Evaluation of Learning Materials

External Evaluation aims to examine the organization of the material as stated explicitly by the author of the publisher. This type of evaluation analyzes what the “book tells about itself” by looking at the ad blurb, the introduction, and table of contents. Through external evaluation, information on the following may be called:
  • Intended audience
  • Proficiency level
  • Context in which the materials are to be used
  • Organization into teachable units
  • Date of publication
  • Author’s view on language learning and teaching
  • Publisher
Internal Evaluation covers an in- depth investigation of the value of the material in relation to its objectives, principles, lesson design, and assessment procedures. At this stage, the evaluator analyzes the extent to which claims in the introduction and blurbs actually match up with the internal consistency and organization of the materials. In order to perform effective internal evaluation of the material, at least two units of a book or a set of materials need to be inspected. The following information may be analyzed:
  • Presentation of the skills in the material
  • Grading and sequencing of skills
  • Authentic or artificial recordings
  • Authentic or artificial dialogues for speaking
  • Relationships of tests and exercises to learner needs and course content
  • Provisions for different learning styles and self-study.
  • Motivation for the learners
Overall Evaluation analyzes the value of the material in relation to its usability, generalizability, adaptability and flexibility.
  • Usability – How far could the material be integrated into a particular syllabus as ‘core’ or as supplementary material?
  • Generalizability – How much of the material could be used by the individual or by a group of people?
  • Adaptability – Can parts be added/extracted/ used in another context or modified for local circumstances?
  • Flexibility – How rigid are the sequencing and grading? Can the material be used in different ways? Can they be entered in different parts?