7 Key Questions to ask when evaluating any Digital Course

7 Key Questions to ask when evaluating any Digital Course

Posted in Blog on 13 July 2016

Online education has never been more accessible and easy to use than today. In a survey conducted by ASCD and OverDrive it was found that digital content is used in 80% of schools and districts in the US. With such a tremendous rise in popularity, digital education is slowly but steadily replacing the traditional form of face to face education.

Yet, while educators are spoilt for choice, not all online courses maintain high quality standards expected of educational material. For this reason, being able to quickly evaluate the quality of a digital course often becomes a necessity.

  1. Are the course objectives clearly defined? A well designed course will often define course objectives to help educators set goals for their students. While evaluating a course, see if the course details specify learning outcomes, as these can help you decide whether the course is a good fit to your requirements.
  1. Does the material have a defined structure? A proper structure provides a framework and a timeline for the educators. This will enable you to organize and plan your course. As a result, your students will have a stage-wise progression in their learning.
  1. What devices are supported by the course? It’s important to ensure that the course is accessible on multiple devices and the content is optimized for these devices. The more number of devices supported by the course, the greater the flexibility provided to your students.
  1. Is the course aligned to any learning standards? Courses that are aligned to established standards are likely to have been designed by qualified educational experts using grade-specific goals. By looking for the standards that a course is aligned to, educators can quickly analyse whether the course will meet their desired learning outcomes.
  1. Does the course provide teacher support or tools? Quality digital courses will often provide several layers of support to those using the material. These may include course implementation or IT support, and tools that enable teachers to use the course efficiently. Such tools may include dashboard analytics to view and analyse student performance, communication tools to connect with students, or lesson plans to help create exercises or tests as required.
  1. Are students staying engaged? One of the challenges that digital education overcomes is student engagement. In order for students to learn effectively the course must be able to get them actively involved. Successful courses use techniques like gamification and rewards to engage students.
  1. Does the course evaluate performance? No course would be complete without a proper evaluation system that provides timely and accurate feedback to both students and teachers. Be sure to check how this assessment is performed and the metrics that are used to measure learning effectiveness.

The best way to find out the quality of a course is through personal evaluation or asking for test samples. Getting a hands on experience will give you a better idea of what is more suitable to your style of teaching.

 

Further Reading

http://odl.arizona.edu/about/quality-matters

https://www.spotonreviews.org/how-we-rate

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