Using radar charts with qualitative evaluation: Techniques to assess change in blended learning
Active Learning in Higher Education
University of West Florida, 11000 University Parkway, Pensecola, FL 32514-5750, United States; Division of Economic and Financial Studies, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia; University of Pretoria, Department of Maths and Applied Maths, 0002 Pretori, South Africa
When university academics implement changes in learning, such as introducing blended learning, it is conventional practice to examine and evaluate the impact of the resulting curriculum reform. Judging the worth and impact of an educational development is a complex task involving subtle differences in learning. Qualitative methods to explore these deep processes in learning include using interviews, observations and open-ended questionnaires targeting all stakeholders in the process, such as students, teachers, administration and technical staff. These evaluation tasks generate a mass of raw data that many faculty members in higher education are unaccustomed to analyzing. This article provides a framework using radar charts adapted from the field of organizational development. A modified six-zone radar chart was used to assess the extent of blended learning in order to compare changes in the learning environment. Data collection included interviews, classroom observations and electronic records generated during educational delivery over a 1-year period of time. A purposeful sample of online course data was collected by three participating universities in South Africa, Australia, and the United States. © 2008 SAGE Publications.