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Seb Anthony

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Evaluation for Vocational Training


Has anyone any material or advice on how to design an evaluation document for staff attending vocational training? Our staff attend external training for various courses at colleges where they may gain professional qualifications such as CITP.

I have been asked to look at how this can be evaluated and would appreciate any advice or guidance how to approach this.
Linda George

4 Responses

  1. Same problem
    I have also been tasked with finding a solution to this problem and would be very grateful for any help.

  2. Horses for courses

    We did it from two angles; (1) the students’, and, (2) their manager’s.

    (1) From the student’s angle we identified what the course’s intended learning outcomes were and grouped them under Skills (you could call them whatever you like depending on the nature of the course) headings e.g. Briefing Skills, which included preparing maps, preparing PowerPoint Presentations, preparing operation orders, etc. We then developed a questionnaire to be sent to the students 3 months after the course ended asking, (a) How often they had used the skills, (b) How useful the skills had been, and, (c) How important the skills were [a skill might only be used once or twice but could be vital whereas a frequently used one might be quite unimportant]. The replies gave us a very accurate measure of how useful the course was from the students’ perspective.

    (2) From a manager’s point of view we asked the same questions BUT from an organisational point of view e.g.(a) Had the student’s ability to do XYZ improved after attending the course?, (b) Had the student required any further training?, and, (c) How had the student’s learning contributed to the organisation’s objectives / mission?

    The emphasis was on getting managers to take a strategic point of view and the student’s a more operational point of view. In practice we found the students to be more critical of the courses than managers with both students and managers having an equal grasp of the strategic significance of the learning.

    As well as the above we had a standard series of questions that students answered within within a week of completing the course that asked the same questions. The interesting part was that we sometimes got very different answers after the students had time to apply their learning in the work environment. The down side was the time spent developing questionnaires for each course attended (we only did it for the more frequently attended courses).

    We did try a standard set of questions that could be applied to all courses attended but found them to be unfit for purpose in that we wanted more detail than a one size fits all could provide.

    Hope this makes sense.



  3. Vocational Evaluation
    Thanks Alex – your advice will be very useful. I understand what you mean about not designing a questionniare – the evaluation needs to be tailored to each course, especially as Vocational Training can be so diverse.

  4. Arian Associates Ltd
    We do a lot of management NVQ’s for a local FE college and use the folowing method to assess whether the vocational awards meet the requirements of candidate and employer.

    We ask the candidates to do an ‘Opening Statement’ in which they highlight their strengths and weaknesses, their expectation of the programme and their hopes and aspirations for the future. At the end of the programme (which includes academic rigour) we ask them to complete a ‘Closing Statement’ to see if what they came up with at the programme start has been accomplished. In addition we ask for a statement from their line manager to highlight whether or not they have improved in their supervisory/management role as a result of the work completed on the programme. It seems to work and eliminates the need for formal feedback sheets – which people are sometimes reluctant to complete. Our opening & closing statements are an integral part of the portfolio completion, and without them we do not submit candidate portfolios to external verification.


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