When Assessing Outcomes, Assess the Environment

Provided by guest blogger, Angelica Brodeur, graduate student University of St. Francis, MS Training and Development program

All too often, universities assess their learning environments to then improve the learning outcomes of their students. If this is the case, different learning environments need different assessments. Assessing a classroom environment will be different then assessing an e-learning environment due to the difference in instruction, tools, and scheduling utilized. In response, Mousavi et al. (2020) recommends educators to then assess the educational atmosphere to determine the learners’ perception of the e-learning course. In response, the authors developed the EEAM (E-learning Educational Atmosphere Measure) instrument which measures program effectiveness, teaching quality, ethics and professionalism, and learner support.

I find this to be a valuable idea as the individual learner does experience the same content differently when it is presented in a classroom environment versus an e-learning environment. The foundation of this difference is based on what tools learners are required to utilize in the e-learning course. E-learning allows educators to choose from a variety of tools to enhance the learning experience, that were not originally designed to be learning technologies, that might not be used in the classroom environment. Thus, the perception of learners is vital in determining what works and what doesn’t in achieving learner outcomes. While the EEAM is a valuable framework, please note that this study is based on virtual postgraduate programs. Thus, the authors suggest that educators perform additional studies on applying EEAM for undergraduate programs.

Reference

Mousavi, A., Mohammadi, A., Mojtahedzadeh, R., Shirazi, M., & Rashidi, H. (2020). E-learning educational atmosphere measure (EEAM): A new instrument for assessing e-students’ perception of educational environment. Research in Learning Technology. 28. https://doi.org/10.25304/rlt.v28.2308

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