It is almost the last part of the application form but it does not mean it is less important. Far from it. The evaluation demonstrates to what extent the objectives and desired outcomes were achieved at the different stages of your Erasmus+ mobility project’s lifecycle. Here is a guideline on how to prepare effective evaluation of your project.
#1 Assessment plan. Systematically done evaluation can actually simplify the development of the project, completion of the application form and reporting. But you need an effective plan to simplify it. In the assessment plan define and prioritise the project objectives. It is impossible to evaluate everything. Select the areas you want to focus on. Define who will manage the evaluation of your project impact and dissemination. It is good to have a responsible person who will monitor project implementation. It might be project coordinator or some other team member. State what you’re assessing and set concrete indicators such as examples below. In the next step choose an appropriate assessment method and tool for collecting and analysing data. After data collection analyse the results and ask yourself the right questions, e.g. what does it mean if the participants established contacts but no new partnership occurred out of the network. Act consequently, e.g. following this analysis we will organise a brainstorming session on developing new project idea and after encourage participants to write their new contacts and propose project idea to them. Additionally, you will have to present intermediary reports and final report of the project to your national agency. Having good assessment plan will help you to write efficient reports.
#2 Critical events to evaluate. In order to ensure holistic evaluation mind different levels of evaluation, short-term and long-term impact, and all stages of the project. Levels of evaluation refers to relevant people who benefits from the project: students, teachers, school, teacher training provider and other stakeholders depends on your project objectives. In some cases, you might include parents, local community or administrative staff. Usually applicants define short-term impact indicators such as number of training hours or number of satisfaction with the in-service training. But remember long-term impact and how will you measure and show it. Plan evaluation activities for instance 3 or 6 months after the mobility. Assess what participants of the mobility actually use in their everyday practice. Since high quality training providers assess the effectiveness of their courses as a follow-up activity after a certain period upon the course ending, you can ask them to share information with you. Plan also to evaluate different stages of the project and not just the mobility itself. Holistic evaluation covers assessment of the project management, preparation of the participants, mobility period, dissemination, and effects of the mobility after the mobility is concluded.
#3 Examples of the indicators. Ideas for indicators below are adopted from the MICE-T project (www.mice-t.net)
Evidence of impact on students:
- Knowledge: better knowledge about the topics involved, better insight in practical applications of the subject, better insight in the European context of the subject
- Attitude: student takes initiative to know more about the subject, student asks more questions during the lessons, student shows more motivation
- Foreign language skills: better oral performance in foreign language, students speak more often in the foreign language in the classroom
- European citizenship: have knowledge and experience of democratic structures and decision-making at local, national and European level
- Management skills: problem-solving, budget management, negotiating skills, collaborative skills.
Evidence of impact on teachers:
- Project based teaching: increased implementation of active learning methods, comparing teaching methods and approaches with colleagues from the partner schools, use of new technologies
- Subject skills: consultation with partner teachers on subject related matters, ability to put the subject in a European context, integration of genuine material from project partners in the lessons
- Foreign language skills: more fluent use of the language, better performance in writing the foreign language
- Motivation: applies more often for extra in-service training, study visits, conferences, undertakes extra work, starts new initiatives, takes initiatives to disseminate the results of the project, feels an ‘ownership’ for the project
- European citizenship: facilitate and stimulate contacts with teachers and pupils in different countries, stimulate the introduction of the European dimension at school
Evidence of impact on school:
- School policy: staff meetings related to the project take place, involvement of the senior management and the school principal, appointment of a European school co-ordinator, existence of a strategy plan for the introduction of the European Dimension at school
- Community links: regular contacts with media, contacts with the local authorities, contacts with local societies, dissemination to other schools, participation in activities organized by the community, involvement of the parents where appropriate
- Whole school involvement: number of teachers actively involved, are all teachers informed, number of students involved, discussion of the project at staff meetings
- Project visibility: a leaflet or regular newsletter about the project is disseminated within the school and local community, the resources in the school (ICT, language labs, library) are used in a different way, specific events for teachers and other members of staff has taken place, the students’ project-products are displayed and/or available
#4 Tools for evaluation. Data collection methods and tools depends on the impact you want to show. Suggestions below serve as an inspiration for your project:
- Surveys and questionnaires: design questions beforehand based on type of impact
- Individual and group interviews with participants of the mobility or other stakeholders
- Observation: design an observation guide based on what you want to observe, by observation we usually evaluate changes in attitudes
- Statistics: e.g. number of participant in dissemination event, number of readers of a blog
- Skills tests: skills assessment might be done before and after mobility
- Document analysis to evaluate the European aspects of the products
- Language portfolio
- Group discussion about the mobility experience: brainstorming, world café, storytelling