What the Curriculum Design projects tell us about evaluation

The Jisc Institutional Approaches to Curriculum Design programme set out to develop innovative technology-supported approaches to curriculum design, approval and review. The programme was perhaps unique in providing four-years of funding, and this duration presented some challenges in planning for evaluation. Added to that the focus on technology-supported curriculum design was not well documented in the literature, again a challenge when planning evaluation activity. Nonetheless, Jisc made clear that project teams should undertake in-depth baseline and ongoing evaluation activity, although the actual process or methodology for doing so was up to project teams to decide. Indeed, the projects went on to use a wide range of approaches.

I was the 'evaluation critical friend and supporter' to projects, and have recently posted an overview of the philosophy or approach to evaluation that different projects applied on the Jisc Design Studio. (The latter is a wiki containing a huge range of resources connected to the wider e-learning programme.) The outline of What the Curriculum Design projects tell us about evaluation also includes a selection of evaluation-related advice drawn from projects' experiences. This points to advice on where to look if you need help with:
  1. Getting started in planning an evaluation.
  2. Finding examples of strong evaluation questions.
  3. Providing a visual representation of how evaluation maps to aims.
  4. Considering how different aspects of a project can be evaluated with different methods, which build on each other.
  5. Visualising how activities link to outcomes.
  6. Applying the principles of Naturalistic inquiry to evaluation.
Finally, there are outlines of some of the Frameworks, methods and tools projects used or developed  for their evaluations. More will be added over the next few weeks.

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