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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Molina

Measuring Collaboration: Woodland's Approach

Updated: Nov 22, 2023



Collaborating is becoming more common as communities try to tackle complex challenges. Measuring how well you’re collaborating can help you understand what’s working, identify areas where you can improve your ability to work together, and become better able to tell a story about your successes and needs. 


Woodland (2012) provides five entry points to measure collaboration:  

Collaboration Entry Point

Description 

Operationalize collaboration

Discuss what collaboration means to you and your collaborators to identify a definition that best suits your work. 

Identify and Map Communities of Practice

Document who is working and or connected with whom within your network. Use this to discuss missing partners and / or connections that could be made to strengthen your work. Tools like Kumu or NodeXL can help. 

Monitor Stages of Development

Reflect on what stage of development your network and its sub-groups are in (e.g., form, storm, norm, or adjourn / adapt). Consider what your network needs at that moment given its stage of development. 

Assess levels of Integration 

Consider what level of integration you and your collaborators want and need for your work together. You can review the levels here: https://collectiveimpactforum.org/blog/turf-trust-and-the-collaboration-spectrum/ 

Assess Cycles of Inquiry 

Gather data on how well you and your collaborators are working together. This can be done in a survey or observation. Discuss findings with collaborators so that the group can discuss what is working well and consider improvements. 


Ultimately, the aim is to gather information you and your collaborators can use to ensure that you’re making the best out of the time you put into working together. 


Join the mailing list for the list of tools & resources related to measuring collaboration: https://www.connectingevidence.com/mailinglist


Resources & Tools Shared in Video : 

  1. Main article: Woodland, R. H., & Hutton, M. S. (2012). Evaluating organizational collaborations: Suggested entry points and strategies. American journal of evaluation, 33(3), 366-383.

  2. Dr. Woodland’s Website: Woodland, R. (n.d.). Rebecca H. Woodland, ph.D.. Consultation. https://blogs.umass.edu/woodland/professional-development/ 

  3. Tamarack Institute. (2015, January 30). Turf, Trust and the Collaboration Spectrum. Collective Impact Forum. https://collectiveimpactforum.org/blog/turf-trust-and-the-collaboration-spectrum/ 

Supplemental Articles (with definitions) 

  1. Griffiths, A. J., Alsip, J., Hart, S. R., Round, R. L., & Brady, J. (2021). Together we can do so much: A systematic review and conceptual framework of collaboration in schools. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 36(1), 59-85.

  2. Thomson, A. M., Perry, J. L., & Miller, T. K. (2009). Conceptualizing and measuring collaboration. Journal of public administration research and theory, 19(1), 23-56.

  3. Kinsella-Meier, M. A., & Gala, N. M. (2016). Collaboration: Definitions and Explorations of an Essential Partnership. Odyssey: New Directions in Deaf Education, 17, 4-9.Chicago

  4. Scoular, C., Duckworth, D., Heard, J., & Ramalingam, D. (2020). Collaboration: Definition and structure. Chicago

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