Towards an Education Evaluation Framework: Synchronous and Asynchronous E-Learning Cases
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Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) are the computing and communications facilities and features that variously support teaching, learning, and a range of activities in education. It has always been assumed that ICTs can bring about positive change not only to the instructional process but also in the learning arena. The issue of flexible learning that is independent of pace and space has often been cited as a hallmark of ICTs in education. However, the application of these ICTs to education in developing countries at both the experimental and developmental levels has often been characterized, in general, by inconsistent, weak, or non existent evaluation methodologies, thereby increasing the risk that the role of ICTs in the improvement of education in developing countries is not sustainable. Factors that influence the process of learning in the e-learning environment were the subject of study in the development and application of an e-learning evaluation model. These factors are interrelated and they influence the process to varying degrees. This model is intended to help content developers, elearning designers and instructors to evaluate and validate an e-learning innovation. The framework considers two broad issues: technology mediation and system perspective. Within these, we consider generic perspectives: in the case of technology mediation we have structure, process and outcome, while in the case of systems perspective, we have the technical, human and education levels respectively. The evaluation methodology has been used in an e-learning case study in sub-Saharan Africa and it is expected to extend further to facilitate generalization of the model in different educational settings.