From evaluation to reflection-on-action: Lessons learnt from the impact of a distance education programme

Ruth Aluko


Reflection-on-action is necessary to derive meaning from ones experiences. This paper revisits research data from an elongated study on the impact of a distance education programme on the professional practice of graduates. The study focused on 300 graduates and 128 principals, selected through multi-stage and purposive sampling. The researcher used a mixed-methods research design with specific focus on Kirkpatricks, and Baldwin and Fords training evaluation models. The researchers curiosity was triggered by the need to understand possible reasons for the participants views, as these are contrary to the norm. This account indicates a clear institutional policy on quality assurance, practices guided by the policy, an ongoing monitoring of the distance education students profiles, improved programme design, student support structures, programme design and research focused on programmes as possible reasons. The author argues that higher education practitioners, irrespective of delivery mode, could benefit from the valuable lessons learnt from the exercise.



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