Project Details

A project to evaluate the outcomes of a strength-based course called My Voice. A collaboration involving Trade and Commerce Ltd, BERYL Consultants, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa and Salvation Army Employment Plus.


The aims of the project were to:

  • pilot a learner engagement tool
  • review the appropriateness and validity of learner engagement questions
  • develop an evaluation methodology for trial in three educational institutions
  • recommend learner engagement models to enhance learner outcomes.


The project used:

  • a mixed-methods approach to measure the success of the project's learner engagement tool
  • focus group interviews with teachers and learners
  • triangulation of interview data against statistical measures of student cohort success.


trade and commerce

Mike Hay

Project Leader

Trade and Commerce Ltd
trade and commerce

Colin Campbell

Trade and Commerce Ltd
trade and commerce

Lindsay Davis-Goff

Trade and Commerce Ltd
Te Wananga o Aotearoa

Ray Miller

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa
salvation army education employment

Cyril Shaw

Salvation Army Employment Plus.

Barry Lucas

BERYL Consultants




$26,666.00 (excl GST)

$26,666.00 National Project Fund

Key Findings

Findings about learner engagement

  • Overall, survey data indicated that both the trial groups and comparison groups increased their level of engagement.
  • The increases were higher, however, in the initial two weeks of the programmes for those using the My Voice framework.
  • The results suggested that My Voice enables engagement to occur at earlier levels of a course.

Findings about students

  • Students comments gained through facilitated focus groups supported the quantitative data that showed the positive impact on student wellbeing and an associated increase in self-confidence.
  • Students recognised that My Voice helped to provide a focus and purpose to the initial stages of their learning.
  • Tutors were seen by students as motivators, someone who values their ideas and opinions, a coach, someone who knows how they think and what they can do to help them learn.

Findings about tutors

  • Tutors (who were not shown the quantitative results) recognised faster engagement rates, an increase in motivation and students setting higher aspirations than when they first started their course.
  • Tutors agreed that a strengths-based approach provided learners with an increased sense of pride, self-esteem and self-belief.
  • It led to more positive tutor-student relationships, observed through a decline in behavioural problems issues and more focused and attentive students.

Key Recommendations

Further evaluation of the My Voice framework | Carry out further evaluation to determine how the framework contributes to sustained levels of engagement leading to learner achievement.


Trialling and evaluating a strengths-based student engagement framework

A report by Mike Hay and Colin Campbell. 

(PDF, 869 KB, 33-pages).

  • 16 March 2012
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