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Evaluate the Experience

Why Evaluate?

Evaluation enables us to:

  • determine the quality, effectiveness, and continuous improvement of the E-learning,
  • understand the pros and cons of the E-learning modules or programs, and
  • make improvements. (Pappas, 2012).

Evaluation occurs:

  1. Before the E-Learning (needs assessment) to plan e-Learning
  2. During the E-Learning (formative evaluation) to make improvements, and
  3. After the E-Learning (summative evaluation) to determine outcomes. (Pappas, 2012).

There are many dimensions to E-learning that can be evaluated.

Figure 1: Khan ‘s Eight Dimensional Framework (2005) . Khan (2013) with permission.

How do I Evaluate my Module in UCD?

A very comprehensive web-page on evaluating E-learning can be seen in University of Warwick website. This website addresses many research methodologies that might be suited to different questions for your module.

As in all module evaluation, when evaluating on-line or blended learning you need to consider first what is the focus of your questions.

Potential QuestionsSome Measures
How are my students performing? Students Grade (sub-grades)*

How satisfied are the students with the online learning experience?

What was the quality of the learning experience with the new technology?

Add some related optional questions to your module feedback in the existing UCD student feedback system.*

Student Focus Groups/Interviews*

What was the level of student participation in my group discussions? Use the performance dashboard in Blackboard
Is this an efficient use of my time?

Staff time/workload analysis

Time log

Reflective Journal

* Note: these require UCD ethical approval if used for research dissemination purposes.


Evaluation: The bigger picture at Institutional level

There are broader considerations for evaluating e-learning at Institutional level, for example, institutional cost and investment in technology; staff time; choice of technology; staff training needs; student inclusion; ethical issues; pedagogical models; copyright; etc… (see also Figure 1)

When looking at the bigger picture some of the following give a wider perspective in e-learning for evaluation /quality assurance purposes:

  • University of Warwick’s overview of evaluation frameworks.
  • Insights (2012) website on Anderson et al (2006) Common Framework for E-learning , see also
  • Ten Principles for Successful E-Learning, International Association for Distance Learning,
  • Khan’s (2005, 2013) Eight Dimensional E-Learning Framework give a comprehensive representation of the key areas for evaluation,
  • Shelton (2011) did a recent review of some of these frame-works,
  • EADTU (2012). From a European perspective, E-xcellent provide a new manual setting some benchmarks for quality of e-learning at institutional level

Chapter 1: Strategic Management
Chapter 2: Curriculum Design
Chapter 3: Course Design
Chapter 4: Course Delivery
Chapter 5: Staff Support
Chapter 6: Student Support

  • Laurillard & Ljubojevic (2013)  have written extensively around evaluation of e-learning designs.


  • Anderson, John and McCormick, Robert (2006). A common framework for e-learning quality. In: McCluskey, Alan ed. Policy and Innovation in Education. Quality Criteria. Brussels: European Schoolnet, pp. 4–9.
  • Khan, B. H. (2005). Managing e-learning: Design, delivery, implementation, and evaluation. Information Science Publishing.
  • Khan, B.H (2013) E-Learning Framework Website.
  • Laurillard, D.,  Ljubojevic, D  (2013)  "Evaluating Learning Designs through the Formal Representation of Pedagogical Patterns." Investigations of E-Learning Patterns: Context Factors, Problems and Solutions. IGI Global, 2011. 86-105. Web. 24 Jul. 2013. doi:10.4018/978-1-60960-144-7.ch006
  • Masoumi, D, Lindström, B (2012) Quality in e-learning: a framework for promoting and assuring quality in virtual institutions, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning.  28, 27–41
  • Shelton, K, (2011) A Review of Paradigms for Evaluating the Quality of Online Education Programs Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Volume IV, Number I, Spring 2011
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