Evaluating knowledge exchange is crucial in order to demonstrate impact as well as to learn and improve.
Evaluation should be conducted against the objectives of the project. It should attempt to capture any change in views or behaviour the project led to, not just rate the quality of the speakers! The KE office has a bank of feedback forms you can use as templates. Please contact us for advice.
Ideally, plan your evaluation strategy at the beginning of a project. The aim is to assess whether you have met your objectives, what changed as a result of the activity, how it could have been more effective and if there were any unintended outcomes. It is important to understand not only what happened but also why something worked or didn't work.
The National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) has a range of useful guides and evaluation resources on their webpage.
Impact of research on society is one of the criteria which will be assessed in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014). This will be demonstrated through case studies.
Impact from research is in most instances the result of knowledge exchange - either directly between researchers or beneficiaries or indirectly. Importantly, activities in themselves do not count as impact; you have to demonstrate the change your work contributed to. Evaluation will help with that.
Please contact us for advice on REF impact.
This article was published on Aug 15, 2012