A real life case study of an evaluation from the present

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Tom Reeves
21 February 2013

As “Week 7 – Evaluation” of the OLDS MOOC kicks off, I am as usual multi-tasking (as I am sure most, if not all, of you are). This week I am working with four colleagues from the World Health Organization (WHO) to conduct a formative evaluation of a new e-learning course focused on “Cold Chain Management for Vaccines.” You can get an overview of the issues covered in the course from this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVe9eLoauTQ&feature=youtu.be

My colleagues flew into Atlanta, Georgia from Geneva and other places to spend this week with me going through the 11 week course screen by screen to make sure every link works, the content is correct, and the interactions are pedagogically sound. We are essentially doing a detailed expert review of the course. Each person represents a different type of expertise, e.g., cold chain transportation options, logistics, vaccines, e-learning design, etc. My four WHO colleagues will also serve as the mentors for next month’s beta test of the online course that has participants enrolled from countries such as Egypt, Indonesia, Thailand, Swaziland, Sudan, etc. So we are spending a lot of our time together discussing who will be the lead facilitator for different parts of the course, and conducting a risk analysis to anticipate what could go wrong and how we will handle any problems. We are documenting everything using Excel spreadsheets so that we can make sure every issue identified in the course is corrected. 

The course is designed around a set of authentic tasks, some of which are simulated tasks using real video footage from various sites in a cold chain in a specific country, and a culminating task that involves the learners in solving a cold chain delivery system design problem in a different country. The authentic design principles for this course (inspired by the work of Aussie colleagues such as Jan Herrington and Ron Oliver) are described here: http://authenticlearning.info/AuthenticLearning/Home.html

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