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Reflections on using the Internet for the evaluation of course delivery

Internet and Higher Education Volume 4, Number 1, ISSN 1096-7516 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


The increased pressures on universities to have demonstrable accountability measures in the form of quality assurance systems, coupled with the increasing use of Internet technologies in education, produce a twofold challenge. Firstly, it is necessary to develop policy frameworks, quality processes, and online tools to provide comprehensive, timely, and appropriate information that can be acted upon in order to improve the quality of learning. Secondly, such frameworks, processes, and tools should be applied in flexible ways that reflect the nature of the learning environments that they are aiming to improve. This paper discusses one component of the evaluation of teaching—the evaluation of teaching by students via online methods. This approach to the evaluation of teaching by students has a number of advantages. It can be accessed in flexible ways and can incorporate feedback from students learning in a range of contexts and locations, feedback can be summarised and responded to efficiently, and quantitative and qualitative information can be readily analysed. In addition, for the increasing number of students who are engaging in online learning experiences, it provides an evaluation mechanism that is congruent with their learning environment. A number of criteria for successful online evaluation tools are proposed. Some criteria relate to the facility for instructors to customise the evaluation instrument for particular learning contexts and to address particular quality improvement concerns. Other practical criteria include accessibility for staff and students, ease and speed of reporting, and the capacity to address issues of confidentiality, access to, and use of data. A case study arising from the use of a set of online evaluation tools that address these criteria is presented. The benefits and risks to students, instructors, and the institution as a whole are also considered. Finally, future improvements in the tools are outlined.


Reid, I.C. (2001). Reflections on using the Internet for the evaluation of course delivery. Internet and Higher Education, 4(1), 61-75. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved August 19, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Internet and Higher Education on January 29, 2019. Internet and Higher Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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