More than metrics: creative approaches to demonstrating the impact of peer-to-peer work

For almost all organisations and institutions that have an educational mission, measuring outcomes and evaluating progress is a central aspect of the work. This is usually driven both by an internal desire to understand what has been effective and inform the further development of practice and, by external requirements, to evidence the success of the approach (to funders, educational authorities, potential students etc.)

However, the emphasis of reporting often lies in the realm of quantitative data, with a particular reliance upon measures related to attendance and academic attainment in order to demonstrate impact and progress for young people. Whilst these measures are important, practitioners of peer-to-peer and collaborate learning recognise that they capture only a partial aspect of the wide range of outcomes that can achieved. Too often, progress that is harder to quantify (such as the development of social and emotional capabilities, forming or strengthening relationships or the widening of aspirations and self-belief) does not get fully captured and understood.

At the Share to Know learning event in February, we hosted a workshop to explore the importance of storytelling and other creative approaches to demonstrating impact. Together with Alice Sachrajda, a researcher specialising in creative qualitative methods, we exchanged ideas and experiences about how practitioners of peer-to-peer and collaborative learning methods can more fully demonstrate their impact and evaluate their work.

You can download information sheets on some of the approaches we discussed here.