Theory-oriented evaluation Glynis Cousin Higher Education Academy
What are your experiences of the purposes of evaluation?
Evaluation purposes development knowledgemonitoring
For knowledge -Concerned with explanatory insights -Allows an R&D approach -Explores the underlying theory of causation
How will you explore this theory? -Quasi experimental design? - truth or fuzzy logic -Ethnographic approach? – interpretation -Phenomenography? – variation in meaning-making? Others…..
Ethnographic approach It is the end of my first term teaching. The room is comfortable. There are carpets on the floor. We arrive and serve ourselves coffee. The coffee is very good. There are biscuits – chocolate ones, too. This is the first meeting of the new lecturers programme. The course we all have to attend is called Getting Started with your Teaching. We chat to the others in the room. One or two weve already met from our own sections. Others are new faces. Weve given up three precious days of research for this. There is frustration and resistance among us, and most certainly considerable levels of suspicion. Weve already heard that this is a waste of time, from those who have passed through this phase of development before us and returned with this as settled news. Most of us havent had a chance to do any research at all during the course of this term. Its been just too overwhelming. We are anxious about this. We have book proposals to write, articles to finish, and untold piles of marking to get through before the end of the week.
Phenomenography Phenomenography aims to discover the key aspects of the variation in how a group of people (usually students) experience or understand the phenomenon under investigation The whole area is a syncline, my difficulty is this river, it is going down then climbing up again, we are talking about a river going upstream. Rivers dont do that. It seems as if the river … here is on high point. It looks as if it coincides with a high point on the profile, which is strange, why should a river be in a high point? The river is going down, but the rocks arent.
From her interviews with 13 students, McCracken constituted three qualitatively different ways (categories of description) of experiencing geological mapping. In other words, she saw that the comments from the 13 students could be organised into three different (but related) types of response. In brief they are: A fragmented conception, where interpretation is focused on discrete features; A topographic conception, where interpretation is focused on integration of features with previous and persistent knowledge associated with topography; A geological conception, where interpretation is focused on integration of McCracken in Trigwell, K (forthcoming) Phenomenography: An approach to research into geography education Journal of Geography in Higher Education
Quasi experimental design Students participating in fieldwork have a deeper understanding of their subject than students who do not. The research will be deductive, proceeding from hypothesis - observation - confirmation. The research is likely to involve comparative data both across samples and time (before/after) for an exploration of causal relations.
Curriculum evaluation research -Select a curriculum setting with which you are familiar (a project, a module, a CETL, etc.) -What are you doing in this setting? Why? What result are you hoping for? Write a statement of the underlying theory
What is your focus and method? What data will you need? How might it be gathered? How might it be analysed?