Evaluating technology-enhanced learning: A comprehensive framework

Med Teach. 2015;37(10):961-70. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2015.1009024. Epub 2015 Sep 4.


Background: The absence of a standard, comprehensive approach to evaluating technology-enhanced learning (TEL) limits the utility of individual evaluations, and impedes the integration and synthesis of results across studies.

Purpose: To outline a comprehensive framework for approaching TEL evaluation in medical education, and to develop instruments for measuring the perceptions of TEL learners and instructors.

Methods and results: Using both theoretical constructs of inquiry in education and a synthesis of existing models and instruments, we outlined a general model for evaluation that links utility, principles, and practices. From this we derived a framework for TEL evaluation that identifies seven data collection activities: needs analysis; documentation of processes, decisions, and final product; usability testing; observation of implementation; assessment of participant experience; assessment of learning outcomes; and evaluation of cost, reusability, and sustainability. We then used existing quality standards and approaches to develop instruments for assessing the experiences of learners and instructors using TEL.

Conclusions: No single evaluation is likely to collect all of this information, nor would any single audience likely find all information elements equally useful. However, consistent use of a common evaluation framework across different courses and institutions would avoid duplication of effort and allow cross-course comparisons.

MeSH terms

  • Computer-Assisted Instruction / standards*
  • Education, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Education, Medical / standards
  • Humans
  • Program Evaluation / methods*