A Collaborative Evaluation of an Online Informal Learning Program

By James Welsh and Liliana Rodríguez-Campos.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article presents the results of a formative evaluation of an online informal learning program that used the Model for Collaborative Evaluation (MCE). The authors elaborate on this model and describe methods for applying it to similar program evaluations involving instructional technology within the context of state and federal education grants in the United States. The MCE emphasizes joint responsibility for the process of evaluation between the evaluator and the stakeholders in the evaluation process. The collaborative model is perfectly suited to grant-funded instructional technology projects for a variety of reasons. The rapidly changing nature of emerging technology often necessitates the adaptation of implementation plans. The MCE takes advantage of knowledgeable insiders, allowing faster identification of important information. Successful technology project implementation also depends upon clear expectations, shared commitment, and open communication, all of which are hallmarks of collaborative evaluation. This paper provides guidelines for organizing and reporting evaluation findings to stakeholders in online informal learning programs in ways that will maximize the credibility and relevance of an evaluation.

Keywords: Collaborative Evaluation, Evaluation, Evaluator, Instructional Technology, Model for Collaborative Evaluations, Technology, Stakeholders

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp.213-224. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.121MB).

James Welsh

Assistant Director, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

James Welsh is the assistant director of the Florida Center for Instructional Technology at the University of South Florida. In addition to elementary teaching experience, James was the lead trainer for the USF College of Education Laptop Initiative and has served as the lead instructor for a digital video summer camp for the past six years. James conducts research with the USF Contemporary Literacies Collaborative. James’ research interests include critical media literacy, student creation of multimedia texts, and the use of genre in student composition. James has co-authored two book chapters on media literacy and has presented at numerous regional and national conferences, including: the International Reading Association, the American Educational Research Association, the College Reading Association, the American Reading Forum, and the National Reading Conference.

Liliana Rodríguez-Campos

Faculty Member, Department of Educational Measurement and Research, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA

Liliana Rodríguez-Campos is an evaluation faculty member and the director of the Center for Research, Evaluation, Assessment, and Measurement at the University of South Florida. Liliana is nationally and internationally recognized for her collaborative approach to evaluation. Among other publications, she is the author of the book Collaborative Evaluations: A Step-by-Step Model for the Evaluator. An experienced facilitator, she has offered many training sessions and presented her work in countries such as Australia, Canada, China, England, Greece, Holland, India, Italy, Jamaica, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, the United States, and Venezuela. Currently, she serves as the board of directors’ chair at the Evaluation Capacity Development Group and as the program chair of the Collaboration, Participatory, and Empowerment Evaluation Topical Interest Group of the American Evaluation Association. Liliana received the Marcia Guttentag Award from the American Evaluation Association.


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