Which Tool Should I Use?

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© Lee Harvey 2018, 2019, page updated 23 January, 2019

A novel of twists and surprises

Evaluation Tool

The 2004 site referred to a tool available from an external website that is no longer in existence. The following though provides an outline of what such tool might seek to do.

This tool is written for the leader of any policy, strategy, initiative, project, event, resource or class; generically, any venture; intended to increase student employability. It describes necessary steps to monitor and evaluate the progress and attainment of the venture.
However, the tool will work best if it is used, not just by the leader, but openly and collaboratively by the whole team engaged in the venture. It works just as well for particular parts of a venture as for the venture as whole. It suggests an approach to goal setting, goal clarification, monitoring and evaluation which will, as well providing clear goals and sound monitoring and evaluation, help the team to work together very productively, in pursuit of explicit shared goals. It provides productive questions to answer. (Some of these questions are placed in boxes, but the size of the boxes does not indicate the likely length of your answers!)

This tool will help you to:

A. Define or clarify the purposes of ventures intended to enhance graduate employability (or indeed intended to do many other things, though I shall concentrate here on developing graduate employability).

B. Plan how to monitor and evaluate the success of the venture.

In a little more detail, it suggests that you:

1. Define the intended ultimate outcomes, the particular effects that your venture is indeed to achieve, including an account of the people through whom these outcomes will be attained. Express these outcomes in the most concrete and observable possible terms;

2. Determine intermediate outcomes (or milestones) for each stage of the project and for each audience for the project.

3. Select or devise ways to monitor (during the venture) and then evaluate (at the end of the venture) to what extent each of these intermediate and then ultimate outcomes has been achieved, and how and why.

4. If it proves difficult to find a way to monitor or evaluate any of your intended outcomes, review the outcomes until you can see a good way to monitor and evaluate their attainment

5. If it still proves difficult to find a way to monitor or evaluate any of your intended outcomes, find the most plausible and appropriate proxy measures you can for the outcomes whose attainment you can't find a way to measure directly.

This tool also acknowledges some of the limits to evaluation. We work in a complex world. We cannot always, or indeed often, trace with certainty the consequences of our actions. But that does not mean that evaluation is impossible. It merely means that evaluation can be difficult.

Related links
See Review of Contemporary Practice: Employability and Assessment by Patsy Kemp