ABSTRACT

This chapter presents a case study of a three-year project called SPRITE (Sheffield People’s Resource for Information Technology). The SPRITE project was set up as a response to the changing economic environment within Sheffield, the fourth largest city in England. The emphasis of this chapter is the methodology used in the evaluation of the project. The results of the evaluation can be found elsewhere (Cassell et al. 1988; Cassell and Fitter 1988, 1989). An action research methodology was used to evaluate the impact of the project and identify its strengths and weaknesses, providing regular feedback on the processes by which the project was developing. This chapter outlines the project and its evaluation, and reviews the appropriateness of the evaluation methodology. A model for understanding the processes of feedback within action research is described and evaluated. Finally, some general comments are made about action research that address some of the common criticisms of the methodology.