Module 5: Managing your online unit

5.5 Evaluating your blended learning unit

At the end of semester, it is important to evaluate the unit together with its online learning components to determine the extent to which the intended learning outcomes have been achieved, and how elements of the unit may be improved towards this end.

A comprehensive evaluation should address every element of the unit, including the intended learning outcomes themselves. Difficulties that arise with activities and assessments may in fact be traced back to intended learning outcomes that are poorly expressed or unachievable.

Feedback can be sought in a number of ways:

  1. Use the Blackboard iLearn unit reporting tool to assess how often the resources and activities have been accessed by students. You can get information on which areas of your unit have been accessed, when and by which students. This will help you determine which areas need highlighting or reorganising, which topics to follow up in class discussions, and which students need assistance.
  2. Critically evaluate the outcomes of any activities, tests and assignments to assess how the students’ learning has been affected by the addition of online learning components. How well were students able to achieve the intended learning outcomes?
  3. Seek feedback from your students. This can be done informally by chatting with students about the effectiveness of aspects of your unit or you can use a more formal process which includes collecting data during the running of the unit, documenting responses in discussion forums, and/or surveying students on key questions. You can also set up an online discussion topic for students to provide feedback throughout the semester.
  4. If you are a part of a teaching team, arrange to meet with other team members once or twice during the semester to gauge responses to the unit materials, assessments and intended learning outcomes. You should analyse the extent to which various online tools and resources have been used. Which were used the most? Were there any that were not used very much?

(Institute of Teaching and Learning, Deakin University, 2011)

Using some of the evaluation methods discussed above, review your unit and note in your learning journal three improvements you could make to the next iteration of the unit.