A rubric for evaluating e-learning tools in higher education

As educational developers supporting the incorporation of technology into teaching, we are often asked by instructors for a tailored recommendation of an e-learning tool to use in a particular course. When they use the phrase e-learning tool, instructors are typically asking for some kind of digital technology, mediated through the use of an internet-connected device, that is designed to support student learning. Such requests tend to be accompanied by statements of frustration over the selection process they’ve undertaken. These frustrations often result from two factors. First, instructors are typically experts in their course’s subject matter, yet they are not necessarily fluent in the best criteria for evaluating e-learning tools. Second, the number and the variety of e-learning tools continue to proliferate. Both of these factors make it increasingly challenging for faculty members to evaluate and select an e-learning tool that aligns with their course design and meaningfully supports their students’ learning experience.

Yet, we firmly believe that instructors should be the ultimate decision-makers in selecting the tools that will work for their courses and their learners. Thus, we saw an opportunity to develop a framework that would assist with the predictive evaluation of e-learning tools—a framework that could be used by non-tech experts and applied in a variety of learning contexts to help draw their attention to the cogent aspects of evaluating any e-learning tool. To address this need, we created the Rubric for E-Learning Tool Evaluation.

[ Read the full article at EDUCAUSE review. ]

 For more information on using technologies in your classes, contact the University Center for Teaching and Learning’s Teaching Support unit.