Evaluating the community outcomes of Australian learning community initiatives: innovative approaches to assessing complex outcomes

Cavaye, Jim and Wheeler, Leone and Wong, Shanti and Simmons, Jan and Herlihy, Paula and Saleeba, Jim (2013) Evaluating the community outcomes of Australian learning community initiatives: innovative approaches to assessing complex outcomes. Community Development, 44 (5). pp. 597-607. ISSN 1557-5330

Abstract

Learning communities are towns, cities, or regions where a series of actions are implemented to enhance lifelong learning and community capacity. These efforts include improving access to further education, mentoring, increasing opportunities for informal learning, sharing skills across sectors, and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. In Australia, over 45 learning communities are contributing to social capital, social inclusion, and local partnership development. The outcomes of learning communities have been difficult to evaluate. Evaluation frameworks have been developed to assess a range of aspects of learning community outcomes. A key approach used is the Victorian Performance Management Framework, which consists of four tiers - the function of the learning community, learning delivery, lifelong learning, and community capacity. Evaluation experiences have shown: (1) the need for comprehensive but workable frameworks; (2) the involvement of community members in developing frameworks; (3) the need for different levels of impacts to be included in evaluation; (4) evaluation needs to be iterative and part of continuous improvement; and (5) the limitations of evaluation need to be understood and mitigated.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 29 May 2017 07:15
Last Modified: 29 May 2017 07:15
Uncontrolled Keywords: community capacity; evaluation; learning community;
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/15575330.2013.853681
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/32232

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