Adoptability testing

Study 4

Quick summary

Through a series of 6 national workshops we continuously improved our educational design and established that the 4Es pedagogical framework could be effectively mastered and applied to course and session design plans. Evaluations of the workshops were extremely positive and the plans participants developed were appropriate, relevant and achievable.

Aims and method

The aim of this final study was to assess the extent to which the framework could be taught and applied to the design of session and courses.

We adopted a design based research framework, agreeing a set of design principles and using each in a series of 6 workshops as design experiments. Each workshop was evaluated against the design principles and subjected to reflection and review. These efforts were used to guide further experimentation and refinement at subsequent workshops in an iterative cycle.

Findings 2 – Analysis of participants’ self-reviews and plans

Analyses of participants’ self-reviews and plans, showed that the model was understood – this was inferred from the appropriateness of comments under each dimension. Participants were able to produce plans for achievable change. It was also evident that there was a wide disparity in the detail and sophistication of reviews and plans. The project has successfully developed a low floor, high ceiling design. That is, participants, irrespective of level of expertise, can access the concepts, use the material and gain from the workshops.

Findings 1 – Analysis of evaluative data

The evaluation data sat approximately at ceiling for all workshops. This is probably because even the initial workshop was the result of at least a year’s work and a good deal of trial and error. The evaluation data therefore, although very reassuring, did not inform continuous improvement. The reflections by the delivery team and a participant informants were valuable and helped in adjusting content, timing and simplifying the structure.

Next steps

This project ends in October 2019 but all workshop materials are available on this web site. It would be interesting to see these used to continue the research. It is important to establish that the positive outcomes reported here are also obtained when the workshops:

  • are delivered to a reluctant group of participants.
  • are delivered by a variety of facilitators.
  • are delivered to staff senior enough to effect institutional change.
  • when participants are followed up to see if plans developed in the workshops were executed and changes in practice are sustained.