The development of a framework for the evaluation of a self-access language learning centre

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The development of a framework for the evaluation of a self-access language learning centre

 

Author: Morrison, Bruce James
Title: The development of a framework for the evaluation of a self-access language learning centre
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2003
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Language and languages -- Study and teaching
Independent study
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: xii, 454 p. : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1714682
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/3603
Abstract: The study aims to bring together theory, methodology and practice from the fields of programme evaluation, educational evaluation, English language learning and teaching, learner independence and self-access learning. These, together with research findings from the data collected in the study, have been used to develop a framework for the evaluation of self-access language learning centres. Such a framework is needed for the following reason. Evaluation is recognised as a central element in the development of any educational entity and there is at present no research-based construct designed for the evaluation of self-access language learning centres. This framework has been developed for the evaluation of Hong Kong self-access centres but it is intended that its construct should be sufficiently generative to be applied to other self-access language learning contexts, and sufficiently dynamic to develop in the light of on-going changes within the field. Research objectives & research questions The study has five main objectives. These are to: i) identify the defining pedagogical and systemic characteristics of a Hong Kong self-access language learning centre; ii) identify potential rationale, content and methodology for the evaluation of a Hong Kong self-access language learning centre; iii) examine existing evaluation constructs for elements that could contribute to the development of self-access language learning centre evaluation; iv) propose a framework for the evaluation of a Hong Kong self-access language learning centre; v) suggest areas for further research to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the evaluation of self-access language learning centres. Research approach & methodology The main emphasis is on qualitative research methodology based on naturalistic enquiry. Grounded Theory is the underpinning methodology. Grounded Theory is defined as "an initial, systematic discovery of the theory from the data" (Glaser & Strauss, 1967: 3) which "emerges from the bottom up.. .from many disparate pieces of collected evidence that are inter-connected" (Bogdan & Biklen, 1992:3). Data collection The sixteen study participants were selected as fulfilling the roles of various types of Hong Kong self-access language learning centre stakeholders. Data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews and post-interview e-mail questionnaires. Results As a result of the study findings, and derived from the data obtained from the data collection process introduced above, I have developed two theoretical constructs: a self-access language learning centre "mapping" and an evaluation framework. In the light of the lack of a theoretically-informed description, of what actually constitutes a self-access language learning centre, I identify the need for a descriptive construct that I refer to using the metaphor "mapping". It is intended that a mapping of a particular centre then provides the focus upon which an evaluation can be based. The second construct is a multi-level evaluation framework which has three foci: decisions to be made, actions to be taken and issues specific to the evaluation context. Central to the evaluation framework is the four-stage evaluation process which consists of : mapping the target centre, planning the evaluation itself, conducting the evaluation and then conducting a meta-evaluation. Bogdan, R. C., & Bikien, S. K. (1992). Qualitative Research for Education. MA, USA: Allyn & Bacon Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. New York: Aldine Publishing.

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