We have already mentioned the importance of understanding student needs in terms of accessibility and device ownership early on in the module development and content creation process. Throughout the module, you will need to be perceptive to student comments and feedback on the value of resources, identifying access issues and engagement.
Undoubtedly, one of the best ways of evaluating learning resources is to show them to colleagues. Encourage peer review of your materials, identifying areas such as clarity, logical progression, aesthetics, interactivity. You could identify from previous student feedback areas that you need to focus on, then request a colleague to review the materials and your suggested approach to address the feedback. By sharing content and undertaking a peer review approach for others, you will also pick up ideas for how to creatively use resources in your own modules.
Yorkshare logs when users access different parts of a module site. During the term you should look at whether key resources are not being used and then work out the cause. Reasons could include:
- Part of the site being hidden from students. Check using Student Preview.
- The resource being buried within the site. Check sign-posting and number of clicks required to access resource.
- The resource is not linked to a face-to-face or specific online activity.
- The resource is not clearly labelled.
- Student devices do not support the resource, either through file type or inability to install specialist software.
- Using Student Preview mode [Google Doc]
- Course Reports [help.blackboard.com]
- How to create an Item Statistics Report [Blackboard YouTube channel]
- Using the Performance Dashboard in a VLE module [YouTube]
If you are particularly keen to find out the value of different resource types, include space for this on your end of module evaluation. Drawing attention to the different types of resources you have used, you could ask which format supported learning and which format hindered learning the most. Whilst a simple check box or scale question will provide indicative data, you will need to probe further as to the reasons why. Students will respond differently to resources that address different learning preferences, for example.