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Mark Childs

Mark ChildsKey elements of the methodology I always employ are drawn from my degree in practitioner research (MA Wolverhampton, 2000). They go through a few cycles (since I conduct a pilot evaluation, then evaluate the evaluation to hone it) as in action research. They are utilisation focused (to pass the catalytic validity criterion); they draw from a variety of sources (semi-structured interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, documentary evidence, personal observation) for construct validity; and where possible the project to be evaluated is sub-divided into separate case studies, to provide some external validity and reliability.

All but two of the evaluations I've done are of projects with which I've been involved.  I've also conducted evaluations as an external consultant. These are: the Voice of the Learner project for Sandwell Lifelong Learning Partnership and currently the Learning Grid and WM Share evaluations.

Evaluation Experience


1996 - 1999

Broadnet

To provide online versions of courses for first year undergraduate courses at the University of Wolverhampton. To create a VLE to deliver these.
Subjects: Law, Sport, Computer Science, Business Studies, Art, Biology
Methods: Review of documentation, interviews, personal observation. One module evaluated using quantitative comparison of face-to-face and online versions against student profiles to measure added value of online delivery. Evaluated organisational change that was required to complete project.
Outcomes: VLE established (eventually developed into LearnWise), modules created
Link: expired
Where: External
Role: Performed evaluation

1997 - 2001

LSSB (Learning Support for Small Businesses)

To provide online courses for small and medium-sizd enterprises in the West Midlands region.
Subjects: Business Studies
Methods: Interviews with key stakeholders. Analysis of documentation.
Outcomes: Website created, courses delivered, Review of project provided basis of MA dissertation.
Link: http://www.lssb.org.uk/
Where: External
Role: Performed evaluation

1997 - 1999

EuroCATS (European Communication And Training Support)

To share expertise across European equivalents of LSSB project.
Subjects: Business Studies
Methods: Interviews with key stakeholders. Analysis of documentation.
Outcomes: Website created
Link:   Website removed
Where: External
Role: Performed evaluation

1999 - 2001

DIVERSE (Disseminating Innovative Video Resources for Students Everywhere)

To provide auto-editing video recording facility to students and staff.
Subjects: Art, Psychology, Deaf Studies
Methods: Interviews with key stakeholders. Analysis of documentation.
Outcomes: Series of videos created, international conference series established on video and videoconferencing
Link: http://www.diverse-video.net/
Where: External
Role: Performed evaluation

1999 - 2001

Socrates Network-based learning

To develop online learning across eight European institutions
Subjects: Business Studies
Methods: Emailed questionnaires, telephone interviews
Outcomes: Online handbook for e-tutors, videoconferenced lecture series
Link: http://virtual.mbs.fi/virtual/
Where: External
Role: Performed evaluation

2001 - 2002

Voice of the Learner

To identify the learning needs of unemployed residents of Sandwell
Subjects: Vocational
Methods: Paper questionnaire gathering quantitative and qualitative data from respondents through face-to-face market research survey
Outcomes: Survey results identifying key barriers to learning
Link: http://www.lea.sandwell.gov.uk/cfl/index.html
Where: External
Role: Consultant

2001 - 2004

ANNIE

To provide remote access to expertise for students of theatre studies
Subjects: Theatre Studies
Methods: Email surveys. Focus groups. Interviews. Review of documentation
Outcomes: A series of guidance notes on conducting remote delivery of learning and teaching
Link: http://www.warwick.ac.uk/ETS/ANNIE/
Where: Warwick
Role: Performed evaluation

2003 - 2005

ARCHES

To provide access to digital images and related metadata for students
Subjects: Theatre Studies, Classics
Methods: Focus groups. Interviews. Direct observation. Review of documentation
Outcomes: A digital repository, collections of digital images, guidance notes on developing repositories
Link: http://www.warwick.ac.uk/ETS/arches/
Where: Warwick
Role: Performed evaluation

2005 - 2006

WM Share

To investigate the use of online repositories and sharing of learning materials in HE and FE institutions
Subjects: Not discipline-based
Methods: Focus groups. Interviews. Direct observation. Review of documentation
Outcomes: A series of papers reviewing attitudes to, and provision of, platforms for sharing learning materials
Link: http://www2.worc.ac.uk/wm-share/
Where: Warwick, University of Worcester
Role: Performed evaluation

 

Contact Mark


t: 024 7657 4057
e: m.childs@warwick.ac.uk