University continuing education,
a strategic investment

BRU_img006_GrandPlace2The process of “Program Development” is usually seen as divided into four stages, more or less distinct or separated, but in practice that could be seen as a cycle: Needs analysis – Design – Implementation – Evaluation. The eucen 2014 Autumn Seminar was dedicated to the first and second steps. The eucen 2015 Autumn Seminar will focus on the last step: Evaluation.

To evaluate a programme, many objects shall be considered: participants’ satisfaction, participants’ learning outcomes, participants’ learning process, the training system itself, efficiency (results of the programme in relation to the resources allocated), effectiveness (the degree to which objectives are realised), the use participants make of the learning in their careers, the impact of the training on the participants’ organisation, and at another level, the overall way UCE is organised within the institution. The evaluation can be done by the students, by the faculty, by external experts, and in certain cases, it can also lead to certification. It is indeed a large and multi-faceted concept.

From the participants’ point of view but also for their employers, any training activity is seen as a strategic investment in terms of time, money, professional, social and personal impact. The universities organising ULLL institutions are very often faced with this difficult question of demonstrating the effectiveness and the real impact of their training programmes. A good quality programme shall be effective and efficient, ensuring at lowest investment costs that participants, employers and other stakeholders make best use of the training. These aspects are often neglected because they can only be measured indirectly, being outside the boundaries of the system. It is an old issue and a current challenge.

This year autumn seminar is the opportunity to learn more about UCE programme evaluation in this perspective and share practices and ideas to get the best out of every participant experience of learning in UCE programmes.

The main goals of the eucen 2015 Autumn Seminar are to:

  • Address the issue of measuring how programmes answer the needs and expectations of professionals, employers, partners and society
  • Share methods and practices on the process of evaluating University Continuing Education programmes
  • Bring research and practice together with the aim of enriching practice with research results and nourishing research with practice expertise.

The autumn seminar is structured to stimulate dialogue, gather new ideas and work together towards new projects and collaborations.

On the first day

Taking place in Brussels, this seminar offers you the opportunity

  • to meet the President of the European Committee of Regions (CoR) of who will present the current challenges in Europe and the role of universities
  • and to (re)discover EUCIS-LLL, the European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong learning.

A great opportunity to discuss today issues of ULLL in Europe.

You have the chance to present your work – in close connection with the seminar topic – and discuss it with colleagues during the poster session.

To beautifully end the day, a cocktail for pleasant networking.

On the second day

A researcher and an experienced practitioner will both present their own work on the topic of transferability of the training into the workplace and the evaluation of the impact of the training on professionals’ career. The presentations will give a crossed view on this aspect of evaluation.

The brainstorming session that follows the presentations is the opportunity to challenge the researcher and the practitioner through dialogue in order to gain new perspectives for our everyday activities.

The Learning Café of the afternoon, in three strands, will give:

  • inputs about evaluation to newcomers in the field,
  • views about innovative practices,
  • a more global view with evaluation of UCE structures.

A special fourth strand is dedicated to a workshop of the project TALOE on assessment of learning.

The last part of the seminar is a hands-on workshop “Test the tools” giving you the chance to discover results and experience tools developed in several national or European projects on the overarching topic of evaluation.