Research & Evaluation

Educational and Social Research

Are you looking for some background research for a project, or do you want to know more about an issue or area of adult learning? Perhaps you need to know the impact of a policy, get information to inform a decision, or understand the potential scope of an activity or type of support?

Seedbed Consulting Ltd can deliver top quality research information which is suitable for your needs. Whether you need reliable qualitative research, basic quantitative information or a longitudinal study, we’re here to help.

We have experience with:

Primary data collection and interpretation:

  • Top quality, rich and textual Case Studies
  • Information from focus groups
  • Feedback and analysis from questionnaires
  • Public meetings and large events
  • In-depth one-to-one interviews (face to face, via telephone, Skype or direct messaging)

Data collection and analysis from secondary sources:

  • Literature reviews
  • Summaries from government statistical departments
  • Collation of existing research to answer specific questions

Analysis and Interpretation of Results:

  • Analysis of primary data collection
  • Collation of secondary source evidence and findings
  • Interpretation of results and recommendations
  • Communicating results through report writing, presentations and summary documentation in a variety of formats

Our Experience

Seedbed Consulting Ltd has national, regional and local research experience in the educational, social and cultural sectors.

We specialise in qualitative research, including interviews, focus groups, case studies, questionnaires and public meetings.

Examples of work completed include:

Amanda demonstrated her excellent research skills by finding the
information I needed and more.

Careers Service Manager

Qualitative Research

A research project around engaging adults in first-step learning. It included an analysis of the effectiveness of a variety of engagement models and the production of good practice examples. This focused on qualitative research and the sharing of best practice.

Secondary Research and Analysis

Part of a team researching and writing a Skills for Life toolkit for employers, Government Offices, Trades Unions and Sector Skills Councils. This included secondary research on regional and sectoral economic indicators, along with an analysis of governmental statistics, as well as guidance and materials for the target audience.

Primary Research

Part of a national research team considering the impact of introducing fees on ESOL learners, learning providers, and on government priorities and targets. This included interviews and focus group work with learners, teachers, managers and policy makers, and analysis of the impact of fees on recruitment, retention and participation.

Educational, Social and Cultural Evaluations

Have you run a project or programme of work, and want to find out how effective it was? Do you need reports, presentations or other ways to communicate the success and reach of your work, or your progress towards performance indicators, criteria or standards? Are you half way through a project and want information to help you decide where to concentrate your efforts in the future to maximise your effectiveness and success rates?

Seedbed Consulting Ltd can deliver excellent evaluations using a variety of methods suitable for your needs and for those of your target audience. Whether you need reliable qualitative evidence, basic quantitative information or a comparative study, we’re here to help. We have experience with public and private sector evaluations, including those for national and European funding streams:

Formative evaluation:

  • Qualitative analysis of progress to targets
  • A look at quality assurance and partner performance
  • Progress reports, including recommendations

Summative evaluation:

  • Summary of outcomes and performance
  • Evaluations against predetermined outcomes and outputs
  • Evaluation against SMART targets (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely)
  • Impact reports and recommendations

Diagnostic evaluation:

  • Analysis of strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT)
  • Emergence of unintended outcomes
  • Evaluating social learning or capacity-building outcomes, or other outcomes that are not quantifiably measurable or readily observed
  • Recommendations and ways forward

Our Experience

Seedbed Consulting Ltd has designed, carried out and participated in a range of large and small evaluations of both projects and larger launches of government initiatives. This has included traditional evaluative methods such as interviews, questionnaires and case studies, but also more creative activities such as participatory mapping, appreciative inquiry, open space events, graffiti walls, storyboards, scrapbooking and using digital media (such as blog threads, Facebook, Twitter, participatory forums, Wiki sites, You Tube, texting etc).

Seedbed Consulting Ltd can design, structure and advise on evaluations, or work within predetermined structures. We can provide results in a variety of report formats, including case studies, recommendations, summaries, impact assessments and presentations.

Examples of work completed include:

Amanda grasped what was needed for our evaluation very quickly. Everything was done on time, and the recommendations helped us keep the project going after the
funding ended.

Education Manager

Formative Evaluation

Regional evaluation linked to a Government Office project around the use made of Train to Gain by the third sector, how to improve uptake of funding and how best to facilitate joint working between the sector and private brokers.

Summative Evaluation

Part of a national evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the national Functional Skills pilot to inform the development of the new qualifications. This included working with learners, teachers, educational institutions, awarding organisations, and writers.

Summative Evaluation

Evaluation of the effectiveness of specific qualifications in encouraging young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to consider Higher Education. This included both qualitative and quantitative elements, as well as guidance on dissemination of best practice.