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A framework for evaluation: Stage 2

Stage 2 Choose lenses, perspectives, data sources and method

A framework for evaluation : Stage 2. Choose lenses, perspectives, data sources and method. The simplified 3 stage integrated teaching development framework (Vigentini, Negin & Kligyte, 2016; Pardo & Mirriahi, 2017). Used with permission.

Lenses and perspectives

The use of lenses has been covered in the first course of this program: Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. You will be provided with additional information about lenses and sources of feedback in step 2.6.

Data sources

How you choose the source and the way you gather data depends on:

  • your level of engagement
  • the types of resources available - including the time and effort you can commit
  • the expected value - for details refer to the evaluation cookbook.

For example, some ways to collect data are easy to implement, but then may require more effort when analysing data to extract needed information. A critical incident analysis will give you very rich feedback from students, but may be harder to analyse and summarise; a peer observation will provide very useful, contextual advice for your practice, but is hard to quantify; a well-designed survey will provide a good overview of students’ opinions, but may not be detailed enough to pinpoint issues.

The choice of the data sources can also be classified in a similar way to the position you can adopt as an evaluator. For example some data streams will come to you with no effort such as the end of semester evaluations, informal student feedback, analytics in learning platforms used in your context. Other sources will require careful and explicit design such as a survey to find out more about the effectiveness of a new tool/method you introduced, or a focus-group to gather students’ opinions about an aspect of your course.

When deciding on the methods and sources, you also need to be aware of the relation between them. For example if you are used to sophisticated quantitative analysis, you may tend to pick particular methods which rely on the collection and analysis of quantitative data. You need to weigh up the reasons why you think a method or source is important or more relevant to help you answer the questions you have articulated. In all cases, having multiple sources will give you a better understanding than a single method or source alone.

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This article is from the free online course:

Introduction to Enhancing Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

UNSW Sydney