Finding a creative approach to evaluating action learning

First of all I’ve had to overcome a stupid fear of doing a blog!  Why should I be so reluctant to do something new? I’ve had to do some action learning on myself to get to the bottom of it and…….guess what?

My fear is simply based on a ridiculous lack of confidence in anything to do with computers.  Eventually I established that writing a blog is simply, well…. writing and I’ve been doing that for years – so here goes…

At our annual ALA Associates Day, we spent some time looking at ways to evidence the benefits of action learning to potential clients.  We all know action learning works but how do you measure that?

I was tasked with the job of coming up with suggestions for a creative approach to evaluation – possibly finding an exercise to do at the final action learning session that in some way mirrors the “Origins” exercise we use at the start.

We agreed that case studies and testimonials are the most powerful expression of an action learning set member’s journey but some sort of tangible and visual measurement might also be useful.

I decided to go back to my own action learning set with this idea.  My set is great as we use it not only for regular action learning but also as a CPD group – we give each other feedback on our facilitation styles and try out new ideas.

Here’s the idea we came up.  Using the classic Wheel of Life (often used by life coaches) as a concrete measurement of change during membership of an action learning set.

At the first meeting we ask set members to plot their aims into a wheel of life diagram. The customer’s targets or objectives can also be added, if this was appropriate.

Taking the middle as zero, the facilitator will ask set members to plot where they think they are along the lines radiating out from the centre.  This exercise would be repeated at the final set meeting to show how far they have moved.

Obviously the facilitator would abide by set confidentiality, but as long as the set members are comfortable to share their outcomes, the wheel could be used to demonstrate to the customer the desired measurements of positive change.

One thought on “Finding a creative approach to evaluating action learning”

  1. I like this approach. I am thinking that it would also fit to use the Five ways to Wellbeing on the wheel. These are;
    Be Active
    Take Notice
    Keep learning
    This would enable a measurement of personal growth in terms of emotional health and mindfulness

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