The training and development needs of academic and non-academic staff in Higher Education are critical in ensuring continued digital literacy standards. Enhancing staff skills and awareness’s of digital technology is vital in creating engaging and innovative teaching materials for students (Courtney, 2013).
Evaluation of training is a critical process in measuring the impact of learning and training provision in Higher Education and many institutions demonstrate and disseminate various ways of evaluation. However, how do we continue to ensure that the method in which we evaluate is appropriate and meeting learning outcomes in an increasing evolving educational field?
The Academic, Support, Technology and Innovation (ASTI) team at Plymouth University are responsible for supporting staff in the use of digital technologies and resources for teaching, learning, assessment and research. The team comprises of Digital Skills Developers and Learning Technologists who assist both academic and professional services staff with the creation of pedagogically driven learning materials.
In 2016, ASTI undertook a complete overall in our approach to evaluating the way we evaluate training methods, materials and learning outcomes. Following a thorough investigation of our existing practices, a four tiered model was developed to review our evaluation techniques and bring consistency to all of our training materials and workshops.
The first stage of the model concentrated on course development by ensuring consistency across all ASTI session delivery, handouts, materials, marketing, presentations and training videos. It provided clarity and guidance on expectations for quality and consistency to facilitate knowledge transfer among colleagues.
The second stage saw the creation of a new course delivery process that enabled the team to evaluate our sessions and delivery methods to ensure courses met the learning outcomes. This was achieved by streamlining how we interact with the participants following the training using a new five step participant engagement process.
The third stage combined the first two stages of the model to review quality and effectiveness of training provision and introduced quality checks across all courses and workshops. Data is evaluated during this stage including course numbers, user feedback and session reflections. Courses are then amended based on evaluation and changes made where needed.
The final stage saw the evaluation process review, which completes the cycle by providing a final set of reviews against the entire model to ensure business needs are met and that the model is sustainable and effective.
In this session, we will share our experiences and processes undertaken to create a streamlined four level evaluation process to our teaching and learning support at Plymouth University. This will include demonstrations of our reviewed methods and also participant feedback from academics and support staff that have attended and used our learning resources and new evaluation model.
Courtney, K. (2013) ‘Adapting Higher Education through Changes in Academic Work’. Higher Education Quarterly, 67 (1). pp 40-55.