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Evaluating lecturer development programmes: received wisdom or self-knowledge?

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Abstract:

This paper argues that lecturer development programmes can best be evaluated by theory-informed, contextualised evaluations involving a structured approach. The self-knowledge obtained by course teams who engage with such an approach outweighs wisdom received from external evaluators within large-scale evaluation initiatives, although these can provide a useful backdrop. Since lecturer development programmes are change initiatives, the theory of change is an important starting point. The paper considers published evaluations of programmes, and outlines the evaluation processes in one case institution. A structured approach, using an evaluation framework, is suggested. Although many of the examples are UK-based, the approaches described will be relevant more broadly, and lessons for evaluators are outlined. Cet article defend la position qu'il est preferable d'evaluer les programmes de developpement pour enseignants a l'aide d'evaluations contextualisees, informees par la theorie, impliquant une approche structuree. La connaissance de soi obtenue par les equipes pedagogiques qui s'engagent dans de telles approches depasse la sagesse recue d'evaluateurs externes dans le contexte d'evaluations a grande echelle, bien que celles-ci fournissent des renseignements importants. Puisque les programmes de developpement des enseignants constituent des initiatives de changement, la theorie du changement est un point de depart important. Cet article examine des evaluations de programme publiees et met en lumiere le processus observe dans une institution en particulier. Une approche structuree, faisant appel a un cadre d'evaluation, est suggeree. Bien que de nombreux exemples proviennent du Royaume-Uni, les approches decrites sont largement pertinente et des lecons pour les evaluateurs sont identifiees.

Keywords: Lecturer Development Programme; evaluation; lecturer development

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13601440802076541

Affiliations: Educational Development Unit, Heriot-Watt University, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2008

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