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Valuing Design and Conducting Evaluation Online Short Course

Course description

How can we articulate the value of our work? How can we assess the difference we make? How can we demonstrate that our work is worthwhile? For those who work in design, and other fields, the value of what we do may be self-evident, and yet we often lack the tools and language to express this convincingly to others. Furthermore, it is rare for those leading projects and interventions to routinely invest time and energy in systematically reflecting on impact and effectiveness.

This course will explore value and evaluation, providing new insights and perspectives on the challenges of evaluating change. We will focus on social design but the course content is relevant to everyone working on social change projects. The course will encompass both theory and practice, with a focus on applying key principles and tools to carry out a context-sensitive evaluation.

This short course is run by the UAL Social Design Institute (SDI) and is informed by research from the SDI and other UAL research centres.

You will have access to:

  • Talks from specialists, experts and pioneers in social design and evaluation
  • Resources for further exploration of the field
  • Peer-to-peer learning and feedback through seminars and crits

    Course Outcomes

    By the end of this course you will:

  • Develop a critical understanding of value, evaluation, and the matter of valuing design
  • Gain hands-on experience of how to articulate impact and value through theory of change
  • Develop a plan to evaluate your own work

  • Who should attend:

    This course is aimed at people working in social design, or commissioning social design, who are keen to understand how to more robustly evidence the impact of their work. It is also suitable for people working in the public sector (national and local) and the charity sector who are interested in articulating the social, environmental and democratic value of the work they do.

    This is an introductory level course and no previous experience or knowledge of design or evaluation is necessary.

    Please note that all courses are taught in UK time.

    Online courses are closed to all new bookings 48 hours prior to the course starting.

    Available dates

    If no dates are showing then please sign up to our mailing list to find out about upcoming dates and new course developments.


    Topics covered

  • Key concepts and theories of change, impact and value
  • Different kinds of impact/value: economic, social, democratic and environmental
  • Challenges and barriers in evaluation
  • How to be a reflexive evaluator
  • How value and impact can be articulated through theory of change
  • How to develop an evaluation plan and indicators
  • Introduction to research methods
  • Research ethics
  • Materials

    Online short course materials

    To take part in the Online sessions you will need:

    • An up-to-date web browser (we recommend Chrome)
    • Microphone and headphones (a headset with a microphone function is recommended. The built-in microphone in your device would also be fine).
    • Webcam
    • Strong Internet connection - we recommend a minimum of 2 Mbps download, and 1 Mbps upload, faster if possible. You can test your network speed here -

    Please bring for the first session:

    • notebook and pen
    Meet the Tutor:

    This online course will help you develop a critical understanding of value, evaluation, and the matter of valuing design through a mixture of presentations, group discussion, and practical exercises.

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