Evaluation of a curriculum or a learning programme can be done with different intentions or aims and based on which several models have been proposed. Among them the Systems model and the CIPP model is being widely used.
In general, these models will demarcate the areas that need to be focused in performing an evaluation. Such focused attention would lessen many complications that may have risen as well as make the evaluators to see even the minute deficiencies or problems that may be present.
The systems evaluation model looks in to four aspects in a programme that needs to be evaluated and these include the Input, Process, Output and the Impact.
The input evaluation would focus on the strength of the resources, expertise, programme strategies and the designs used to meet the target audience and satisfy their needs (Rovai 2003). Accordingly, some of the important inputs that needs to be evaluated would include,
Student characteristics Teacher experience Competency of staff Efficiency of course development Institutional support…etc.
At the same time, the Input evaluation should also focus its attention on student needs as well as tutor needs and to what extent have these needs are met.
Process evaluation on the other hand will look into what takes place during the programme implementation and its functioning as well as the intended way of doing the same. This would enable the evaluator to recognize what is not happening as well. Effectiveness of teaching methods, collaborative learning, cost effectiveness…etc are some of the areas which needs to be tackled during such evaluations.
Evaluating the direct effect of the programme is considered to be the ‘output evaluation’. There can be different variables that provide the required information for such evaluation and among them, the number of students who graduate, extent to which the objectives were met, changes in knowledge, attitudes and practices as well as course grades…etc could be considered some of the important ones.
Lastly, the evaluation of long term outcomes or programme effect over the society can be defined as the ‘impact evaluation’. Such evaluations are difficult to perform and would require tracking the students to their work places and would involve feedback from both the students as well as from their employers or supervisors.
Similar to the systems evaluation model, the CIPP model consist of 4 types of evaluations namely, the context, input, process and the product.
Context in the CIPP model will refer the planning decisions whereas the Input will refer to the structuring decisions. Process would be the evaluation of the actual implementation procedures while the product will entail the evaluation of obtaining the outcomes.