5.2(c) Give it a go!


To practise and develop evaluation skills (without getting too serious).

You need

An hour and 15 minutes and a range of resources, depending on the ways you plan to evaluate the topic you choose. Read through the activity and agree what methods you are going to try out and what resources you can use. Access to a computer and printer, a tape recorder, cameras, old magazines and the internet could all be useful.

Cartoon illustrating topic

What to do

a) First, agree a light-hearted topic to evaluate. What about one of these?

  • Evaluate the furniture in the building
  • Evaluate the trees in the park
  • Evaluate the cars in the car park
  • Evaluate the food in the canteen

b) Break into three groups and decide among yourselves how you are going to undertake your evaluation, what key questions you want to explore and how you are going to do it. Keep your ideas within the small group at this stage. As you will be presenting your findings to the whole group, spare a thought to how you are going to do this before you start.

c) Now crack on! Give yourselves a good three quarters of an hour to evaluate the topic and prepare your findings.

d) Come back together and take it in turns to present what you have found.

What next?

Before you move on, you need to evaluate the process you’ve just been through. You were given virtually no guidance. Did this help, or make it harder? You went off in your own groups and did your own thing. Did you each have a different take on what you were evaluating? Did you find out different things? For example, if you chose to ‘evaluate the trees,’ the first group may have evaluated them for their size and shade; the second whether they lose their leaves in winter or not; the third whether they are easy and fun to climb.

These differences don’t matter on this occasion; in fact, they hopefully have added to your learning. But in the next aim, it will be very important to have a shared understanding of what you are doing and wanting to find out, why it is important and how you are going to go about it together. You may need to think through what you are looking for in the evaluation, what funders are looking for and what others may be looking for. These may be similar or very different. You will need to take more care in the planning and preparation. Before you move on, is there anything arising from this activity that you want to add to your evaluation charter?

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