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Evaluating Virtual Classrooms

By Cheryle Walker

Evaluation of Virtual Classrooms or is similar to evaluating any learning intervention or program. Some differences exist – the technology, the facilitation skills, the design of the online session, the participant comfort and confidence levels in the virtual environment, the specific web-conferencing software and tools, and certainly aspects of the blended learning program need to be considered.

The following is a round-up of common areas and associated questions that could be relevant when evaluating virtual classrooms. It is vital to understand at what level of familiarity or maturity your organisation, and your learners, are with virtual environments to select the right areas and questions to use for evaluation.

For example, in the early days of deploying virtual classrooms or workshops, the focus may be on connecting and communicating.

Once virtual classrooms are more common in your organisation and amongst your learner cohorts, then the evaluation questions may be more focused around quality of learning interactions, engaging design of learning activities, and getting the ‘blend’ right when utilising multiple channels for learning.

What follows is a list of suggested areas and questions for evaluating virtual classrooms. The aim is to improve the experience for the learner, the facilitator, and ultimately to improve the learning outcomes.

Connection & Technology

  • How easy did you find connecting to the session?
  • How would you describe your technology experience of the virtual session?
  • What, if any, technology tips do you have to give to the next participants who will be participating in a virtual session?

Information Provided Prior to the Session

  • Was this information you received before the session useful? (Ask participants to comment or rate on a scale)
  • Looking back now, is there anything else you think we could have communicated prior to the session?

Interaction Experience

  • How did you feel participating in learning activities in the virtual session?
  • What suggestions do you have to improve your interaction experiences in the virtual classroom or workshop?

Comfort and Confidence

  • How comfortable did you feel learning in this way?
  • How would you describe the learning experience in the virtual classroom or to another potential participant?

Quality of Audio and Visuals

  • Was the Audio in the virtual session clear for you?
  • How would you rate the quality of the visual learning graphics in the virtual classroom or workshop?

Web Conferencing Software

  • Have you used web-conferencing software before, and if so, please let us know your experiences?
  • How would you rate the ease-of-use of web-conferencing software used in this session?
  • What other web-conferencing features would you like to see utilised?

Start and Finish Times

  • Was the timing of the virtual classroom or workshop convenient for you?
  • Any further comment about start and finish times for this virtual classroom or workshop, considering your working environment and commitments?

Length of Session

  • How did you feel about the length of this virtual classroom or workshop?

Supporting Materials

  • Were the supporting materials explained sufficiently for you to understand their context and use?
  • What other supporting materials do you think we could provide to learners in this program?

This is an edited version of an article by Cheryle Walker. Cheryle is a digital learning expert. You can read her full article here.        © Cheryle Walker

 

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