Evaluating a strengths-based learner engagement programme
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.
Project LeaderTrade and Commerce Ltd
Colin CampbellTrade and Commerce Ltd
Lindsay Davis-GoffTrade and Commerce Ltd
Ray MillerTe Wānanga o Aotearoa
Cyril ShawSalvation Army Employment Plus.
Barry LucasBERYL Consultants
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.
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.