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Evaluation of Toulouse Meeting


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I would like to thank all those associates who attended the E-HELP meeting in Toulouse. It was great to get the chance to meet you all.

On Sunday morning project members spent some time evaluating the meeting. We are very keen to get feedback from all concerned. This thread has been started to give all those who attended the opportunity to comment on the meeting. Don’t be afraid to criticise. We can learn just as much from our failures as our successes. The main objective is to make the next meeting even more successful than this one.

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I just want to thank all our associate visitors for their presentations and for the nice time we spent together. We all are keen to get your feedback.

Thanks Isabelle, Caterina, Janos, Dan, Dave, John, Doug, Jose Luis... Thanks Carole for your kindness and your cigarettes ;) and remote thanks to Andrew.

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Just a quick response as I have now got a pile of marking to do which should have been done in half term!

I thoroughly enjoyed the Toulouse conference (I have started to call it the European Teacher's History and ICT conference to impress my friends and colleagues) and was very stimulated by the papers that were given. It was also fantastic to share resources and good practice with such a diverse and inspiring group of like-minded teachers. I was not at the final meeting but I would like to see the E-Help website include the following areas:

- a place for exciting History / cross - curricular projects that encourages pan-European co-operation which may or may not involve students meeting each other in reality as well as virtually.

- collaboration / discussion / teaching materials based on transferable historical skills ie source analysis, interpretation of the past

- a portal for sharing ICT resources - I have already downloaded photostory 3 for example and have started planning how to use it with my G&T pupils next week

Thanks again to everyone.

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The recent Toulouse meeting was the most productive of its type I have been involved in. This was largely due to a tight and focussed agenda.

Many thanks to Richard and Carole for their fantastic organisation and hard work, and also to Les for the warm welcome we received at IST.

I share many of the ideas Dan has posted in this thread about the website and will have an outline of what I propose ready by Easter :D

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The recent Toulouse meeting was the most productive of its type I have been involved in. This was largely due to a tight and focussed agenda.

I agree. Most importantly it was very stimulating to have so many interesting “associates” at the meeting.

Several people did complain about one aspect of the meeting (they appear to be too polite to raise it on this thread). This was the fact that people did not have enough time to discuss the issues raised in the presentations. We knew this would be a problem when we first drafted the programme. The main priority was to get as many people involved as possible at the beginning of the project. This obviously meant that there was enough time for discussions (although a great deal took place during the breaks in the day and during the evening).

This is one of the reasons why I have asked all those who gave presentations in Toulouse to post them on the Forum. This will enable all those who were in Toulouse, as well as those who could not be there, to respond to these presentations. See:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showforum=214

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The recent Toulouse meeting was the most productive of its type I have been involved in. This was largely due to a tight and focussed agenda.

I agree. Most importantly it was very stimulating to have so many interesting “associates” at the meeting.

Several people did complain about one aspect of the meeting (they appear to be too polite to raise it on this thread). This was the fact that people did not have enough time to discuss the issues raised in the presentations. We knew this would be a problem when we first drafted the programme. The main priority was to get as many people involved as possible at the beginning of the project. This obviously meant that there was enough time for discussions (although a great deal took place during the breaks in the day and during the evening).

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showforum=214

It would have perhaps therefore have been preferable to have a mixture of presentation and workshop on the agenda.

Part of the benefit of using ICT for learning is that it involves learning by doing rather than sitting passively receiving material. In this sense we didn't model effectively what I hope we all believe in.

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It would have perhaps therefore have been preferable to have a mixture of presentation and workshop on the agenda.

Part of the benefit of using ICT for learning is that it involves learning by doing rather than sitting passively receiving material. In this sense we didn't model effectively what I hope we all  believe in.

Maybe. But whose sessions would you have dropped to make this possible?

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Thoughts on the evaluation of the project

Just picking out some points that were made over the course of last week’s meeting with regard to evaluation as a sort of aide-memoire. Some of these things might seem to be stating the obvious, nonetheless……

• Evaluation needs to run through the project from the start, to be planned into it, rather than being tacked on at the end as an afterthought.

• Richard made the important point that it is as much about compliance as quality and impact: we have to make sure that by the end of the project, we have done what we said that we would do in a way that the commission cannot dispute. There are all sorts of things which we might add and develop as the project unfolds which were not originally envisaged given the pace of change in this area, but we should not lose sight of what we have said we will do in the contract.

• Richard distributed a commission approved evaluation form (Appendix 4: ‘Evaluation form – how good was the event?’). This specified 12 ‘performance indicators’ and asked them to be ranked on a 4 point scale. We were pushed for time on Sunday and did not complete or hand in this form at the event.

1) Are people happy to use this form as the basis of the summative evaluation of the event?

2) If so, it is essential that we try and get as complete a set of returns of the form as possible (from members and associates) so that they can become part of the evaluation ‘archive’ for the project.

Although we don’t want evaluation to become a bureaucratic monstrosity, I think that it is important that we have more than just a set of numbers and ticks for the evaluation. Ideally there should be reflection and constructive comment/suggestions from participants. It would be enormously helpful if everyone involved in the project thus far could post some reflections on the Toulouse seminar, the project thus far, and their thoughts on future priorities, directions, things to keep in mind. These comments are much more helpful than grades/ticks in terms of providing a basis for formative evaluation

This might include comments on some of the areas outlined in the ‘4 point score’ evaluation form.

Other things to mention might include:

Success criteria for the project

A balance between internal and external evaluation (‘how was it for us?’ ‘What beneficent impact might/will it have on history and ICT in Europe, history teachers’ practice?’)

What might we tweak/change to make the next seminar equally/more successful?

How can we make sure that we get best ‘return’ from associate members?

How can we make sure that we ‘capture’ the successes of the seminar?

How to make best use of the forum between seminars?

More thought on what the website might contain other than the content suggested in the bid?

How to keep in touch and ‘sub-contract’ work on women’s history?

This are just suggestions; I don’t think that everyone needs to write about all these things but people might comment on at least three or four things which they think are important.

I am teaching all day today and tomorrow, I will try and put up my thoughts on things so far as ‘my two pennorth’ on Thursday.

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It would have perhaps therefore have been preferable to have a mixture of presentation and workshop on the agenda.

Part of the benefit of using ICT for learning is that it involves learning by doing rather than sitting passively receiving material. In this sense we didn't model effectively what I hope we all  believe in.

Maybe. But whose sessions would you have dropped to make this possible?

You are tempting me to say yours :D

In all seriousness having been told to keep to 15 mins maximum we actually had much more time than that to play with that that and wouldn't have had to drop anyones presentation necessarily.

I for instance banged on for 45 mins and we still had time for an extended break. If I had known I was going to get an hour a workshop through which members and associates could have investigated some of my web site work for themselves and then discussed it with me would have been preferable.

It is a small critical comment of a very successful meeting.

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• Richard distributed a commission approved evaluation form (Appendix 4: ‘Evaluation form – how good was the event?’).  This specified 12 ‘performance indicators’ and asked them to be ranked on a 4 point scale.  We were pushed for time on Sunday and did not complete or hand in this form at the event.

1) Are people happy to use this form as the basis of the summative evaluation of the event?

2) If  so, it is essential that we try and get as complete a set of returns of the form as possible (from members and associates)  so that they can become part of the evaluation ‘archive’ for the project.

I have just emailed all members and asked them to send me completed forms. I'm not sure all the questions are suitable for associates, which is why I only distributed to members. I have made an electronic version of the evaluation form (attached) if we feel this could be used by associates as well.

I suppose it is also worth stressing that we have a less structured (but more open ended) form of evaluation in the shape of this forum.

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I have made an electronic version of the evaluation form (attached) if we feel this could be used by associates as well.

Richard,

I am struggling with this .doc document and I cannot use it properly. It consits of a series of images pasted on the document. Can you send it as "normal" Word document?

P.S.

All the requests for Richard are done taking into account his well deserved short vacation

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Although we don’t want evaluation to become a bureaucratic monstrosity, I think that it is important that we have more than just a set of numbers and ticks for the evaluation. Ideally there should be reflection and constructive comment/suggestions from participants. It would be enormously helpful if everyone involved in the project thus far could post some reflections on the Toulouse seminar, the project thus far, and their thoughts on future priorities, directions, things to keep in mind. These comments are much more helpful than grades/ticks in terms of providing a basis for formative evaluation

Thank you all for inviting me to take part in the meeting: I found it very interesting and I think it is a good example of how European projects should be led (my compliments to Richard). The general impression one gets is that you have set clear objectives and adopted appropriate methods to reach them.

Anyway, the fact that you have all known each other for a long time before starting this project gives you the opportunity not to lose much time in getting things agreed. This is a pretty ideal situation for a project.

The question of evaluation is one of the crucial aspects of all European projects for they really involve producing lots of paper that teachers, rightly, find less important than the project content itself. I have rapidly read the form attached by Richard and I think that points and ticks will represent anyway a meaningful evaluation, though I think there should always be the opportunity of adding some personal comments (about aspects not taken into account or no more than 2/3 suggestions for future events of the type).

Another priority, as Terry suggested, is always keeping in mind all the features of the final "product" you are expected to realize on the basis of your proposal: this does not mean some aspects cannot be changed, provided there is a good explanation for changing them. There is always a distance between the original proposed result and what is actually realized in the end: I think that's the best feature of all projects!

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What might we tweak/change to make the next seminar equally/more successful?

How can we make sure that we get best ‘return’ from associate members?

How can we make sure that we ‘capture’ the successes of the seminar?

How to make best use of the forum between seminars?

More thought on what the website might contain other than the content suggested in the bid?

How to keep in touch and ‘sub-contract’ work on women’s history?

I agree that this meeting (and remember that I am the Comenius expert :rolleyes: ) has been one of most productive of the meetings I have been involved in.

However, I propose to include some practical changes for the next meeting:

1. Participants (members and visitors) must send in advance a text summarizing their presentation. It should be, let's say, a couple of weeks before the meeting, so everybody has time to read it and reflect on it.

2. Presentations must be as short as possible to permit a longer debate.

3. Somebody should take notes during the debate (I am afraid this role has to be played by an English-speaking participant). These minutes will help to "digest" all the points of the presentations and debate. (I have the feeling that I am going to forget some important subjects raised in our meeting)

4. Andy, shouldn't we put together all the threads of EHELP together in a same section of the forum? Sometimes it is a bit difficult to find all the subsections of the project. I have no idea if it is technically complicated or time-consuming. If it is the case, forget it.

5. I have been thinking about the historical content I want to write on women's history... I feel really frightened at the translation work I will have to do. If we want that all the members take part in an equal way, we have to find a solution on translation. I don't mean to translate every product, but I, probably we (Nico, Anders, Dalibor, Vicente...)need some help. This is one of the main points of the sub-contracting issue.

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sorry, Richard, I can't use your evaluation copy either. Can I have a word copy via email? when you return from your few days away.

I think the first meeting went really well, but a little more reflection time, and a little more 'doing' time, rather than listening time, would have been good. As one who stuck to his 15 minutes, I agree with Andy - if we had stuck to that we would have had more reflection time.

I liked having associates there, and presenting - it added a deeper dimension to the meeting, and would like them present again. But we must also work on our own targets too.

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