Evaluation was the topic of conversation this week. Is it good? Is it bad? When should it be done?
Well, according to the book evaluation should be done at every phase of design. A decision should be made and then the design team should move on and then move back to see if they are still on task. Circular motion is the key to a good product. Keeping the learner, objectives, goals, and tasks in mind. The one way to make sure this circular motion happens is by evaluating the process and the product. Never settle of okay, or it will do. Always make sure that the learner’s environment is the best it can be for that learner.
I think that the case study- the airplanes- that we looked at this week had two problems. First, the main character, Sam Gonzales didn’t evaluate the process until it was done. He didn’t show that the objectives were being met while production was going on. He makes no mention of test subjects or control groups. He seems to have done only half his job… Or wait a minuet; was it his job to do? Was he the one who was supposed to keep the learner first? Was he the one who was supposed to be the learners’ advocate? No, Linda McMillan was, Right? She was “the Instructional designer” on the project, and yet you don’t hear that she had done any evaluating of the project. One could assume that she did, because we are all training to be her, and we would all evaluate because we know how important it is. However, we also all know that when a project comes under budget or time constraints, the first thing to go is the evaluations… Formative, that is… Maybe the project was overtime or over budget. Maybe Linda McMillan never got a chance to do the evaluations. If she had, she might have been able to catch the problems that #1 and #17 talked about before they had to take the tests for their job performance.