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Of the inherent flaws in the University-Community Engagement Evaluation Controversies: Opportunities for a New Path Forward


Bartkowiak- Theron, I, Of the inherent flaws in the University-Community Engagement Evaluation Controversies: Opportunities for a New Path Forward, Australasian Journal of University-Community Engagement, 10, (2) pp. 82-103. ISSN 1833-4482 (2015) [Refereed Article]

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There now exists much industry and government documentation on industry-community engagement initiatives and their transferability into a variety of contexts. This documentation provides readers with insight and running commentary on the measurability of community-engagement initiatives (in the form of advice on 'hard' data and 'softer' (albeit equally important) measures), as well as their short and long term impact on all stakeholders. However, there remain difficulties in measuring the various processes and outcomes attached to community engagement within a university context. Existing initiatives that feature elements of university-community engagement allow us to reflect on what is easily measurable, what is more difficult to assess, and what requires downright creativity in evaluation techniques. This paper argues that current debates about the lack of university-community evaluations is misplaced, and examines the scope and nature of existing evaluations of university–community engagement. The examination of vocal and extended disputes revealed the inherent flaws in the debate and how it needs to be fundamentally rethought. In this paper, I offer some solutions to pave the way for university leaders and middle managers to acknowledge the prevalence, relevance, and measurability of university–community engagement for organisations and their partners.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:community engagement, measurement, evaluation, controversy
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Criminology
Research Field:Police administration, procedures and practice
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Higher education
UTAS Author:Bartkowiak- Theron, I (Associate Professor Isabelle Bartkowiak-Theron)
ID Code:105618
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2016-01-11
Last Modified:2016-09-08

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