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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Applying Messick’s framework to the evaluation data of distance/distributed intructional programs Ruhe, Valeria


In the past twenty years, the literature of evaluation in distance education has evolved largely independently of the literature of program evaluation. A survey of evaluation models for distance instructional programs shows that these models have not included unintended consequences or value implications as explicit evaluation criteria. Consequently, using these models in program evaluation studies may tend to produce findings which are incomplete. Because it does include unintended consequences and value implications, Messick's (1989) framework on validity can be used to guide evaluation studies of distance instructional programs. In this mixed methods study, I will take an adapted version of Messick's (1989) framework for a "test-drive" by applying it to authentic evaluation data from three BC postsecondary courses--Modern Languages 400, Psychology 101 and MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer). Qualitative findings will then be compared with survey findings to obtain an in-depth understanding of the workings of the three implementation systems. My findings demonstrate that the adapted Messick's (1989) framework can be very useful in guiding the evaluation of distance programs because it provides a comprehensive assessment of merit and worth. Moreover, the application of this framework resonates with Stake's (1995) responsive approach to evaluation, so that applying the framework brings an easy-to-use and reputable approach to program evaluation into the field of evaluation of distance education.

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