Evaluating electronic resources: personal development planning resources at the Open University, a case study

Jelfs, Anne and Kelly, Patrick (2007). Evaluating electronic resources: personal development planning resources at the Open University, a case study. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 32(5) pp. 515–526.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02602930601116755

Abstract

This paper discusses the evaluation of Web-based tools to support Personal Development Planning (PDP) in order to illustrate issues associated with the introduction and assessment of the effectiveness of online resources. The aims of the evaluation were based on concerns about the very complex situation that offering online resources including PDP poses for part-time off-campus students. In this paper the authors utilize a modified RUFDATA framework (Saunders, 2000) and consider the benefits a range of methods, including surveys and observational studies, can offer evaluations of electronic resources. They found that students used and valued some aspects of the provision but that even with best efforts of instructional designers, and user testing at the draft stage, students do not always behave as intended. This evaluation highlighted the need for a range of strategies for evaluating online resources and that regardless of student attitude there are real worries about eLearning imposing extra workload burdens on ‘time poor’ adults.

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