EdTech 505: Why Evaluate?

Kim Hefty

EdTech 505

Week 3 Assignment: Why Evaluate?

  1. What are the benefits and limitations of an evaluation?

Cashflow Technologies has a lot to gain in performing evaluations. The company is clearly looking to expand their business.   Performing a credible and reliable evaluation will allow them to demonstrate to future or potential clients the validity and effectiveness of their program in financial literacy. Through evaluation the company should be able to identify potential new audiences and which audiences would most benefit from their program. However, they must be careful, there are limitations. Cashflow must be willing to explore and analyze the programs shortcomings which could be exposed. Evaluation will create a lot of scrutiny and revisions, which can be costly, may need to be done to the materials in order for expansion.

  1. What factors ensure that an evaluation will be successful?

In order for the evaluation to be successful, Cashflow Technologies must use a credible evaluation. The evaluator must be objective and possess appropriate expertise. The company must be willing to accept and apply the results. If the results determine that the text book needs to be rewritten, even at a significant cost to the company, they must be willing to do so. Cashflow Technologies must be prepared for any and all conclusions.

  1. How might one use evaluation results?

Cashflow Technologies may use the results in a multitude of ways. First, they might use the results to expand their partnership with MCCD to additional programs. If they can demonstrate that the financial literacy program was a huge success, then they can potentially develop other programs.

Second, Cashflow may use the results to market their program to other community colleges. If the program is shown to be a success, especially if it is cost effective, other colleges may be interested.

Finally, the evaluation of a course in financial literacy could expose the need for such a program nationally. Some colleges may not realize the benefits to providing this curriculum. An evaluation could provide data that not only supports the success of the program but also the need for such a program.

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Project Description:

Private tutors exist in nearly every level of education. Tutors have very little control, if any, of their student’s evaluations, yet are expected to improve a student’s academic performance. A student’s classroom teacher decides the student’s evaluations.  How can a tutor improve their student’s performance?   Can technology assist with this process?

The purpose of this project is to evaluate the usage of study guides given to high school juniors taking an online algebra 2 course prior to their units. The goal is to improve student performance on online assignments and exams.

  1. What are the benefits of evaluating my proposal?

I want and need my business to grow. In order for this growth to happen I need to evaluate what I am doing and how I can improve this. I think in order for it to grow and be successful, the students I work with must be successful. Public education is free, relatively speaking, so why would parents spend extra money every month for their son or daughter to take math “outside” of school? I need to be able to show that they can expect improved performance from their student. In order to improve student success I have been examining concrete methods that I could implement.

My idea is to create study guides for each unit of algebra 2. An honest evaluation will allow me to see if this will really work and if it could be applied to other curriculums. The benefits are personal to my students, i.e. better grades and long term retention of material. The benefits to me are increased business and validity with the local school district. Study guides are a concrete and tangible item that can be evaluated. Evaluation will provide the opportunity to “prove” what I am doing works to my students, my parents, the district and me.

  1. What are the inherent limitations of the evaluation of my program?

Evaluation does not guarantee change or improvement (Boulmetis, 2011). By evaluating even one aspect of what I do I will be opening myself to additional scrutiny. I need to be prepared for all the feedback, both positive and negative. I also need to be fully prepared for change. That is the toughest part. I believe that what I am doing works but honest evaluation is the only way to improve.

Another limitation I need to be careful about is focus. I want to evaluate the use of learning guides. I need to keep focused on this singular area. It would be very easy to get carried away and try to evaluate everything I do. The goal is to see if using a study guide will increase student performance and grades. It is a concrete and specific goal.

  1. How might I use the results to benefit the organization, community, schools, or myself?

The results of evaluating study guides could benefit many stake holders. First, if study guides are determined to improve student performance, the students in algebra 2 will have better grades. This will make the students, their parents and me very happy.

Second, if the study guides are considered a success in algebra 2, the concept will be applied to other math courses such as pre-calculus and calculus. This would benefit additional students. This would also improve the quality of my business which would lead to an increase in the quantity of my business.

Finally, if I am able to develop a concrete model for study guides that can be proven effective and efficient, this could be shared with the local school district and applied to other online courses.

Reference:

Boulmetis, J., & Dutwin, P. (2011). The ABCS of evaluation (3rd ed.). San Francisco (CA): Jossey-Bass.

 

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