Evaluation and reflection is important at this time of the year. Undoubtedly it can be a very real challenge with deadlines looming and the end of the term fast approaching. However a good evaluation process is so valuable to us all in Adult Literacy and Basic Education that it is an essential part of our practice and delivery.
Evaluations and times for reflection help learners reflect on what they have learned and how they expect to use it in their everyday lives. It also helps you as a tutor see if you have achieved what you set out to or if there was more accomplished than expected. It also helps us when we know we didn’t just quite hit the mark but can’t be sure why.
Learning the skill of evaluation is important for our learners. It helps them make sense of their experience and with it they have a more profound learning experience. A good evaluation process helps everyone be clear and be honest. Using games, activities and processes (such as the Six Thinking Hats) really help and while they take time to do it is time very well spent.
An important part of an evaluation process is how you manage it. The days of handing out forms to complete hurriedly on the last day are long gone. It is good to see tutors approaching evaluations in a more inter-active and facilitative way to ensure that learners really have a chance to reflect, comment, record and later document their thoughts on their entire learning experience.
I learn a lot from the evaluation reports that you prepare and send to your Literacy Organiser each year. They tell me about what our learners want to learn and how they want to learn. They tell me about what methodologies work well and why, what technology and resources are working and what is worth investing in for the future. It is a time for us all to step back and to take everything into account so that we can all make clear and informed decisions.