Evaluation and KTE: A Faciltated Discussion of Members’ Experiences

On June 11, 2008, the KTE Community of Practice held a very dynamic and interesting conversation, led by Rhoda Reardon and Dale Butterill, on the evaluation of knowledge transfer.

The evaluation of the effectiveness of one knowledge transfer strategy over another is sorely lacking as determined by a recent systematic review (Mitton et al., 2007). The review concluded that it is not possible to make a recommendation for developing and implementing any particular KTE strategy, since the state of knowledge in the field does not presently lend itself to knowing what KTE strategies work in what contexts. Unfortunately, strongly worded recommendations that researchers need to develop a methodology to evaluate knowledge transfer interventions are not new. Carol Weiss, in a book chapter, “Measuring the Use of Evaluations” (1981), was already exploring the inadequacy of merely depending on lagging or instrumental measures of change. A methodology that can be used across multiple contexts is lacking.

This session of KTECOP explored members’ experiences with evaluation as it relates to KTE activities. Challenges, successes and lessons learned were shared.

To capture the main points and to continue the discussion online, David Phipps has created a wiki: