Key Strategies for Measuring Reach, Engagement, and Outcomes of Distance Learning Initiatives
Addressing Critical Questions on How To Measure Distance Learning
Distance learning is generally defined as teaching and learning where educators and learners are in different physical spaces. Often used synonymously with distance education, distance learning takes place through one of four modalities: audio/radio, video/television, mobile phone, and/or online learning platforms. Printed texts often accompany these modalities or could be a fifth modality in cases where technology is not used for teaching and learning, such as correspondence (paper-based) education. Distance learning can be designed for learners of all ages and levels, from preschool learners through adults in nonformal learning programs or higher education. Distance learning can also be designed for educators, caregivers, and other family members.
This brief identifies key strategies for comprehensively measuring reach, engagement, and outcomes of distance learning initiatives to ensure quality, equity, and inclusion in and through distance learning.
Three-Pronged Approach for Measuring Distance Learning
At the onset of planning, design, and implementation of distance learning initiatives, teams should determine integrated monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) approaches, multi-modal technology interfaces, and mixed methods measurements to help ensure equity, inclusion, and quality of data.
For more specific guidance on measuring "reach" as part of performance monitoring, please see this guidance note.