Meaningful evaluation of CPD can be challenging. Attempting to track the impact of CPD activity through a final impact on pupil progress is not an easy process. That is perhaps one reason why schools often pay too little attention to CPD evaluation.
The research evidence about evaluation practices in relation to CPD suggests the following:
- It rarely focuses on long-term or indirect benefits.
- It rarely differentiates between different kinds of benefits, such as impact on moral purposes, relevance to phase of development, change, thinking or emotional intelligence.
- It is often based on individual self-report which relates to the quality and relevance of the experience and not its outcomes.
- It usually occurs simultaneously, after the learning experience, rather than formatively so that it can be used to enhance that experience.
- It rarely attempts to chart benefits to the school or department (possibly because these are often not explicitly contained within the initial purpose of the CPD).