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PRST 5410/6410/7410 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

PRST 5410/6410/7410 - Evaluation of Learning

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

This course covers the concepts and skills used in evaluation models, theories, and best practices for both profit and nonprofit organizations. The major components of the course cover two fundamental tasks of a training and development program. First, what happened in the training classroom with the instructors, learners and the course content?  Second, what is the effect of the overall training and development program as it connects with and supports the corporate initiatives, strategies, goals and objectives?

Course Outcomes:

The goal of this course is to improve the performance of employees and the overall corporation. The objectives are applicable to traditional and virtual instructional environments where learning is desired and expected to transfer to the workplace.

Knowledge

  1. Students will comprehend the concepts and key components used to evaluate courses and the operational effectiveness of a training and development program.
  2. Students will read, review, and analyze current evaluation models and theories and determine how to incorporate the concepts into a corporate learning environment.
  3. Students will examine the standards and best practices of evaluation found in scholarly publications for improving classroom instruction as well as conceptualize the elements of a program evaluation for an organization.
  4. Students will learn how to connect the training and development program to corporate initiatives and goals.
  5. Students will identify and critique statistical findings used in evaluation reports and evaluate the utility of the reported inferences and recommendations for the instructional course or program.

Skills

  1. Students will determine the need for an evaluation, design and develop the evaluation instrument that measures the effectiveness for a course module along with the process and procedures for implementation. 
  2. Students will conduct the evaluation and report the findings.
  3. Students will use qualitative and quantitative methods to measure and report the effect of learning for an organization.
  4. Students will develop evaluation instruments and processes that measure learning for a course, the transfer of learning to the work place, the impact of the training and development program on the corporate goals, the corporate return on investment, and assess the overall effectiveness of the training and development program.
  5. Students will formulate principles and ethical statements of evaluation that are consistent with, The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Acts of 1974, The American Evaluation of Association’s standards and principles of evaluation presented in The Program Evaluation Standards and the Joint Committee’s Guiding Principles for Evaluators (online, http://www.eval.org/).

Dispositions

  1. Students will respect the political requirements in working with stakeholders, owners, and other administrative personnel to evaluate program effectiveness to accomplish the intended goals and deliver products and services.
  2. Students will exhibit professional and ethical behavior while conducting evaluation activities in a corporate environment.
  3. Students will appreciate, value, and respect the contributions of evaluation research to increase the understanding of the role of evaluators and evaluation. 
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

PRST 5400/6400/7400. Given previous work and/or academic experience, it is possible to take this course with departmental permission or previously completed equivalent course(s) in another degree program.

Course Topics:

The two primary topics for this course focus on the planning and designing evaluations for a single course and the overall training and development program.

Module 1 - Introduction to Evaluation of Learning

Module 2 - Why Evaluate? 

Module 3 - What Is Course Evaluation?

Module 4 - How to Evaluate a Course

Module 5 - Taking Next Steps in Course Evaluation

Module 6 - What Is Program Evaluation?

Module 7 - How to Evaluate the Program

Module 8 - Taking Next Steps in Program Evaluation 

Specific Course Requirements:

This course requires the use of theory, concepts, and methods in planning how to evaluate a single course implemented in a corporate environment. In addition, the student proposes a project plan to evaluating the overall effectiveness and efficiencies of training and development’s program offerings. The statistical functions within Microsoft Office Excel® are suitable for compiling quantitative data. Other statistical software packages such as SPSS® (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) would be a plus.

The student must be familiar with the purposes and needs for a corporate training and development program. Access to a corporate training environment enhances the reality of practical application of course content. 

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:

Links to journal articles and other scholarly materials will be posted. 

Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Grading Procedures:

The final grade is calculated using several categories of course work. Each item submitted for grades is based on a points scale. The category of course work carries a weighted percentage of the final grade.

All written material submitted for assignments, exercises, discussion boards, and projects are evaluated on content, writing style, grammar and punctuation in accordance with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Sixth Edition (2009). 

ItemPoints# ItemsTotal% - average
Discussions101010010%
Module Assessments40832015%
Module Assignments30515015%
Mid-Term Exam100110015%
Evaluation Project Plans115223030%
Final Exam100110015%
Total Points 271000100%

 

Grading Scale:
GradeHigh PointsLow PointsHigh %Low %
A1000900100%90%
B89980089.99%80%
C79970079.99%70D%
D69960069.99%60%
F599059.99%0%

 

Assignments and Projects:

Practice Exercises (not graded)

Practice exercises are included at strategic points to assist in planning and preparing to use evaluation tools and techniques. Evaluation tools and samples will be included for illustration of best practices as well as reminders of the not-so-good practices to be avoided.

Discussions (100 points, 10% of grade)

There are ten discussion boards worth 100 points each. The topics will be relevant to concerns, trends and issues in evaluation practices. A discussion board closes on Sunday at 11:59 PM of the Module. All times posted are USA Central Time Zone.

  • Excellent participation is when a student expresses ideas fluently in own words, uses appropriate tone, has no mechanical error (spelling, punctuation, syntax), follows assignment requirements, reacts appropriately and constructively to the entire discussion over the given period. (10,9 points)
  • Acceptable is when a student uses the ideas of others camouflaged as his or her own words, has 1-2 mechanical errors (spelling, punctuation, syntax), misses part of the assignment requirements and reacts in a limited way to the entire discussion over the given period. (8 points)
  • Unacceptable is when a student misses the assignment, uses a negative tone, reacts harshly to others, has three or more mechanical errors (spelling, punctuation, syntax), ignores the directives of the instructor and becomes uncooperative in the discussion over the given period. (7,0 points)
  • Specific instructions can be found in the Discussions Rubric in the Getting Started Module

Module Assignments (150 points, 15% of grade)

There are five module assignments each worth 30 points. The assignments consist of thinking exercises that are precursory in completing the course and program evaluations. The material prepared for these assignments will be formative for completing the final projects.

Module Assessments (320 points, 32% of grade)

There are eight module assessments each worth 40 points. Objective questions review the concepts, methods, and tools used in planning, designing, conducting, and reporting evaluation results. The module assessments include true/false questions, select the correct answer, matching, and short answers

Midterm Exam (100 points, 10% of grade)
The exam is based on content presented in Modules 1-4.

Evaluation Project Plans (230 points, 23% of grade)
A Course Evaluation Project due at the end of Module 5 (115 points): plan, design, and develop ways to evaluate the learning in a course all four levels of evaluation: reaction, knowledge or learning acquired, transfer or knowledge or learning applied on the job, and results in achieving the ultimate outcomes that can be connected to the training course.

  • Prepare an executive overview of how the instruments would be used.
  • Submit one instrument or method for each of the four levels of evaluation.
  • Describe the anticipated results to be gained from the instrument or method.
  • State how the results would be used to make changes and improvements.
  • Include a section that addresses potential threats that would compromise the validity and reliability of the data collected and how you would attempt to minimize the threats.

Overall Program Evaluation of the Training and Development Program Project due at the end of Module 8 (115 points): plan, design, and develop a process complete with procedure for evaluating the entire training and development program offerings. The plan includes:

  • the purpose and rationale for the evaluation
  • the key stakeholders are identified
  • the existing data that will be reviewed
  • the new data to be collected
  • the methods of analysis
  • the methods of reporting
  • the proposed next steps based on projected positive findings and negative next steps

See the item in the News section of this course: Grading Rubrics for details.
Final Exam (100-points, 10% of grade)
The exam is based on content presented in Modules 5-8. 

Class Participation:

Students are considered interactive when responding to the discussion boards each week and submitting course work by the deadline. Interaction is also comprised of communicating with the instructor as a learning resource and checking the course News web page frequently for announcements and updates. 

Late Policy:

Students are expected to participate in discussions, group assignments and surveys at the times specified. Assignments are due when specified. Work submitted for grading after the specified time receives a 10% point reduction for each day late. Any assignment that is submitted more than three days past the due date is automatically graded as zero (0). More than two missed assignment deadlines are considered reason for course failure. 

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:

RULES OF THE TENNESSEE BOARD OF REGENTS STATE UNIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM OF TENNESSEE SYSTEMWIDE STUDENT RULES CHAPTER 0240-02-03 STUDENT CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS

Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications

Email:

  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members

Discussions:

  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.

Library

The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.

Disclaimer

The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.


Last Revised on April 28, 2017