- (auto) biography
- the literature, theory
Dyke (2006) observes we need to do more of this. Evaluation informed by interdisciplinary social science in the critical theoretical tradition. Evaluation has to address:
By all means have a plan, but every moment is an opportunity for reflection. Reflect in practice on the things that can be managed or which are placed in our way to be dealt with: teaching space, time, curriculum. It is best to do so mindfully.
Every programme event or intervention is an opportunity for evaluation.
Evaluation is, itself, directed towards aims, These may or may not be aligned with the aims of whatever the subject of the evaluation is. Evaluators have perspectives. They should reflect on these and be committed to openness and transparency about them. Openness, itself needs to be bounded, but the boundaries want to be quite permeable (1000 mile question). Boundaries may be necessary for creative turbulence layers. Bringing together diverse peoples to learn from one-another. How does the enterprise address equality and diversity issues? Progress, development and hierarchy may be necessary to create movement. Communities may embrace, among others: discipline, profession, locale, domestic, global. Professional practitioners in graduate occupations and/or disciplines must be current with tools and practices, methods and methodologies, grounded in knowledge, history, language, epistemology.
- Objective oriented
Structure is provided by course intended learning outcomes or objectives. The lectures, workshops, activities and assessment strive for alignment as well as dynamic instability and points of harmony.
- semi-systematic and structured
Alongside an opportunistic outlook, having tools to hand helps. Start with course aims and outcomes. Use a questionnaire several times over; even if not perfect, comparisons are where the discoveries are made.
Ongoing, no end: hasta la lucha continua. But, there may be many review points, annual planning cycles: major and minor, etc
Course cycles, professional cycles, conference cycles, university bureaucratic cycles all run to different periods. Activity is mixed and multi-modal. Evaluation needs to be multi-purposed and reusable.
Because of all the above, impacts are going to be emergent as well as planned. An evaluator would expect to see new structures emerge and to see mechanisms in place to encourage this: enquiry-based learning, action learning, learner-led curricula, user-centred design.
Shares in the myth of modernism and the enlightenment, that there is progress and that this is modelled and trained through a ranked education system with levels of attainment, informed by human development psychology. Facilitates learner progression as defined in the plan.
Do differently and better, not necessarily more (Daly 2008). Fail. Fail again, better (Beckett cited in Žižek 2009).