Three Dimensions of the Online Course Evaluation Instrument in Postsecondary Education

S. Seok, E. Meyen, R. Aust, M. Fitzpatrick, and B. Newberry (USA)


Multidimensional scaling, evaluation, online course, postsecondary level, dimensions.


The purpose of this study was to detect dimensions underlying online course structures in order to develop an inventory of online course evaluation at the postsecondary level. The indicators comprising the inventory were derived from a review of the literature and input from two consultant subject matter experts (SMEs). The four SMEs independently rated the similarity and dissimilarity of indicators by making pair-wise comparisons of the indicators utilizing multidimensional scaling (MDS). The study had six distinct stages. The MDS study indicated the three-dimensional solution as the appropriate model of the online course structure. The three dimensional solution indicated .24222 of the fit values of STRESS and seventy-four percent of the variance in the similarity data matrix. The outcome of the study was the development of a resource of validated evaluation indicators clustered by dimensions that could be used in the creation of instruments by instructors for use in the evaluation of online courses in assessing the quality of their courses at the postsecondary level.

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