By Sue West, Auckland Area Manager, 2020 Trust
20/20 Trust has been using the web-based, ACE Learner Outcomes Tool since 2017 to track learner outcomes. We wanted a learnercentred tool to measure the impact of our programmes on the lives of our learners, enabling us to demonstrate beyond anecdotal evidence, learner achievement outcomes. We can now share outcomes with individual learners, learner referral agencies and funders. We can also analyse the reports and learner comments to see if facilitators are achieving the expected results. This is useful for facilitator training and programme review as part of our quality assurance practice.

In 2017 staff attended the free training and trialled the ACE Learner Outcomes Tool with our first group of ACE learners. The trial was a success. During the review process, we identified the need to bulk-upload learners. We worked together with the developers to create an efficient system for bulk-uploading learner details from our registration spreadsheet to the tool. Learners register for our programmes in class through our online system. We did not want valuable learning time eroded by asking learners to complete another online registration with much of the same data. The bulk upload system solved this problem.

The next step was to formally embed the ACE Learner Outcomes Tool in our teaching and learning resources to ensure the completion of both pre-course and post-course surveys. We saw this as a ‘teachable moment’, whereby facilitators explicitly teach learners how to login to an online survey tool, use radio buttons and type comments in a comments box. These are essential skills in an increasingly, digital world.

Using Data for Teaching

The following graph shows the achievement of learning goals from one cohort of 15 learners at one training site. In this instance, the facilitator used the graph as a learning tool by showing the learners and asking them to interpret the results – another in-class, ‘teachable moment’ and useful for the facilitator to reflect on their own teaching based on evidence of learner outcomes.

Interpretation of Data for Programme Development

Being able to interpret the graphs has enabled our coordinators and managers to analyse results and fine-tune our programmes to improve learner outcomes. Here is an example of a report with the explanatory narrative.

In terms of overall hope for getting work those learners who achieved some, most or all of their learning goals reported identical results to the national median for all 3800 learners in the Outcomes Project. This correlation between learning goal achievement and belief of improved hope for work has remained consistent throughout the five years the national data has been collected. However, the national percentage of learners who achieved none of their learning goals is 4% compared to this particular cohort of learners shown in the graph, having scored 0%.

So at 20/20 Trust the ACE Learner Outcomes Tool has enabled us to measure learner outcomes and equip learners with an essential digital literacy skill – enabling them to complete online forms and surveys, interact with government services online, explore job opportunities, engage with their children’s school, participate in everyday online transactions such as shopping and banking, manage health and connect beyond geographical boundaries with whānau and friends.