Offering Graduate Evaluation Degrees Online: Comparing Student Engagement in Two Canadian Programs


  • James C. McDavid School of Public AdministrationUniversity of Victoria
  • Robert P. Shepherd School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University



teaching, online, evaluation, graduate programs


This Practice Note describes and explores the experiences and lessons learned engaging students in two online graduate evaluation programs offered in Canadian universities: the University of Victoria Graduate Certificate and Diploma in Evaluation Program, offered since 2010; and, Carleton University Graduate Diploma in Public Policy and Program Evaluation (DPPPE), offered online since 2016. Both programs are delivered to maximize the geographic accessibility of graduate evaluation education within and outside of Canada. Each program uses different teaching and learning strategies but there are four lessons learned that are common to the two programs: set and meet (or exceed) clearly stated student expectations; set and then model a respectful and inclusive tone in online discussions; stretch online discussions by taking advantage of student expertise and experience; and use adult-oriented and rigorous teaching and learning methods that engage these mature learners.

Author Biography

James C. McDavid, School of Public AdministrationUniversity of Victoria

Professor of Public Administration

School of Public Administration

University of Victoria






Special Issue - Teaching Evaluation