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Developing an Effective Online Evaluation System

Developing an Effective Online Evaluation System
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Author(s): Martha Henckell (Southeast Missouri State University, USA), Michelle Kilburn (Southeast Missouri State University, USA) and David Starrett (Southeast Missouri State University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch171

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Abstract

As with any new program, the chance of failure runs high and distance education, in comparison with the longevity of traditional education, is considered relatively new. Still, distance education appears to be here to stay. In fact, a 2000 market survey found that over 94% of all colleges were either offering or planning to offer distance education courses (Twigg, 2001). With this much interest and popularity, the need for policies to regulate distance education program practices should be recognized by all participating institutions of higher education (Czubaj, 2001). While students appear to be more focused on the conveniences that distance education provides, universities are more attentive to the need for offering a valid learning alternative. Higher education enrollments have shown upward movement and this has, to a degree, been attributed to the adult learners’ interest in, and availability of, distance education (Boettcher, as cited by Worley, 2000). Change in the enrollment demographics and the offering of distance education programs stimulates the need for new decisions by academic administrators for quality and accreditation purposes (Shea, Motiwalla, & Lewis, 2001; Tricker, Rangecroft, Long, & Gilroy, 2001). One of the first steps toward ensuring success of distance education programs is identifying the requirements of all those involved. Student needs are to receive a quality education; faculty needs are to have at their disposal (and to use) the knowledge and means to provide this education; and institution needs are to assess that students receive a quality education and to provide faculty with the resources for student educational needs to be met. One of the problems that could harm distance learning or prevent it from being all that it can be is the lack of a good evaluation system. The focus of this article will be to identify and describe, from the literature, the components of an effective evaluation system. Armed with this information, administrators will be able to make better program decisions.

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