One of the most important aspects of any learning programme is evaluating its performance to determine how well it is working.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the need for organisations to evaluate their programmes. Here are 5 benefits of programme evaluation.
- Evaluations provide data on what part of the programme has been most successful and what part needs improvement. Without an evaluation, there is no way for an organisation to know what parts need work.
- Evaluations help organisations set goals and make changes in order to improve their programmes accordingly.
- Organisations can use evaluations to track how much progress they have made in meeting their goals and they can share the information gathered from evaluations with other institutions or organisations so they can create a best-practice approach.
- Evaluations can be used to ensure programme effectiveness in preparation for an OfSTED inspection. If the goals are not being met, an evaluation can show what needs to be changed and how to go about doing so.
- Institutions can use evaluations as a way to attract learners and employers if they are delivering apprenticeships.
Steps to implement the evaluation process
The following are some of the steps involved in the evaluation process:
- Identification of programme goals and objectives, including desired outcomes.
- Selection of an appropriate evaluation method.
- Determination of appropriate indicators that will be used to determine if each outcome has been achieved.
- Implementation and collection of data for each indicator over time as part of a study.
- Analysis and interpretation of the data.
- Implementation of changes as a result of the analysis.
The most important aspect of programme evaluation is the method that is chosen to collect data and analyse results. Using a tool such as Stedfast, organisations can set how they intend to measure their impact and gain access to a wealth of information about their programmes.
When evaluating development programmes it is important that the evaluation methods are both feasible (able to be implemented) and relevant (useful). Measuring the programme’s impact can help determine if the delivery had an actual effect on learning and skills
Overcoming barriers to learning often require effective strategies; evaluation provides valuable information about how effectively this is being done, allowing you to measure progress towards your objectives.
The focus of the evaluation must be clear; it should provide a basis for monitoring and learning from your interventions. It should reveal both positive and negative aspects, enabling you to improve on areas where intervention could have been more effective or encouraging you that there has been genuine progress.
This feedback can then inform future planning by providing lessons learned.