Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

You are here:


Did your intervention improve the situation that triggered the process? If the aim was to improve student achievement, did that happen?

When you evaluate the impact of your intervention, you need to ask the same sort of questions that you asked earlier in the process. You need to interrogate your evaluation. Do not leap to conclusions. Look at all the angles.

  • Was any change in student achievement significant?
  • What else happened that you didn’t expect?
  • How do your results compare with other similar studies you can find?
  • Does the result give you the confidence to make the change permanent?

The final question is the crucial one – has the intervention been effective enough to justify embedding the change in normal practice?

The impact of some interventions will be simple to evaluate.

We decided to teach poetry by giving students lots of poetry books and time to read and select poems they like. Then they read them to the class and explained what they liked about the poem they chose. In the past, teachers had selected poems and the class had studied them in the conventional way.

We evaluated the impact by comparing students achievement in formal poetry assessments (including achievement standards) and from ‘before’ and ‘after’ expressions of how much students enjoyed poetry.

More radical changes are more difficult to evaluate – a wider range of evaluation approaches will be needed.

A school decided to create a new year 13 art programme. In the past students had been offered standard design and painting programmes, internally and externally assessed against the full range of achievement standards. Some students had to produce two folios for assessment and were unsure of where to take their art after leaving school.

The new programme blended drawing, design, and painting concepts and focused on electronic media. Assessment was against internally assessed standards only.

The school decided to evaluate the impact of the change in a number of ways:

  • Were students more successful in terms of completing assessments?
  • Were students more successful in terms of gaining national assessment credits?
  • How did student perceptions of workload and satisfaction compare with teacher perceptions from the previous year? (If they had decided on the change earlier they would have collected student perceptions evidence from the previous cohort.)
  • Did students leave school with clearer intentions about where to go next with their art than the previous cohort? (In this case the school was able to collect evidence from the previous cohort.)
  • How did teachers and parents feel about the change?

As well as evaluating the impact of the intervention, you should evaluate the intervention itself. This will help you to decide how much confidence you have in the results and what changes you might implement as a result.

  • How well did you design and carry out the intervention? Would you do anything differently if you did it again?
  • Were the results affected by anything that happened during the intervention period – within or beyond your control?
  • Did you ask the right question in the first place? How useful was the question?
  • How adequate were your evaluation data?

These questions apply particularly if your intervention seems not to have worked – maybe there was a reason for that. Maybe it was not a complete waste of time. Maybe you can justify making some changes to your practice.