Distance education, or distance learning, is a fi eld of education that focuses on
teaching methods and technology with the aim of delivering teaching, often on
an individual basis, to students who are not physically present in a traditional
educational setting such as a classroom (Wikipedia, 2011).
Most institutions across the globe have embarked on distance education to meet
the demands of students who, under normal circumstances, are not able to attend
classes in the traditional classroom format because of time constraints, and job and
family responsibilities. There is a compelling need to determine success through
effective assessment and programme evaluation.
Much has been written about distance education in terms of types and structures,
and tools and methods of delivery. However, very little has been written and
discussed about the effectiveness of distance learning and effective ways to assess
and evaluate distance education programmes and the use of programme evaluation
outcomes to improve students’ learning, instructional techniques, resources and
programme management. This paper discusses the various programme evaluation
strategies, and assessment tools and practices. Effective programme assessment
and evaluation not only helps to determine what and how students have learned,
but also helps to improve programme quality.
Proceedings of the 4th biennial International Conference on
Distance Education and Teachers’ Training in Africa (DETA) held at
the Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique, 3-5 August 2011.