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CEval organizes vocational training conference together with BIBB

On behalf of the Vocational Training Research Network Working Group (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Berufsbildungsforschungsnetz (AG BFN)), the Center for Evaluation together with the German Federal Institute for Vocational Training have organized a conference on the topic "Evaluation and Impact Research in Vocational Training". The conference took place from the 29 to 30 November 2018 at the Wissenschaftszentrum Bonn. Interest was correspondingly high. CEval was not only involved in the conception of the conference, but also contributed with a series of lectures.

In his keynote speech, Professor Dr. Reinhard Stockmann presented the "Systematic Evaluation Analysis (SEA)", which he has developed as an instrument for impact evaluation. The approach combines elements of meta-evaluation, meta-analysis and systematic review. The aim was to identify success factors responsible for effectiveness, impact and sustainability of vocational training projects. For this purpose, over 80 projects and programs of vocational training cooperation - that were evaluated by CEval between 1992 and 2017 - have been assessed. Whereas in the individual evaluations emphasis was placed on the internal validity of results, SEA aims above all at a high external validity. Content results are synthesized, structured, classified and subsumed according to selected criteria in order to generate cumulative findings that allow generalizations. In this way, the success variables determined in individual project and program evaluations were condensed into four core variables that can be assigned to three clusters (compare Figure 1):

  1. System-related success factors: above all: system compatibility,
  2. Design and implementation-related influencing factors: above all: flexible steering,
  3. Institution-related success factors: above all personnel and ownership.

Figure 1: Model of the key variables of sustainable BBZ

These three "success clusters" were distilled from around 80 individual evaluations of projects and programs from the last 40 years. These evaluations were subject to a major conceptual change and were carried out in a wide variety of socio-cultural contexts and political systems. Therefore, it can be assumed that these "success factors" present a high degree of temporal and regional stability.

 

Further contributions of CEval have been lectures of Dr. Stefan Silvestrini on "Ex-ante Evaluation" and on "Meta-Evaluation in Vocational Education and Training", as well as a lecture of Dr. Wolfgang Meyer, who questioned the (quasi) experimental design for impact assessment in vocational training research in his lecture "Long-term effects through long-term care".

 

The conference closed with a panel on the question: How must evaluation and impact research in vocational education and training develop further?