Evaluation Framework

Introduction (Why evaluation is important) 

It is important to evaluate our teaching and professional development activities to measure how well we are engaging students and colleagues in their learning experiences. Evaluating our teaching and professional practice is also part of our personal career development and provides evidence of our successes and our own professional achievements. By evaluating our teaching and professional practice we are able to reflect on our work and use this learning to develop and improve our future practice. 

Development of this evaluation framework 

The guides in this framework were originally developed for a range of STEM subject centres that were part of the former Higher Education Academy (now Advance HE) and were developed by a founding member of SEDA, David Baume. Paul Chin worked with David to create this open source version of the framework. The development of the framework was informed by the Kirkpatrick Model of evaluation. 

There are other approaches to measuring the impact of your work, such as Theory of change that investigates how and why a desired change is expected to happen. This particular evaluation framework was developed from a Higher Education perspective so provides more direct examples of activities related to academic and professional development.

Important consideration for evaluation 

It is vitally important that before you undertake any teaching or professional development activity, you should first consider how you will evaluate its effectiveness. If you only consider evaluation as an afterthought, you will miss key opportunities to plan and collect data that will help provide evidence of your successful delivery of that activity. 

First, you must define the rationale for your activity – what is it that you are trying to achieve, what are your learning goals? When you collect evaluation data, the information must address the intended outcomes of your work. Did you want to raise awareness of a topic, promote engagement with a topic, or have an impact on the student learning experience as a result of your work? How might you measure this and what evaluation activity(s) will you undertake to collect information to support your learning outcomes? These are important considerations which the evaluation framework will help you address at the outset.

How to use the framework 

The evaluation framework was originally developed with the principle of evaluating professional development activities, such as events, workshops or resources. It provides general starting guidance and template approaches you can use to investigate the different approaches of your activities and their impact on users of your service and resources. However, the same principles equally apply to the evaluation of teaching.  

Whilst developed with a specific goal in mind, given that the framework was based on sound practice, the principles of the framework can be applied to a broad range of activities. The guides prompt you to think about what you want to achieve with your activities and how to evaluate the planning, delivery and impact of your work. 

Evaluating professional development 

When considering activities to support the professional development of participants, you want to think about why you are doing something, what outcomes you expect, how you will deliver those activities and how you measure the short and long term impact of your work. Depending on what activity you are developing use the different guides to inform how you plan and deliver your work. 

Evaluating teaching activities 

The principles of this framework are based around key evaluation questions you should ask yourself, regardless of the activity being developed. This framework is particularly helpful for considering how effective your teaching is therefore, as it asks all the same questions about what you want to achieve with your teaching, how effective your teaching is and the principles of how you define your short and long term impact.  

Further support 

Paul Chin was part of the original STEM team that commissioned this evaluation framework and worked with David Baume to create the open source version. Paul still actively uses the framework in his own work and is happy to be contacted with any queries about the use of the framework. 

Framework information

Select a section below to view the relevant document. PDF files will preview automatically in most browsers. Small-screen devices may not show a preview, in which case please download the file by clicking the supplied link.

This guide introduces key ideas for evaluating educational activities and resources, why we should evaluate educational activities and resources, and the different levels of evaluation you should consider. 

This document includes information about identifying what is to be evaluated, collecting and using evaluation data, and the effects on student learning. 

This document includes advice about planning and evaluating events, including ideas for measuring the outcomes and impact of events. 

This summary guide is intended to help the planning, management, administration and evaluation of any workshop, conference session or other event. 

This guide includes information for presenters and facilitators about approaches to event design, planning and how to evaluate the outcomes. 

This document provides an overview of how to evaluate a hypothetical workshop on teaching problem solving, which can be adapted for different contexts. 

This document includes information about planning and evaluating academic resources. 

This guide provides information on how to evaluate broader programmes and projects and how to measure the success of such broader programmes of activity. 

This guide can be used to help formulate follow-up evaluation.

This customisable survey can be used to elicit feedback from heads of unit about services you may provide to them. 

This evaluation framework provides the core principles and approaches that should be addressed to effectively evaluate different aspects of your work, which can be easily adapted for a range of teaching and professional development activities.  

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