Assessing the Impact on Students of Online Materials in University Courses


Many universities currently encourage the use of online materials to enhance on-campus courses. Assessment of the impact of these technology-enhanced course initiatives is necessary if we are to gain insight into the best practices_those that faculty should be encouraged to use based on student need. Assessment studies of this type will enrich the literature of distributed learning in higher education. This paper will present and discuss 1) a process for designing assessment strategies to measure the impact of online course materials on students and 2) the results of formative and summative evaluation, including the categories of benefits reported by students. Based on a campus-wide initiative to train university faculty to use course management software, this assessment includes data collected during a pilot-term with over 1850 students enrolled in 20 courses (22 sections).

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