Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Hi all

I'm Heather Moran and I work at UCOL Palmerston North in the same office as Debra M, although not on the same programme. I've been working at UCOL now for ten years with the past five of them working as a Lecturer in Information Systems.

I teach face to face classes but mark assignments for our blended delivery computing programme and online business programmes on occasion.

What I know of, and about, evaluation is all down to my past experiences as a student and as a tutor. Both of these situations are very obviously different and give very differing views on the relevance of evaluation.

As a student sometimes it feels as if we are just filling in forms or posting opinions and/or ideas to fulfill some assessment criteria within the programme, rather than it being of any relevant use to us. We're given programme evaluation forms to fill in, lecturer evaluation forms to complete, unit or paper evaluations and sometimes units come with assessment criteria that requires us to leave feedback on a discussion board or some other form of chatting facility. Some of the time we are left wondering if anything said in the evaluation is even taken notice of.

As a tutor we see evaluation as a way to gauge students' interest in our papers/units, resources, and programmes. While data gathered can be useful, it is what is done with that information that is important. If we find that we are asking students and co-workers to evaluate situations/resources and then not following up with the data gathered, is it a wasted exercise? And how often are we performing these “wasted exercises?”.

So in reality (my opinion anyway) it's no wonder that some students give responses that are less than honest and authentic. Some people are not naturally outspoken or adept at giving "feedback" so evaluation to them can be a daunting task. Some people love it and relish the opportunity to leave feedback. So what is the balance? Is there a balance between giving evaluation tasks and receiving useful authentic feedback and giving evaluation tasks that result in information that is less useful? Of course there is, but how and when it is done is the key.

What I hope to get from this paper are ideas and/or tools for making evaluation authentic, realistic and relevant. I hope to share my ideas and learn with my fellow course participants the "best practice" for evaluation.

1 comment:

  1. Well done Heather, i must admit i have forgotten how to play hangman and now i see i have a letter in the wrong place!! i think it is great you have added these in for interactive play. cheers Liz