The Open University since 2006
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Life Story: Growing upMonday, 29th August 2016 22:00 - BBC FourFrom the cradle to the grave can be a short journey - it's a challenge out there. Read more: Life Story: Growing up
Full Steam Ahead: Episode fiveTuesday, 30th August 2016 00:40 - BBC Two
Hidden histories: Britain's oldest family businesses: Balson The ButcherTuesday, 30th August 2016 22:00 - BBC Four
Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story: A Question Of IdentityWednesday, 31st August 2016 22:00 - BBC Four
Full Steam Ahead: Episode sixAvailable until Monday, 26th September 2016 16:30The final episode of Full Steam Ahead looks at how more free time and rail transport allowed Victorians to travel... Read more: Full Steam Ahead: Episode six
Life Story: First stepsAvailable until Sunday, 25th September 2016 00:50
BBC Inside Science - 2016/2017 series: Proxima b exoplanet, The Hunt for Vulcan, East Antarctic lakes, Deep sea shark huntingAvailable for over a year
Full Steam Ahead: Episode fourAvailable until Thursday, 22nd September 2016 01:15
OpenLearn Live: August Bank Holiday Special 2016Get more than an ice cream out of your holiday weekend - make the most of the last of summer. Read more: OpenLearn Live: August Bank Holiday Special 2016
Take the photographic memory testCan you capture scenes just by looking at them? Find out with our photographic memory test. Launch now: Take the photographic memory test
Internet of everythingThe internet of everything (IoE) is the networked connection of people, process, data and things.... Try: Internet of everything now
Starting with psychologyThe most 'important and greatest puzzle' we face as humans is ourselves (Boring, 1950, p. 56).... Try: Starting with psychology now
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 course 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 OpenLearn course provides a sample of Level 3 study in Technology.
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.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.
All our alternative formats are free for you to download, for more information about the different formats we offer please see our FAQs. The most frequently used are Word (for accessibility), PDF (for print) and ePub and Kindle to download to eReaders*.
*Please note you will need an ePub and Mobi reader for these formats.