The project helped our organization to better understand the impact of our study programmes.
Author: Laureen de Palma (Cometa Formazione)
Next in the “TRACKTION learning journey” series is our italian partner, COMETA FORMAZIONE. Laureen de Palma recaps on the work undertaken, main achievements,challenges and future plans for TRACKTION in this amazing VET school.
Tips on data collection
The TRACKTION protocol was longer and included more questions than the existing protocol. The discussion with partner schools helped to develop a wider view and to add essential questions.
We did not collect pre-graduation information before adopting the TRACKTION protocol, but we find it is very useful to get a wider feedback. For the PRE graduation survey (May 2019) Cometa tutors went to classes and explained the Tracktion project and its aim. The link to the pre-graduation survey was shared directly in that moment and students completed it during class. This made it very easy to reach a high response rate. Absent students were contacted one by one by the tutors and they completed the survey from home. This method was very easy and quick (very little time consuming). Tutors supported students when necessary. A high response rate and low drop-out rate were guaranteed.
For the post graduate survey (January 2020) Cometa tried a different strategy: The Job & Placement office created a WhatsApp broadcast adding all students who participated in the pre-survey in May 2019. The officer sent an invitation to participate in the survey (short text) and the link to the survey. After a week, they sent a new message on the same broadcast. One week before the survey deadline we created smaller groups (max 5 alumni) or contacted students one by one in order to reach a high respondents rate.
Analyzing and sharing survey results
As regards the data analysis, the cross-tabs give very interesting information about students’ perceptions and intentions before graduation and their real situation after graduation. Many matched but some didn’t and that was even more interesting. The most striking insight in the reports have been the answers to the following two questions: a) “What else would you have liked to learn more about on your qualification? B) Desire of keeping in touch with VET School after graduation
We’ve shared the collected data with our Director, headteacher and all staff members that were involved in the data collection phase. We already organized a meeting with a Local Action Group (mostly tutors and teachers) to give them feedback. At the moment the information is shared in meetings, where we handle out the most interesting outcomes of the surveys. The Job&Placement office elaborates reports on alumni, including information gained during the TRACKTION program
Impacts at VET School level and plans for the future
The TRACKTION project helped our organization in improving VET graduate tracking. Cometa used the collected data to evidence-informed institutional decision-making, improving its didactical offer. The project helped our organization to better understand the impact of our study programmes.
We will continue using the designed protocol to record information on our graduates destination, both with regard to entry of graduates into the labour market and their progression within it, perceived relevance of acquired skills and entry and progression into other education programmes.
The project has been the starting point of a reorganisation of student surveys. Before, each office/ unit used their own tool and survey to reach students. Now, we are creating an overall coordinated system of graduate tracking. The specific goal of the project “to establish a more coordinated and appropriate set of VET Graduate Tracking measures at VET-provider level” has been completely reached.
Cometa increased its institutional capacity to act on and to use the results for a variety of purposes, such as enhancing study programmes and alumni services.In addition, the second intellectual output, “Building and Sustaining Successful Alumni Relations in VET Schools: How To Guide” (2020), has definitely helped us starting to improve the structure and coherence of our Alumni Relations activities.