Workshop Evaluation- Activating the Lecture

male instructor with classroom and college students

This evaluation plan is for a workshop on creating active lecture classrooms, and includes strategies for formative and summative evaluation of the workshop. My evaluation plan won an Excellence Award from WGU’s Evaluation Department. The evaluator had this to say about my submission:

“The submission describes formative and summative evaluations for a proposed workshop for college-level instructors on how to design active learning activities. Of special note are the clear, professional writing, the attention to detail in explaining how each aspect of formative and summative assessment will be completed and how each type of data will be used to modify the workshop (the formative assessments) and to determine if the workshop will be funded (the summative assessment elements). Cogent rationales for each assessment bolster this already solid submission.”

Introduction

This workshop, entitled “Activating the Lecture” will focus on creating a more active lecture classroom without completely abandoning the lecture format. Attendees will learn the benefits of active learning and how to integrate some simple activities into a lecture classroom. This will primarily be of interest to college-level educators who want to create a more student-centered classroom than what they currently use, but don’t want to shift to a completely student-centered model. The workshop will discuss the benefits of active learning and four activities to integrate into lectures to make them more active. The goal of instruction is that workshop attendees will be able to explain the benefits of active learning and design learning activities for use during a lecture session. The formative evaluation will be used to modify instruction as it is being delivered, while summative evaluation will be used after delivery is complete to determine whether the instruction was successful.

Learning Objectives

  1. Without guidance, explain at least two benefits of active learning
  2. Without assistance and given a specific course, design a think-pair-share activity to use during one lecture
  3. Without assistance and given a specific course, integrate a video from the internet into one lecture
  4. Without assistance and given a specific course, design a comparison table activity to use during one lecture
  5. Without assistance and given a specific course, design two clicker questions to use during one lecture

Desired Outcomes

The goal of instruction is that workshop attendees will be able to explain the benefits of active learning and design learning activities for use during a lecture session. During the workshop, participants will practice designing four types of learning activities that they can then adapt for use in their classrooms. After the workshop, attendees will have a toolbox of learning activities to pull from for use in current and future lecture courses.

Intended Audience

Workshop participants are college-level instructors interested in making their lecture classrooms more active without abandoning the lecture format. Instructors are a heterogenous group of both genders, ranging in age from 25-55, with adjunct, contract, and tenured appointments. All participants will have a graduate-level education in any discipline (art, business, math, science, etc.), and be interested in instructional improvement. Ethnic diversity is expected to be high, with attendees representing Caucasian, African-American, African, Indian, Canadian, European, and Middle-Eastern groups. Ideal workshop size is 20 participants.

Relevance of the Topic to the Intended Audience

This workshop is timely because research continues to show that students learn best when actively engaged with material. However, many instructors are reluctant to completely abandon the traditional lecture for more innovative strategies like the flipped classroom. This workshop will show instructors how to find a balance between delivering content in a lecture format and actively engaging students within the same classroom session. Participants will learn the benefits of active learning and build a toolbox of learning activities that can be modified for use in any lecture setting.

Formative Evaluation

Formative evaluation is designed to be implemented during instruction, and serves to guide incremental changes while instruction is being delivered. The formative evaluation for this workshop will consist of one-to-one meetings with potential learners, small group meetings, and a field trial. The one-to-one meetings with potential workshop participants function to identify any major issues with the workshop goals and instructional plan and to gauge learner reactions to the workshop. Small group meetings will be conducted to find out whether changes made after one-to-one meetings successfully addressed major issues. Finally, the field trial will closely resemble the ultimate setting for the workshop, and function to fine-tune the workshop plan. (Dick, et al., 2015)

Justification of Tools before the Workshop

Five instructors representing the range of anticipated backgrounds of workshop attendees will be chosen to participate in the one-to-one stage of formative evaluation. Learners will be given the instructional materials and will go through them and complete the assessments as though they are participating in the workshop individually. An interview will follow to discuss the learners’ impressions and recommendations, generating qualitative narrative data. Results of learners’ assessments from the workshop plan will be used as quantitative numerical data (i.e. whether they met the learning objectives). These data will help the author determine whether workshop participants are likely to meet the instructional goals, and what improvements can be made before the small group stage.

After completing the one-to-one stage of the formative evaluation, 8 different instructors will be selected to participate in a small group evaluation of the workshop plan. This group will be given the instructional materials and will go through them and complete the assessments as though they were participating in the workshop as a group. A focus group will follow this period, during which qualitative narrative data will be gathered about participants’ impressions and recommendations for improvement. Results of participants’ assessments from the workshop plan will be used as quantitative numerical data. These data will show the author whether improvements made after the one-to-one stage were successful, and what further changes should be made before the field trial of the workshop.

Justification of Tools during the Field Trial of Workshop

The field trial will include 10-15 participants and commence after modifications are made to the workshop plan from the small group stage of the formative evaluation. The author will collect narrative observational data during the field trial to record participants’ reactions to the instruction. Workshop assessments will be used to collect quantitative numerical data about participants’ ability to meet the learning objectives. At the conclusion of the field trial, participants will be asked to complete a questionnaire that will provide additional qualitative narrative data and identify areas that still need improvement.

Summative Evaluation Process

The summative evaluation is used to determine whether instructional goals were met, and if the instruction should be implemented in full (Dick, et al., 2015). Stakeholders will be appraised of the results of the workshop evaluation and its overall perceived success. In the case of this workshop proposal, potential stakeholders include individuals involved in approving the budget, supervisors, union representatives, professional development departments, and experts in teaching and learning. The specific purpose of this summative evaluation is to demonstrate that funding should be provided for the “Activating the Lecture” workshop.

Justification of Tools at the End of the Workshop

After the conclusion of the workshop, summative evaluation data will be collected in the form of participant questionnaires, assessment results, and input from teaching and learning experts. Participant questionnaires will be emailed to obtain qualitative narrative data about perceived workshop utility. Specifically, participants will be asked to comment on whether the workshop instruction translates to their teaching environment by providing tools for making their lecture classes more active.

Quantitative numerical data will be gathered from participants’ assessments and answer the question of whether they were able to meet the learning objectives. Finally, a teaching and learning expert will be consulted to review the workshop plan, assessments, participant questionnaire results, and assessment results to contribute their opinion on whether the workshop was a success. These instruments will collect data showing whether the workshop should be funded by detailing whether participants achieved the learning goals, felt that the workshop was valuable, and whether it meets expert criteria for sound instruction. Finally, the data will show stakeholders a body of evidence about whether the workshop is worth funding.

Use of Data

The formative evaluation data will be used during workshop planning to identify and address areas that need improvement. Formative evaluation is designed to be used iteratively during instruction to make corrections while instruction is being delivered. Summative evaluation data will be used after the field trial has been delivered to support funding of the workshop itself. Summative evaluation is used after instruction has been delivered to determine whether it met the objectives, satisfied stakeholders, and whether it should be used again or discontinued. (Dick, et al., 2015)

References

Dick, W., Carey, L., & Carey, J. O. (2015). The systematic design of instruction (8th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.

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