educational technology, program development, program evaluation, graduate education, online instruction, higher education




With continued growth in online courses and programs in higher education a pressing need exists to evaluate their perceived quality and effectiveness. Evaluation criteria – course evaluations, student surveys and retention data – from previous online program evaluations were used in this study. An illuminative evaluation using descriptive and scientific analysis was undertaken for a graduate degree program in educational technology. Course and program-level data were analyzed to compare quality for two programs – an existing hybrid and new online. Analysis of student enrollments, course evaluations, survey results, retention, and time to completion reveal similar experiences reported from students in both programs. Results suggest that a majority of students were satisfied with their graduate experience and view those experiences as worthwhile. This illuminative evaluation provides evidence that online graduate programs are comparable and can satisfy stakeholders’ expectations while maintaining high levels of quality.

Original Citation

Topper, A., & Lancaster, S. (2016). Online graduate educational technology program: An illuminative evaluation. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 51, 108–115.

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