When schools launch a new system or implement changes in learning, such as blended learning, administrators and teachers want to know the impact of the reform. Evaluation is a process by which educators or instructional designers make judgments about the worth of an educational development.
For my project, I decided to evaluate blended program launched in 4 year Japanese university. I associated with the institution before, and I actually help them with creating some online contents for blended learning program.
I thought many online or blended program conducts summative evaluation in the end of semester, but most courses gain high students satisfaction because online course has time flexibility for students. Students are busy, and they are not motivated to study in their first year, they might be interested in making friends, money, etc...
Of course, flexibility or ubiquitous is one good feature of online learning. But, if they are satisfied with the program just because of fancy web-based materials, this means they must not be really satisfied. Students are not customers. They should overcome some tasks and feel satisfaction after completing tasks, and the feeling motivates them to take a next step. This helps building self-regulation.
In my project, students seem to be like students in negative example above. To change the learning, like meet the objectives of course and meet students need and fulfill satisfaction, designing a meaningful learning is vital.
Collaborative learning is a key to solve problems. Online collaboration is difficult because participants are limited in one group, time consuming, and interaction is also limited. In addition, if there are many groups online, each should have someone to monitor their activity otherwise; the instructor can hardly know their learning process.
Still, if it is worth implementing, students and teachers can benefit from such learning.
One of the issues in higher edu language learning is that they develop their own learning materials without asking outside of expert. They spend too much money on interface design, and usability but not on materials itself.
In my evaluation report, I propose collaborative online activity utilizing Web 2.0 collaborative tools: Google doc and WiZiQ. The instructor approved the use of Google doc for knowledge sharing. Next step is to implement collaborative learning in online course with sample group, and see their tentative reactions. To measure learning outcomes, it takes long-term evaluation process, but I suppose trying new stuff brings other problems. From that problem we found, we can create better instruction incorporation technology with students' learning.