Master of Education in Distance Education (MDDE) 617

Program Evaluation in Distance Education

Course cover

Delivery Mode: Group Study

Credits: 3

Prerequisite: None.

Availability: All Terms

Note: MEd program students must complete Mdde601 & Mdde602 prior to all other courses
Early access to the Moodle Learning Management System begins a few days before the official start date of your course. At that time you will have limited course access.


In Program Evaluation in Distance Education MDDE 617 you will be introduced to the field of program evaluation, which spans a number of social science disciplines including education and training, nursing and medical education, social work, military training, and business. The course is designed to increase the student’s knowledge and understanding of major forms, approaches, and models of program evaluation and applying that knowledge in the production of a program evaluation proposal.

Course Goals

The course is based on the following goals:

  • discuss how the roots of program evaluation lie in research, particularly scientific measurement.
  • describe the purposes, uses, and essential activities of various forms of program evaluation.
  • outline the historical emergence of program evaluation and its role in distance education
  • discuss a variety of theoretical frameworks and models of program evaluation
  • discuss aspects of planning in relation to various program evaluation models
  • discuss the methodology associated with various program evaluation forms and models
  • develop a proposal for the evaluation of a distance education program.

Course Outline

This course is divided into five units.

  • Unit 1 Overview of History and Theory of Program Evaluation
  • Unit 2 Program Evaluation Models and Approaches
  • Unit 3 Program Evaluation Forms and Purposes
  • Unit 4 Program Evaluation Methods and Applications
  • Unit 5 Program Evaluation and Distance Education

Learning Resources

Online Study Guide


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Fitzpatrick, J. L., Sanders, J. R., & Worthen, B. R. (2010). Program evaluation: Alternative approaches and practical guidelines. White Plains, NY: Longman.


Owen, J. M., & Rogers, P. J. (1999). Program evaluation: Forms and approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Case Study Text

The Case Study Text contains mostly fictitious evaluation requests for proposals, proposals, and evaluation reports. Selected cases are used to guide the discussion forums and course assignments.

Student Assessment

Activity Credit Weight
Assignment 1: Evaluation plan and standards/criteria specification. 25%
Assignment 2: Critique of an evaluation report using five forms of program evaluation. 25%
Assignment 3: Development of program evaluation proposal. 35%
Course Participation 15%
Total 100%

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.