Module 3


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  • Developing an impact assessment plan is not an algorithmic or 'cookie-cutter' process; it is a heuristic process which in some ways is unique for each individual. So our instructions for how to proceed are somewhat correspondingly 'fuzzy' in that we don't have a detailed step-by-step plan. However, we do offer a recommended sequence for developing an impact assessment plan as depicted in this diagram. The sequence is derived from the Action Research article mentioned in Module 1 ( For more details, see: - Part 1, Section 5 for a simple diagram and description; - Part 1, Section 7 for a description of methods; - Part 3 for a more detailed description of this approach, including a more detailed diagram (Section 3). This sequence underpins the process of the inquiry, but be prepared to find fuzzy edges between the stages as your inquiry proceeds. For starters, you will probably not start with planning; there may be much monitoring and observation of existing practice (reconnaissance) before you are ready to plan and implement a change. As you become more involved with your research, you may find it hard to detach one element of the process from another. You may find yourself reflecting as you are acting – something that Donald Schön (1983) calls ‘knowing-in-action’ and 'reflection-in-action' – and monitoring also will take place as action proceeds. However, once that first change is implemented, the action research cycle proceeds generally in the above manner. I (Joan) found myself planning to collect data, asking the questions I feel will derive “data” and then analyzing it. I don’t necessarily have pre-determined categories in mind. The data uncovers the categories. For example, after soliciting comments from some Subject Matter Experts on what to include in content modules, I found their comments also included rationales for learning–to-learn, learning styles, and content organization. My reflection has almost always led me to course improvement or rather, instructor improvement in the teaching/learning process. I amaze myself at what I learn about my ability to be clear in directions, or about how I phrase a question often gets me “loaded” answers.
  • As you develop your plan, start thinking about what it will do for student engagement and learning retention (by which we mean enabling students to retain what they learn, not course or program completion). Also start thinking about how your plan might impact you professionally, in terms of teaching, course re-design, and your professional portfolio. Do this knowing that you can't plan for everything, nor would you want to do so. "Plan" also to encounter the unanticipated in serendipitous and challenging ways. For example, think about this comment which was encountered as the result of an impact assessment: "He is one of the best teachers I have had. He is well organized, presents good lectures, and creates interest in the subject. I hope my comments don't hurt his chances of getting tenure." As you plan, think of the impact assessment process as part of a new journey on which you're embarking to a new realm. Perhaps your visit will be relatively brief or even cursory; perhaps you'll begin to fall in love with the place. But whatever happens, we hope that you find the journey worthwhile and that we've given you a reasonably descriptive and accurate sense of what impact assessment is and can be. We've enjoyed reading your discussion postings and look forward to reading more about your plans...
  • Module 3

    1. 1. Impact Assessment Workshop <ul><li>John Sener </li></ul><ul><li>Joan D. McMahon </li></ul>July 27 - August 5, 2011 -- Module 3
    2. 2. Module 3 Objectives 2 Note: Using the PowerPoint “View” option in the menu bar, select Notes pages for easier reading. Module 3 Develop a project plan to incorporate impact data into a course Project how these strategies will improve learner engagement, retention .
    3. 3. Developing Your IA Plan: Getting Started Impact Planning Action Monitoring Data Collection Reflection
    4. 4. Impact of the Plan <ul><li>Student engagement? </li></ul><ul><li>Learning retention? </li></ul><ul><li>My teaching/course re-design? </li></ul><ul><li>My professional portfolio? </li></ul>So what will the plan do for