#WorkingOutLoud on Evaluation

I’m giving myself some open space to think about ‘Learning’ in the broadest sense: consider it some graffiti that i’m spraying over my existing knowledge. This is shared not as a coherent body of work, but rather the things that i am currently most interested in. Today, this concerns evaluation: the ways we measure what we do, in terms of learning programme or experience design. Typically i would view this through a lens of triangulation: choose three out of the following approaches, and triangulate between them. You could choose from ‘observation of behaviour’, ‘self reported learning and change’, ‘co-created stories of change’, ‘formally measured assessments of knowledge’, ‘inferred knowledge’ (e.g. through simulations), and a whole host of others.

In the framework above, i am taking a different approach (and like any graffiti, it may form a picture, or it may just be a nuisance in my own knowledge). This model looks at three dimensions: ‘Assets’ (things that are constructed through the learning), ‘Narratives’ (stories that are told about the learning), and ‘Inference’ (essentially what we can infer, or guess, typically from observation, either of the other dimensions, or more widely from aligned measures). So again, to stress, this is not shared as a definitive view of WHAT or HOW you can evaluate, but rather as a frame that we could pragmatically work within.

Possibly one approach (which supports triangulation) would be to choose one box from each of the three dimensions. Or to knowingly focus on just one dimension, in the knowledge of what it gives us, and what we lose.

I have loosely put three tiers into each: centrally is a broad assessment of whether the dimension is predominantly qualitative, or quantitative (ignoring the ‘qual to quant’ cheats). The second tier is a little bit of ‘what’ we may look at, and the third relates to ‘how’.

I will continue to share these fragments of Learning Graffiti as they cross my mind. I am not sure where i will take this work, but i quite like the idea of a journal which holds a host of these disconnected ideas: a deliberately incomplete sketchbook of my evolving thinking!

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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4 Responses to #WorkingOutLoud on Evaluation

  1. Timely read, currently going through a formal evaluation of an initiative and I keep thinking, there needs to be a better way to demonstrate the change… or even design how we ‘evaluate’ the program from the get go. Intriguing model ..

  2. Pingback: #WorkingOutLoud on Evaluation — Julian Stodd’s Learning Blog – MidMarket Place

  3. Pingback: Learning, Knowledge, and Meaning: A #WorkingOutLoud Post | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  4. Pingback: Learning, Knowledge, and Meaning: A #WorkingOutLoud Post | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

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