New Measures for New Teaching: Data Collection Strategies for Evaluating Learning in Higher Education

Deanne GANNAWAY
University of Queensland, Australia
d.gannaway@uq.edu.au

Karen SHEPPARD
University of Queensland, Australia
k.sheppard@uq.edu.au

Ellen DEARDEN
University of Queensland, Australia
e.dearden@uq.edu.au

Lesley JOLLY
University of Queensland, Australia
l.jolly@uq.edu.au

Abstract

Observe student learning behaviors in a class of 600 to work out optimal class size to facilitate collaborative learning en masse? Sure thing! Understand students' socio-cultural baggage that supports learning while on international exchange? No problem! Assess clinicians' needs for continued professional learning? Measure student learning in on-site project work? While engaging in online learning? For all our 10,000 MOOC participants? No worries!

These are some of the evaluation projects for innovative teaching and learning activities conducted at an Australian research intensive university. These projects are supported by a small, centrally funded unit charged with capturing evidence of student learning to feed back into teachers' practices to inform and enhance future offerings and provide an evidence base for future resourcing decisions. The challenge is always to find measures, methods and mechanisms that will capture the required data to map the outcomes of the innovative practice.

This presentation showcases some of the strategies and tools adopted, adapted and developed to evaluate the impact of teaching innovations. The presentation offers a critical reflection of the usefulness of these tools and the data generated. We share lessons learnt, offer advice regarding adaptations required and provide links to the related literature. From GoPro cameras to STROBE observations, drawing tools in iPads to old fashioned paper-based surveys and program logic templates, this presentation aims to provide participants with a toolkit of evaluation tips and techniques that work.

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