Practical Measurement Course
Hosted by the GC-DWC’s Dr. Nikhit D’Sa, the Practical Measurement course is a self-paced, online video course that covers critical issues that practitioners in low-resource and fragile contexts need to consider when measuring the learning and development outcomes of children and adolescents. Explore the modules in any order you wish, collect Dr. D’Sa’s recommendations on additional measurement and evaluation resources from global organizations, and begin to develop a plan to simply and effectively measure and evaluate children and adolescents’ outcomes in your context.
About Practical Measurement
The current discourse around measurement and evaluation of children’s learning and development has moved the sector away from reliance on anecdotal information to a focus on capturing the actual change in outcomes for children in specific programs or interventions. While there has been significant attention on the rigor of measurement, limited focus has been placed on ensuring that measurement of children’s learning and development is appropriate and feasible for practitioners in low-income and fragile contexts. Through the programs supported by the center, we focus on practical measurement: measurement that is driven-by and focused on the needs of practitioners working with limited time and resources in low- resource and fragile contexts.
In the context of measuring children’s learning and development in low-resource and fragile contexts, there are four fundamental parameters that drive practical measurement.
Appropriateness deals with what is being measured and how it is defined. In WCD, social and emotional learning (SEL) skills are the focus of research for a majority of partners. However, SEL differs from literacy or numeracy because it mainly concerns how people manage their emotions, perceive themselves and engage with others, rather than indicating their raw ability to process information. SEL measurement requires a deliberate and continuous effort to understand and respond to diverse experiences, cultural norms and common purposes and pursuits.
Utility, at its core, deals with whether or not the data that you collect will be useful for you to make reasonable decisions about the activity, intervention, or strategy (heretofore referred to as program) being implemented. Data about children’s learning and development needs to have a practical goal that allows users to learn about how their program affects children and what changes they can make in their programs to improve children’s learning and/or development.
Feasibility deals with the actual process of measuring learning or development outcomes for children in low-income or fragile contexts and whether this process is doable given the logistical, operational, and systematic limitations that are in place.
Rigor, in the context of practice measurement, deals with not only the level to which the measure provides information that is both valid and reliable but also whether the thresholds of rigorous measurement and research are actually viable for practitioners and researchers working in low-income and fragile contexts.