Evidence, Impact, Metrics

Gathering evidence, understanding impact and using metrics

  • Status of this blog

    This blog was used to support the Evidence, Impact, Metrics work which took place in 2010-2011. After the completion of this work, the blog was closed and no further posts will be made.

Archive for the 'Background' Category

The Role of This Blog

Posted by Brian Kelly on 18th November 2010

This blog was set up to support UKOLN’s Evidence, Impact, Metrics activity.  However after setting up the blog is was recognised that it can be difficult for new blogs to attract an audience and provide an effective forum for discussion and debate.

In light of such considerations it is intended that this blog will be used to provide a record of activities including events, but related discussions will take place on the UK Web Focus blog which has a large readership.

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Why The Interest?

Posted by Brian Kelly on 24th August 2010

Why the interest in evidence, impact and metrics?  In part the interest reflects the economic difficulties the higher education sector is currently facing – difficulties which are expected to get worse after October’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

There will be a need to gather evidence of the value of the work which is being carried out within the sector as, without such evidence, there is a danger that such work may fail to be funded when cuts arrive.

The evidence needs to demonstrate the impact of the work and how such work results in positive changes.

There will also be a need to understand the metrics which can ensure that the evidence is being collated and used in a consistent fashion.

Such work will, however, need to consider the potential negative aspects: the dangers, for example, of evidence being misinterpretted or misunderstood, and the risk that an emphasis on metrics leads to approaches being used which seek to maximise benchmarking figures rather than enhance the value of the work for which the metrics provides a proxy measure.

Despite such concerns there are also dangers that a failure to gather evidence will leave services in a vulnerable position.  At a time in which we are seeing a much greater emphasis being placed on transparency within the public sector it would seem to be counter-productive to fail to be gathering evidence.  The challenge will be to ensure that a better understanding is gained across the sector in the limitations of such activities.

This blog aims to ensure that a better understanding of various approaches for gathering and interpreting evidence and using metrics is gained across the sector.

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About The Evidence, Impact, Metrics Blog

Posted by Brian Kelly on 23rd August 2010

The Evidence, Impact, Metrics blog has been set up to support UKOLN work which can be summarised as “gathering and interpretting evidence of the use of networked services in order to understand – and enhance – their impact and to explore metrics which can allow such activities to be applied in a consistent manner“.

This is an initial summary of this work which has been provided in order to help others understand the work to be covered.

This blog will provide an open forum for ideas and sharing of resources.

Guest posts from others will be welcomed.

Details of events which will be organised to support this work will be posted on this blog.

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