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Performance Measures for Online Programs Report

Executive Summary

This report provides an overview of best practices for performance measures for online programs. While the initial focus of this report was e-Channel delivery agencies, the pandemic has resulted in many other service delivery agencies across the province delivering service remotely. The report, therefore, may have wider application than originally intended.

Although a funder defined performance management system is in place for literacy and basic skills service delivery agencies, including e-Channel, and the measures reported on provide valuable information for the service delivery agency, they do not cover the breadth of evaluation information that could be available if performance measures specific to online programming are developed.

Different types of performance measures are defined in this report. Important categories of performance measures specific to online learning are expanded with best practices for integration. In addition, steps for developing performance measures are outlined.

Using a variety of different types of assessment in online programs provides additional evidence that a learner is gaining the skills and knowledge required to move along their identified goal path. Organizations offering online courses must be able to develop and use performance measures that take into consideration learners that may not have the digital competence to access additional software or login to separate platforms.

Four broad categories describe the most suitable performance measures for evaluating online programs: engagement measures, learning experience measures, assessment measures, and outcomes. Developing and implementing performance measures across the four categories could help all organizations delivering online programs know if the content being delivered meets the needs of the learners, make decisions on how to revise programming to improve learner engagement and experience, increase learner outcomes, improve internal efficiencies, and provide measured evidence of program value for stakeholders.