E-learning has become an increasingly important teaching and learning mode in educational institutions and corporate training. The evaluation of e-learning, however, is essential for the quality assurance of e-learning courses. This paper constructs a four-phase evaluation model for e-learning courses, which includes planning, development, process, and product evaluation, called the PDPP evaluation model. Planning evaluation includes market demand, feasibility, target student group, course objectives, and finance. Development evaluation includes instructional design, course material design, course Web site design, flexibility, student-student interaction, teacher/tutor support, technical support, and assessment. Process evaluation includes technical support, Web site utilization, learning interaction, learning evaluation, learning support, and flexibility. Product evaluation includes student satisfaction, teaching effectiveness, learning effectiveness, and sustainability. Using the PDPP model as a research framework, a purely e-learning course on Research Methods in Distance Education, developed by the School of Professional and Continuing Education at the University of Hong Kong (HKU SPACE) and jointly offered with the School of Distance Learning for Medical Education of Peking University (SDLME, PKU) was used as a case study. Sixty students from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Malaysia were recruited for this course. According to summative evaluation through a student e-learning experience survey, the majority of students were very satisfied/satisfied on all e-learning dimensions of this course. The majority of students thought that the learning effectiveness of this course was equivalent, even better, than face-to-face learning because of cross-border collaborative learning, student-centred learning, sufficient learning support, and learning flexibility. This study shows that a high quality of teaching and learning might be assured by using the systematic PDPP evaluation procedure. It is hoped that the PDPP evaluation model and its application can provide a benchmark for establishing a wider e-learning quality assurance mechanism in educational institutions.
- online learning,
- quality assurance,