Impact evaluation of educational development programmes

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Although most educational development professionals value the importance of monitoring their programme's impact, systematic evaluation is not common, and often relies on inference measures such as extent of participation and satisfaction. This paper discusses approaches to programme impact evaluation in terms of six possible points of focus: (1) participants' perceptions/satisfaction; (2) participants' beliefs about teaching and learning; (3) participants' teaching performance; (4) students' perceptions of staff's teaching performance; (5) students' learning; and (6) effects on the culture of the institution. Whatever focus is selected it is important to address the following questions: (1) What is the intended impact? (2) Why evaluate? (3) When to evaluate? (4) Who evaluates? (5) How to evaluate? (6) Is the actual impact the same as the intended impact and is the actual impact desirable? (7) Who should receive the results of the evaluation? (8) What will happen as a consequence? Based on these two sets of questions, a 6 x 8 matrix is proposed to guide the evaluation of educational development initiatives. It is argued that the approach to impact evaluation needs to be aligned with the focus of the desired change as well as the intervention strategies used to bring about such change.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2001

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