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Widening Participation. Evaluation considerations. Department of Gender and Cultural Studies. Tess Lea QEII Fellow. 1. Working with young or marginalised people. Whats the best approach?. Comes down to: What do we want to do? How much time have we got? Who have we got? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Widening ParticipationEvaluation considerationsDepartment of Gender and Cultural StudiesTess Lea QEII FellowFACULTY OF ARTS & SOCIAL SCIENCESWorking with young or marginalised people1 Whats the best approach?Comes down to:What do we want to do?How much time have we got? Who have we got?What resources do we have? Who is our target audience?Best imaginable outcome for results?

Some techniquesInterviewsObservations Focus GroupsSmall questionnaires with crisp, manageable questions Review of documents, records, media Limited archival researchPerformance based methods Interactive role playingFollow up (cohort) surveys to map changing decisions/perceptionsParticipant led data gathering 4Pros and consFocus groupEconomical but risk getting dominant group thinkObservationsless intrusive but takes longer saturation to get to patternsInterview format/interactive performance basedflexible and rich but time intensiveSurveylarger potential populationuseful for longitudinal or cohort analyses not ideal for understanding detail or social complexity Also dealing with questionnaire-fatigued target groups

5Sampling: size versus depth If want larger sample, must tame the monster: ask mainly yes/no questions; have only one open-ended questionIf want detail, limit the sampleMost reliable method for young people is face to face interviews and participatory researchIn any case, design data analysis before you administer instrument of choiceClarify what data you actually want and ask for it, not what you think should be askedInvolve target group in the revisionsAnticipate and design the data analysis tools (the database and coding systems) before going live

6CAN BE A MONSTER! Surveys are major undertakings best for a large population sample; not best for understanding detail or social complexity as requires unchanging format throughout. Is usually weak on validity but strong on reliability. Consider the work you do here as scoping work. If it needs further analysis to find out how many in the population support a proposition, that will require a larger study

Some protocols

Research shows that poorly worded questionnaires bore young people, or provokes conventional answers needs to be attractive and easily interpretedAlso important to avoid having it be another piece of school workTrue consent not possible in power structures Thus even more essential instruments are well designedConduct a small trial: test the questions do people respond as you had hoped? Ask young people how they found it. Gauge reactions and modifyLimit time required to 15 minutes or lessBe aware of biased terms e.g. assistance to the poor (positive) versus welfare (negative)Keep it uncluttered less is more Think about the order make it a logical progression, not choppy

7What are the right questions?What is the age group? Gender? Social background?What data story do you need to be able to tell and with what ambition (For further funding? Publications?) Cant over-state need for clarity about purpose Vignettes of transformational stories are excellentWrite with journalistic flairCombine these with other impact dataThe more factual and repeatable over time, the better

8Youth oriented evaluations that yield convincing dataGiven reality of need to maximise responses in shortest time frame and at least cost, how to get the holy grail of youth-centred evaluations that yield convincing data?Many interventions presume a deficit (in esteem, in awareness, in comfort) and rush to fill that, without any primary research Foregrounding the students and making the evaluations as student-centred as the interventions vital especially given academic persona as another teacher/adultBe creative

9Brainstorming time2Widening ParticipationAre we making an impact? How known?What is meant by/needed for sustainability? Is it worth expanding/scaling?What do we not want to be doing more of?

Brainstorming timeGroup discussion of project status in relation to the timelines and matching methods to questions to desired outcomes Contact details: tess.lea@sydney.edu.au; 9351 6777