In December 1998, the Department for Education and Employment announced that £74 million would be made available, over a three‐year period, to fund improvements in information and learning technology within English further education: this initiative is known as the National Learning Network. An evaluation team has been appointed to report on whether the investment is being used nationally and locally in an efficient and effective manner. This paper outlines the process by which this task is being fulfilled and how the impact of the investment is being evaluated through the close monitoring of forty‐one representative English FE colleges. It also presents a range of free‐standing evaluation tools which have been developed by the evaluation team for use within these colleges by internal practitioner‐evaluators. These tools will enable colleges to assess the effectiveness of the investment and enable the evaluation team to monitor the impact of the national investment on a small, representative cohort of students and staff over a two‐year period The paper concludes with a brief look at the role this development is playing in designing a universally applicable model for assessing cost‐effectiveness across all educational sectors
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