Evaluation results - Adult Education Academy 2022
Project-coordinator: Prof. Dr. Regina Egetenmeyer (Julius-Maximilian University Würzburg)
Evaluation: Professorship for Adult and Continuing Education, Adult Education Academy Team (Marina Rößner, Julia Saam, Laura Leibinger)
This summary presents the most important findings of the Adult Education Academy 2022 evaluation. The Adult Education Academy – short: AEA – takes place since 2014. Since 2016, we conduct each year the same kind of evaluation with the same set of questions. This procedure should lead to a better comparison of the years.
In many categories, we observe the highest values in the year 2022. This indicates that the programme and its components get improved and adapted to the participants’ needs every year.
In the following, the results of the group sample, the overall assessment as well as the effects and outcomes will be presented. Since different groups participate in the AEA, the results will be also shown for different subgroups: the master students, doctoral students and practitioner in the field of adult education and lifelong learning.
The first questions refer to the characteristics of the sample. The following information gives an idea of the group:
- 55,8% (43 persons) of the participants indicate that they are master students while 31,2% (24 persons) are doctoral students and 13% (10 persons) are practitioners in the field of adult education. Only 6,5% (5 persons) indicate that they are staff at a university or that they were studying another study programme.
- Like in the years before, the participants show a broad internationality: they achieved or will achieve their degrees in 18 different countries, 9 from Europe and 9 from other continents.
- From 90 participants answering this questions, 66 (73%) are female, 24 (27%) are male and no respondent is diverse.
- Generally, participants apply for the AEA due to content-related, social and career-related reasons. This year, the social reasons – learning from lecturers from other countries (mean 4,81) and meeting students from other countries (mean 4,86) – have the highest values, compared with the lowest mean of 3,86 (Improving my English languages kills). (N=77)
- Most of the participants (82,6% / N=86) attend the AEA because their professors recommended it. This is especially for master (87% / N=46) and doctoral students (85,7% / N=28) the case. The lowest values can be found in the reason “I did not receive any recommendation from other persons, but learned about the AEA through flyers, advertisements newsletters or similar thing” with 4,7% in general and for example with 0% asking the practitioners (N=12).
- With a mean of 4,37 and 4,32 the motivational support (e.g. encouraging to participate, supporting, self-confidence etc.) and the support with the application procedure (e.g. reminding of deadlines, recommendation letters etc.) are the best rated kinds of support by the students’ home universities.
- For more than half of the students (57,7% / N=78) the Adult Education Academy is the first international study mobility. This is a high increase compared to last year’s result (49%), which might be traced back to the corona pandemic and restricted mobility possibilities throughout different countries.
- On a 5-point-scale, the mean value to the question “How intensively have you dealt with trans-/international topics on your previous studies or your work before the AEA?” is 3,41 (N=75). Obviously, the values differ among the subgroups: While master students indicate on average 3,21 (N=42), doctoral students (3,75 / N=24) and practitioners (3,67 / N=9) present higher values.
- The previous interest in the topics adult education and lifelong learning in general, trans-/international and comparative adult education and lifelong learning in particular, the motivation to focus on trans-/international aspects in further studies and the motivation to have a trans-/international focus in your future professional activities have all high agreement values. Especially the first item (adult education and lifelong learning in general) presents a high acceptance with 98,7% (N=75).
- Having a look at the previous competences of the participants, 78,3% (N=83) indicate that they had already high competencies in interacting with people from other cultural backgrounds before. In the categories “understanding of adult education and lifelong learning in other countries” (34,6% / N=81) and “methodological skills for conducting comparative research work” (37,8% / N=82), lower competencies can be identified.
- More than one third of the master students plan to take up doctoral studies in their future career (39% / N=38) and 29% plan to work in both fields (academic career and career in practice/policy field). Almost half of the doctoral students (48% / N=27) want to start an academic or research career in adult education and lifelong learning, compared to only 4% who want to work in the practice or policy field.
Assessment of the programme
As mentioned above, many results have their highest values in the Adult Education Academy 2022. This is also the case concerning the question “What is your overall evaluation of the AEA?” (see also figure 1). The mean value for all participants was 4,73 on a 5-point-scale which is a small increase to last year’s mean value (4,68). Having a deeper look at the subgroups, the group of master students (mean 4,74) and practitioners (4,88) improved their values as well (last year: 4,45 and 4,70). Only the doctoral students show a lower mean value with 4,67, compared to the result of 2021 (5,00).
Fig. 1: Overall rating of the Adult Education Academy 2022
For a more detailed picture the evaluation asked about the respondents’ opinion regarding the organizational, academical and didactical quality of the different programme modules (see figure 2).
Fig. 2: Organisational, academic and didactical quality of the AEA 22’s programme modules
Furthermore, the evaluation asked for the usefulness of the different programme components. Since there were many components, we would kindly ask you to write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org in case you are interested in special results regarding the programme components.
Effects and outcomes of the Adult Education Academy
At first, we would like to present the effects on the thematic interest (see figure 3). All values, except the ones of the doctoral students, turn out higher than in the last year. Having a look at the mean values of all participants, we can see that all the results range above the mean of 4,50. For further information, please have a look at the following table:
Fig. 3: Effects of the AEA 22 on the participants’ thematic interest
The effects on the motivation to undertake further study mobilities continue to be high. 89,7% (N=68) of the master and doctoral students ticked a 4 or 5 when being asked if they felt motivated to undertake further study mobilities abroad.
With regard to further study plans, 79,2% (N=48) of the master students and practitioners stated that the AEA increased their motivation to pick up doctoral studies (4 or 5 on the 5-point-scale). 88% (N=25) of the doctoral students agree that they would like to continue with a post-doc research after their graduation (4 or 5 on the 5-point-scale).
The last category are the effects on competences related to international study and work contexts in adult education and lifelong learning (see figure 4). Again, all ratings (regarding the total group) turn out higher than in 2021. Especially the improvement of the analytical competencies (mean 4,66 / N=83), the improvement of seeing adult education and lifelong learning in the own country from a different perspective (mean 4,75 / N=83) and the improvement of the understanding of adult education and lifelong learning in other countries (mean 4,67 / N=83) show the highest results.
Fig. 4: Effects of the AEA 22 on the participants’ competences
Finally, we would like to have a look at the personal, academic and (only for practitioners) employment outcomes, differed between master students, doctoral students and practitioners:
- Master students: the mean of the personal outcome on a 5-point-scale is 4,56 (N=41). Compared to the result of 2021 (4,08) we can again see an increase of the value. Also, the academic outcome increased from 4,16 in 2021 to 4,49 (N=41) in 2022.
- Doctoral students: In this category, the outcomes decreased slightly. The academic outcome in 2022 was 4,54 with N=28 (compared to 4,56 in 2021) while the personal outcome was 4,36 (compared to 4,73 in 2021).
- Practitioners: a mean value of 4,18 (N=12) in the academic outcome (2021: 4,42), 4,27 (N=11) in the personal outcome (2021: 4,42) and 4,43 (N=7) in the outcome for employment (2021: 4,58) can be identified.
Online setting and perspectives
For the second time, the AEA took place in a virtual mode which means that the participants could not travel to Würzburg. Due to the covid pandemic, it was not possible to plan the event on campus. Obviously, the participants missed the personal contact and exchange.
This can also be seen in the evaluation: With 17 mentions, the setting of the AEA in the question “Do you have any recommendations or suggestions to improve the Adult Education Academy” was the most mentioned category of the free text answers. Many of the students would prefer a face-to-face setting again, would like to meet physically and return to presence as soon as possible. The participants describe the online sessions as more tiring than meetings in person. Nevertheless, the overall rating of the AEA is still on a high level and the outcomes are rated well. In addition, the use of digital tools and the improvement of digital competences were mentioned many times in the section “Highlights of the AEA” and concerning the question “What have you learned academically or in a personal way during the AEA?”.
For the next year, the AEA will be planned in a hybrid mode: one week will take place online while the second week, the week of the intense comparative group work, will hopefully take place on campus at University Würzburg.