Emergent Evaluation: An Initial Exploration of a Formative Framework for Evaluating Distance Learning Modules

Palitha Edirisingha
University of Leicester, United Kingdom

Phil Wood
University of Leicester, United Kingdom


Evaluation of student learning is becoming increasingly important in higher education, partly as a consequence of increasingly performative structures within universities, and partly as the result of a developing interest in rolling development of curricula and teaching resources. Historically, for both face-to-face provision and distance learning, such evaluation has generally been captured through the use of end-of-module questionnaires. Whilst these evaluative media may capture some reflections of student learning, they are often poorly focused, and rely wholly on summative perspectives which are captured at a point remote to the learning process itself. The current paper reports on an initial investigation which centred on developing a formative framework for evaluating distance learning modules. It is distinguished from typical summative questionnaire evaluations by the collection of live feedback from students as they undertake a module, allowing for insight and feed forward to develop materials as students undertake the module. This is achieved by using a modified version of an approach called ‘Lesson Study’, a collaborative planning and evaluation tool which originated in Japan (Lewis et al, 2009).

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