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Frameworks for evaluating education programmes and work related learning: a scoping review

Lynne Caley (College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, Swansea, UK)
Sharon J. Williams (College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, Swansea, UK)
Izabela Spernaes (Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Cwmbran, UK)
David Thomas (Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Cwmbran, UK)
Doris Behrens (Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, Cwmbran, UK)
Alan Willson (College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University, Swansea, UK)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 8 April 2021

Issue publication date: 29 June 2021

Abstract

Purpose

It has become accepted practice to include an evaluation alongside learning programmes that take place at work, as a means of judging their effectiveness. There is a tendency to focus such evaluations on the relevance of the intervention and the amount of learning achieved by the individual. The aim of this review is to examine existing evaluation frameworks that have been used to evaluate education interventions and, in particular, assess how these have been used and the outcomes of such activity.

Design/methodology/approach

A scoping review using Arskey and O’Malley’s five stage framework was undertaken to examine existing evaluation frameworks claiming to evaluate education interventions.

Findings

Forty five articles were included in the review. A majority of papers concentrate on learner satisfaction and/or learning achieved. Rarely is a structured framework mentioned, or detail of the approach to analysis cited. Typically, evaluations lacked baseline data, control groups, longitudinal observations and contextual awareness.

Practical implications

This review has implications for those involved in designing and evaluating work-related education programmes, as it identifies areas where evaluations need to be strengthened and recommends how existing frameworks can be combined to improve how evaluations are conducted.

Originality/value

This scoping review is novel in its assessment and critique of evaluation frameworks employed to evaluate work-related education programmes.

Keywords

Citation

Caley, L., Williams, S.J., Spernaes, I., Thomas, D., Behrens, D. and Willson, A. (2021), "Frameworks for evaluating education programmes and work related learning: a scoping review", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 33 No. 6, pp. 486-501. https://doi.org/10.1108/JWL-09-2020-0157

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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