With the continuing interest and investment in e-learning and other forms of distance education, comes increased interest in research as a means to direct innovation and determine cost and learning effectiveness. However, conducting (and evaluating) quality research requires a set of skills that are not always available to distance education institutions, nor individual practitioners. To meet this need the Commonwealth of Learning has published the Practitioner Research and Evaluation Skills Training (PREST) series of print-based materials (PDF files) designed to help Open and Distance Learning (ODL) practitioners plan and conduct “principled and systematic” research and evaluation
If an ODL practitioner is serious about and committed to doing research then these modules are a must-read resource. Especially those with limited research experience or training will find the content both appropriate and structured for effective learning. The course is written for ODL practitioners by ODL practitioners and will be a very useful tool in developing research relevant to and effective in a particular circumstance at a particular time. The modules are an invaluable resource.
Reviwed by Stephen J Addison -Moray College – UHI Millennium Institute & Terry Anderson – Athabasca University