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Last updated:

April 30, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


This 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.

Course learning outcomes

After studying this course, 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.

Course Curriculum

  • Theories in technology evaluation 00:10:00
  • Learning outcomes 00:10:00
    • Theories, paradigms and evaluation 00:25:00
    • Theories of assessment and evaluation 00:10:00
    • Universalist or contingency? 00:10:00
    • Methodological issues for evaluation 00:25:00
    • Experimental and quantitative approaches 00:15:00
    • Qualitative approaches 00:15:00
    • Mixed and multiple methods 00:10:00
    • Triangulation 00:20:00
    • An alternative perspective on causality 00:10:00
    • CCTV and crime reduction 00:25:00
    • Theory in assessment and evaluation 00:05:00
    • Theory-based approaches 00:20:00
    • Theories and paradigms of technology and society 00:35:00
    • Beyond technological determinism 00:35:00
    • Whose theories? 00:20:00
    • Stakeholders and evaluation 00:25:00
    • Defining stakeholders 00:25:00
    • The purpose of stakeholder involvement 00:20:00
    • Criticisms and complications of a participatory approach 00:20:00
    • Politics, assessment and evaluation 00:35:00
    • Individual politics 00:20:00
    • Professional politics 00:15:00
    • Stakeholder politics 00:10:00
    • Societal politics 00:20:00
    • The ‘hidden’ functions of evaluation 00:20:00
    • Ethics, validity, credibility and trust 00:15:00
    • Ethical considerations 00:15:00
    • Conclusion 00:30:00

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Open University UK