Research and Evaluation
A key priority for Ardoch is to build the evidence base that shows the impact of our work.
From time to time, and with the support of funders who understand the value of measuring our impact, Ardoch undertakes external evaluations of our programs.
Our Outcomes Framework
Ardoch uses an outcomes framework that is common to all of our programs to measure the impact of our work.
Ardoch’s programs are mapped to the learning outcomes in the Australian curriculum. In each of our programs we seek to make a positive impact on one or more of the following factors that support positive educational outcomes: confidence, aspiration, wellbeing, social skills and engagement in learning.
Together, the goals under each of these factors represent our Outcomes (CAWSE) Framework. To learn more about the impact of our programs, as evidenced through our evaluation process against this Framework, please visit Program Outcomes.
Children and young people believe in their abilities. They have the courage to take risks, take on challenges and learn from these experiences. They demonstrate an awareness of their own strengths and personal identity. They have a strong sense of self-worth, self-awareness, and a positive self-image.
Children and young people understand themselves, build their experiences and achievements, and develop their capabilities. They consider opportunities in learning, work, and future pathways with the belief that these are accessible to them. They have a sense of hope and optimism about their lives and the future. They understand how personal strengths, interests and characteristics influence career decisions, and demonstrate an awareness of their own personal qualities in relation to building their aspirations.
Children and young people develop the capabilities necessary to thrive, contribute, and respond positively to challenges and opportunities in life. They manage their emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical wellbeing. They can identify activities that improve their wellbeing, show enthusiasm for wellbeing activities, and understand the factors that contribute to building their resilience.
Children and young people understand themselves and others, and manage their relationships, lives, work, and learning effectively. They demonstrate empathy for others, work effectively in teams, and handle challenging situations constructively. Children and young people develop the necessary interpersonal skills to form and maintain healthy relationships, to prepare them for their potential life roles as family, community, and workforce members.
Engagement in learning
Children and young people are interested and actively participate in learning. They develop a range of dispositions and skills that facilitate learning and can transfer and adapt what they have learnt from one context to another. They value education and learning and understand its importance for future pathways. They strengthen their engagement through student voice, agency, leadership, and increasingly seek to resource their own learning.
We measure our program outcomes using a range of methodologies and conduct internal and external evaluations to assess the impact of our programs.
For internal evaluation purposes we ask each teacher, volunteer and, where age-appropriate, student to complete a survey questionnaire about their program experience. Using a consistent methodology, but tailored to each program, the surveys aim to test the extent to which the program activity has had an impact on one or more components of our outcomes framework.
From time to time Ardoch commissions external evaluations of our programs. The published results of these evaluations can be found on our Research and Evaluation page.
Here is a snapshot of just some of the impacts of our programs, measured using our outcomes framework.
In students’ ability to learn and comfort in trying any new experience.
Pathways Beyond School—Learning Through Lunch
86% of teachers reported that most students tried new foods.
Teachers reported that after just six months with Ardoch volunteer support, 79% of students showed greater confidence in their ability to learn.
63% of teachers credited student participation in Numeracy Buddies with contributing to the typical student making strong progress and gaining self-belief, a better understanding of their strengths and greater persistence.
To learn and explore opportunities beyond school.
Pathways Beyond School—Industry Visits
85% of students could name a job they were interested in learning more about after participating in an Industry Visits excursion.
Pathways Beyond School—Mock Interviews
67% of students participating in the Mock Interviews said ‘I think I am more likely to try and get a part-time or full-time job.’
Pathways Beyond School—You-niversity
93% of students named one thing they would like to study as further education when they finish school after they had gone on the You-niversity excursion.
Social Skills and Wellbeing
Improved skills in communicating with peers and adults and reflecting on identity.
Pathways Beyond School: Learning Through Lunch
77% of teachers said most students made eye contact and asked and answered questions during the program.
96% of teachers said their students displayed significant cooperation with one another at the STEM excursion.
Writer in Residence
61% of students said they took turns and worked with other students productively during the term.
Increased engagement in classes and learning.
Pathways Beyond School—Industry Visits
81% of students said they asked questions on their Industry Visits excursion.
Early Language and Literacy
86% of education volunteers said they agreed or strongly agreed that student engagement with learning had increased.
Teachers reported that after just six months with Ardoch volunteer support, the behaviour of 57% of students had improved.
Evaluation of Numeracy Buddies program
Completed by Alison Peipers Consulting (2015).