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A practical framework for evaluating online distance education programs

Internet and Higher Education Volume 6, Number 2, ISSN 1096-7516 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


The case is presented for distance education administrators that evaluation is an essential element of successful distance education programs. A synthesis of the program evaluation and distance education research literature is used to form a framework for conducting evaluations of online programs. Evaluators should assess student performance, determine program and cost effectiveness, monitor quality to include technology and support services, evaluate course design and instruction, and ascertain teacher and student satisfaction. Strategies tailored to obtain such information are described within the context of an open-systems approach. An inventory of potential evaluation questions for input, process, output, and impact evaluations that respond to the potential needs of internal and external stakeholders are listed along with quantitative and qualitative data requirements that can be helpful in responding to these questions.


Rovai, A.P. (2003). A practical framework for evaluating online distance education programs. Internet and Higher Education, 6(2), 109-124. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved August 4, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Internet and Higher Education on January 29, 2019. Internet and Higher Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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