Presentation on theme: "Dr Linda Allin Division of Sport Sciences Developing Staff and Student Engagement with up to date Evaluation Research in Sports Development."— Presentation transcript:
Dr Linda Allin Division of Sport Sciences Developing Staff and Student Engagement with up to date Evaluation Research in Sports Development
Project Background Research methods module does not specifically cover evaluation research, yet this was thought by staff to be a key form of research utilised within the sports development field. Community Sports Development module had potential for engaging students with ‘real life’ evaluation research and enhancing learning, but links not established. Staff in sports development are researchers, but insufficiently engaged with applied sports development research
Project objectives Contact with key employers in the region, to identify specific evaluation research projects that could be undertaken by sports development undergraduates in conjunction with the organisation each year To research employer views on research, the value of research to their field and the research skills needed by graduates To develop guidelines for students in relation to working with organisations and build a database of case studies that can be used to inform subsequent modules To develop potential research opportunities for sports development staff
The Process Prior to module delivery, contacted key employers to identify programmes that were running, and contacts for those programmes who would be willing to be involved During the module, students asked to contact those identified and negotiate evaluation (within constraints of module) - Included interviews or combination of interview/questionnaire. Wrote up as group evaluation research project, with recommendations Module tutor drafted brief guidelines for working with organisations on evaluation projects Interviewed six employers as to their views of research in sports development (range Assistant Director to Sports Development Officer) Fed back initial findings from employers to students
Was it successful? Survey of reviews from students in relation to the benefits of their involvement in ‘real life’ evaluation research Focus group with students to gain deeper understanding Phone calls to employers Longer term impact may be judged in relation to understanding across level 5 and 6, as well as student/staff engagement with employers and sports development applied research
Impact on Student Learning? ‘When you’ve actually got to go out and do it, it gives you a better understanding of what you’re doing because you know the ins and outs of it. And you know exactly what you’ve asked, the process that has been there to answer it and the results that you’ve got from it, instead of just being given a piece of paper in black and white saying ‘We did this, this and this and this is what happened.’ - Deeper engagement and understanding
Impact on Student Learning? ‘We’re going out and doing this and we might be going out looking for one result and there might be something completely different happen and we’ve got to change our whole focus, because it is real and you can’t predict what’s going to happen. You’ve got to change everything to go with what you’re given or what you get from your interviews’. - problem solving and dealing with uncertainty ‘ Just how important the issues are relating to research and CSD. Not everything that is said actually gets done and there are a lot of tensions and contradictions that arise’ - theory to reality
Employer Views of Research The nature and value of research in sports development Evaluation and monitoring of projects –For organisational benefit –For funders –Increasing demand –Quantitative/qualitative Perceptions of research skills The challenges in undertaking research in the sports development industry
Additional Benefits Students obtaining placements and longer term opportunities based with employers with whom they undertook projects Employer contacted staff to discuss research/consultancy evaluation of a sports development health initiative Adapted book of case studies of example projects developed
Concluding questions and thoughts How successful has the project been in enhancing research-teaching linkages? What are some of the problems and issues in engaging staff and students in ‘real life’ evaluation research with organisations within a module like this? –Time and structural constraints within the module –Ethical Approval –Staff intensive in support How sustainable?
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