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This free course, Theories in Technology Evaluation, is devoted to exploring and analysing the theoretical and political nature of evaluation and assessment. It introduces theories and paradigms that play important roles in how we design, conduct and use evaluations and assessments, and deals with the thorny issue of participation in evaluation.
After studying this unit you should be able to:
- Explain your view of the role of technology evaluation and assessment
- Distinguish between the different basic types of evaluation, and state how, why and where they are applicable
- Discuss the importance of technology evaluation and assessment in different contexts and at different stages in the development, implementation and use of technology or technology-based projects, programmes and policies
- Analyse the theoretical, conceptual and methodological issues and concerns that come into play during the design, application and outcome of the evaluation and assessment of technologies, and technology-based projects, programmes and policies
- Apply the principles, procedures and practices discussed in this unit to real-life examples of technology assessment and evaluation in a range of contexts.
- Current section: Theories in technology evaluation
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Theories, paradigms and evaluation
- 1.1 Theories of assessment and evaluation
- 1.2 Methodological issues for evaluation
- 1.3 An alternative perspective on causality
- 1.4 Theory in assessment and evaluation
- 1.5 Whose theories?
- 2 Stakeholders and evaluation
- 3 Politics, assessment and evaluation
- 4 Ethics, validity, credibility and trust
- 5 Conclusion
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Theories in technology evaluation
This unit explores the role of, and relationship between, theories and paradigms and evaluation. A theory is simply a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, or a set of principles on which some form of activity is based. Paradigms are something more; put simply a paradigm represents a perspective or point of view affecting what is recognised, known, valued and done. As such, a paradigm advances both a set of assumptions about the world and a philosophical framework for the study of that world. For example, computer science or engineering provide different paradigms for the evaluation and explanation of technological developments from those provided by sociology or psychology.
This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from a course which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Technology courses or view the range of currently available OU Technology courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 12th July 2011
Last updated on: Thursday, 6th September 2012
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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