data. This question leads to my first wand in course development! In his article , Guskey explains the use of data in the evaluation of professional learning. However, in planning and designing a course, the trick is to start backwards. This is the section of light which is closest to the lighthouse.

In the Guskey model, level 5 is where effective professional learning planning begins: with clear specifications of the student learning outcomes to be achieved and the sources of data that best reflect those outcomes. Level 5: Student learning outcomes In any course design initiatives at OpenLearning, our learning designers work closely with subject-matter experts to create courses.

They usually need to be clear of at least 3 things before designing a course: Who are the learners? Why would they choose this course? What will they get out of this course? In an article on setting learning outcomes or goals to be achieved in a course , psychologist Ludy Benjamin paints an analogy of the teaching-learning process where educators, or course creators, are selling a product the course and the immediate consumers are the students.

Hence, the product should consider the motivation and expectation of the consumers with regard to the products sold. However, there are times when course planning takes place way before educators and course creators meet with the learners.

Throughout the course, learners work to achieve their desired outcomes. So, at this point, course creators should start thinking about what learners should do to successfully master the new knowledge and skills. The best learning activities are the ones that encourage learners to create or construct something new based on what they have learnt. They should also be encouraged to contribute to discussions, share ideas, and even facilitate the course for other learners.

These methods are not new as discussions, sharing of ideas and application of new knowledge is the crux of every learning that happens anywhere, be it face-to-face or online. However, what was missing or very difficult to capture was the ability to showcase these behaviours.

According to Guskey, successful indicators of learning should be outlined and mapped to the outcomes of the course before learning activities begin. You and the other students are divided into groups. Each group is required to derive issues from their current workplace or teaching settings and then find a technology-integrated method to solve the issue.

All of the issues and solutions are compiled to create an e-book. Sounds great, but is the activity actually possible? Well, firstly, the course creator needs a collaborative tool that will enable everyone in the course to continuously contribute towards the creation of the e-book throughout the duration of the course. Even then, finding the right tool is the easy part—in reality, making online collaboration work with any tool is not an easy feat.

For one, there is engagement. How would they motivate learners to continuously work on the issues? How would a course creator encourage a supportive and non-judgmental learning community?

By reflecting, learners are not only able to process the new information and synthesize the knowledge gained, a form of self-evaluation also happens unintentionally. A lot of courses also provide opportunities for learners to simulate their new knowledge in a real-world environment. In this course, learners are given free AWS Educate credits to complete four projects in an actual cloud environment. This way, students are also able to demonstrate and showcase their capabilities.

As a course creator, having the pre- and post-information documented will also help them in analyzing the course for future improvements. At OpenLearning, learning designers team up with a buddy learning designer to look through the course and answer these questions. We then run a user-acceptance-test UAT for every course before it is launched.

During the UAT, a fellow learner is given access to the course and is required to complete all the activities and record any difficulties faced as well as the time taken to complete the course. My first wand in Learning Design: the Guskey model. As mentioned in the beginning of this article, the 5 levels of evaluation above are usually conducted after a course or a professional learning programme is completed to evaluate the impact of the learning session.

However, at OpenLearning, we use this method during the planning or designing online courses to achieve the same purpose: creating an impactful online course. Let me know if you found this useful in the comments section below! Let us know what some of your own indispensable classroom tools are in the comments section below — and stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3!

References: Guskey, T.


Evaluating Professional Development

This is the most common form of professional development evaluations, and the easiest type of information to gather and analyze. At Level 1, you address questions focusing on whether or not participants liked the experience. Did they feel their time was well spent? Did the material make sense to them? Were the activities well planned and meaningful? Was the leader knowledgeable and helpful? Did the participants find the information useful?


Does It Make a Difference? Evaluating Professional Development


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