Finding out if your cooking skills courses are working

Cooking skills blog 29: Finding out if your cooking skills courses are ‘working’: Guest blog: what’s the difference between ‘observation’ and ‘third party’?

All members of our cooking skills study group are aiming to use a combination of three different evaluation sources to find out if their courses are ‘working’, by sourcing evaluation materials from 1) the course practitioner (as an ‘observer’), 2) the participant (‘self-reporting’) and 3) and a third source such as a ‘third party’ who …

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Cooking skills Blog 26: Finding out if your cooking skills courses are ‘working’: Using both questionnaires and observation as methods

This week, my colleague Jacqui and I have been visiting members of our cooking skills study group and discussing what we have been finding out so far from some of their course evaluation materials. All members of the group are aiming to collect more robust evaluation materials from their courses than they might do usually. …

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Cooking skills blog 25: Finding out if your cooking skills courses are ‘working’: Guest blog by Jacqui McDowell: ‘The confidence conundrum’

This week, my colleague Jacqui McDowell gives her views on the challenges (and possible solutions) to measuring confidence: ‘If I could, I’d ban people from using the word confidence in the context of cooking classes. Extreme – probably, wrong – I’ll let you decide. Confidence is a tricky thing to measure and assess accurately, whether …

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Cooking skills blog 22: Finding out if your cooking skills courses are ‘working’: Guest blog by Jacqui McDowell: ‘The impact puzzle’

This week my colleague Jacqui McDowell (who has led on supporting our cooking skills study group on planning the evaluation of their cooking courses) reflects on the challenge of finding the perfect methods or tools to find out the difference your course is making. ‘We all know that we have to evaluate our cooking skills …

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Cooking skills blog 19: Finding out if your cooking skills courses are ‘working’: assessments, quizzes and photos

Our cooking skills study group recently met to share their ideas and discuss their evaluation challenges. All of them are confident about using at least two approaches or sources of evaluation such as: Taking observation notes during the course; and Using a participant self-reporting approach by asking participants to fill in questionnaires before and after the …

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Cooking skills blog 12: Finding out if your cooking skills courses are ‘working’: as well as asking participants, who else can you get feedback from?

Our cooking skills study group recently met to discuss how they are getting on with the challenges of thoroughly evaluating their cooking skills courses. For many people that run cooking courses (or any other type of courses), it won’t be necessary to carry out the amount of evaluation that we are expecting from members of …

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Cooking skills blog 10: Finding out if your cooking skills courses are ‘working’: How can you improve your questionnaires?

Questionnaires are a popular way of evaluating cooking skills courses. If they are planned well, they are a quick and easy to use and can be used for two different purposes, i.e. to find out: What difference your course has made to participants (e.g. has it improved their cooking skills or eating habits?) or/and; What …

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Cooking skills blog 8 – How do you find out if your cooking skills courses are ‘working’?

In the last blog, I talked about focusing on what it is you want your cooking courses to achieve. Once you have done that, you need to think about how to find out if your course has (or hasn’t) achieved this. For many groups, it will be enough to have an informal discussion with participants …

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Cooking skills blog 7 – What difference do you hope your cooking skills courses will make?

The answer may depend on what the people (participants) attending your course want to get out of it and what you (and your funders) hope it will achieve. The amount of time you have, and participant to practitioner ratio may also have an effect on what outcomes you might be able to achieve. Spending a …

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