Quality refers to the appropriateness and integrity of information gathered in an evaluation. High quality data are reliable and informative. It is easier to collect if the indicators have been well defined. Other factors that affect quality may include instrument design, data collection procedures, training of those involved in data collection, source selection, coding, data management, and routine error checking. Obtaining quality data will entail tradeoffs e. Because all data have limitations, the intent of a practical evaluation is to strive for a level of quality that meets the stakeholders' threshold for credibility.
Quantity refers to the amount of evidence gathered in an evaluation. It is necessary to estimate in advance the amount of information that will be required and to establish criteria to decide when to stop collecting data - to know when enough is enough. Quantity affects the level of confidence or precision users can have - how sure we are that what we've learned is true.
It also partly determines whether the evaluation will be able to detect effects. All evidence collected should have a clear, anticipated use. By logistics , we mean the methods, timing, and physical infrastructure for gathering and handling evidence. People and organizations also have cultural preferences that dictate acceptable ways of asking questions and collecting information, including who would be perceived as an appropriate person to ask the questions.
For example, some participants may be unwilling to discuss their behavior with a stranger, whereas others are more at ease with someone they don't know. Therefore, the techniques for gathering evidence in an evaluation must be in keeping with the cultural norms of the community. Data collection procedures should also ensure that confidentiality is protected.
The process of justifying conclusions recognizes that evidence in an evaluation does not necessarily speak for itself. Evidence must be carefully considered from a number of different stakeholders' perspectives to reach conclusions that are well -substantiated and justified. Conclusions become justified when they are linked to the evidence gathered and judged against agreed-upon values set by the stakeholders.
Stakeholders must agree that conclusions are justified in order to use the evaluation results with confidence. Standards reflect the values held by stakeholders about the program. They provide the basis to make program judgments. The use of explicit standards for judgment is fundamental to sound evaluation.
In practice, when stakeholders articulate and negotiate their values, these become the standards to judge whether a given program's performance will, for instance, be considered "successful," "adequate," or "unsuccessful. Analysis and synthesis are methods to discover and summarize an evaluation's findings. They are designed to detect patterns in evidence, either by isolating important findings analysis or by combining different sources of information to reach a larger understanding synthesis. Mixed method evaluations require the separate analysis of each evidence element, as well as a synthesis of all sources to examine patterns that emerge.
Deciphering facts from a given body of evidence involves deciding how to organize, classify, compare, and display information. These decisions are guided by the questions being asked, the types of data available, and especially by input from stakeholders and primary intended users. Interpretation is the effort to figure out what the findings mean.
Uncovering facts about a program's performance isn't enough to make conclusions. The facts must be interpreted to understand their practical significance. In short, interpretations draw on information and perspectives that stakeholders bring to the evaluation. They can be strengthened through active participation or interaction with the data and preliminary explanations of what happened. Judgments are statements about the merit, worth, or significance of the program. They are formed by comparing the findings and their interpretations against one or more selected standards.
Because multiple standards can be applied to a given program, stakeholders may reach different or even conflicting judgments. Community members, however, may feel that despite improvements, a minimum threshold of access to services has still not been reached.
Their judgment, based on standards of social equity, would therefore be negative. Conflicting claims about a program's quality, value, or importance often indicate that stakeholders are using different standards or values in making judgments. This type of disagreement can be a catalyst to clarify values and to negotiate the appropriate basis or bases on which the program should be judged. Recommendations are actions to consider as a result of the evaluation. Forming recommendations requires information beyond just what is necessary to form judgments.
For example, knowing that a program is able to increase the services available to battered women doesn't necessarily translate into a recommendation to continue the effort, particularly when there are competing priorities or other effective alternatives. Thus, recommendations about what to do with a given intervention go beyond judgments about a specific program's effectiveness. If recommendations aren't supported by enough evidence, or if they aren't in keeping with stakeholders' values, they can really undermine an evaluation's credibility.
By contrast, an evaluation can be strengthened by recommendations that anticipate and react to what users will want to know. Justifying conclusions in an evaluation is a process that involves different possible steps. For instance, conclusions could be strengthened by searching for alternative explanations from the ones you have chosen, and then showing why they are unsupported by the evidence.
When there are different but equally well supported conclusions, each could be presented with a summary of their strengths and weaknesses. Techniques to analyze, synthesize, and interpret findings might be agreed upon before data collection begins. It is naive to assume that lessons learned in an evaluation will necessarily be used in decision making and subsequent action. Deliberate effort on the part of evaluators is needed to ensure that the evaluation findings will be used appropriately. Preparing for their use involves strategic thinking and continued vigilance in looking for opportunities to communicate and influence.
Both of these should begin in the earliest stages of the process and continue throughout the evaluation. Design refers to how the evaluation's questions, methods, and overall processes are constructed. As discussed in the third step of this framework focusing the evaluation design , the evaluation should be organized from the start to achieve specific agreed-upon uses. Having a clear purpose that is focused on the use of what is learned helps those who will carry out the evaluation to know who will do what with the findings.
Furthermore, the process of creating a clear design will highlight ways that stakeholders, through their many contributions, can improve the evaluation and facilitate the use of the results. Preparation refers to the steps taken to get ready for the future uses of the evaluation findings. The ability to translate new knowledge into appropriate action is a skill that can be strengthened through practice.
In fact, building this skill can itself be a useful benefit of the evaluation. It is possible to prepare stakeholders for future use of the results by discussing how potential findings might affect decision making.
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For example, primary intended users and other stakeholders could be given a set of hypothetical results and asked what decisions or actions they would make on the basis of this new knowledge. If they indicate that the evidence presented is incomplete or irrelevant and that no action would be taken, then this is an early warning sign that the planned evaluation should be modified. Preparing for use also gives stakeholders more time to explore both positive and negative implications of potential results and to identify different options for program improvement.
Feedback is the communication that occurs among everyone involved in the evaluation. Giving and receiving feedback creates an atmosphere of trust among stakeholders; it keeps an evaluation on track by keeping everyone informed about how the evaluation is proceeding. Primary intended users and other stakeholders have a right to comment on evaluation decisions. From a standpoint of ensuring use, stakeholder feedback is a necessary part of every step in the evaluation. Obtaining valuable feedback can be encouraged by holding discussions during each step of the evaluation and routinely sharing interim findings, provisional interpretations, and draft reports.
Follow-up refers to the support that many users need during the evaluation and after they receive evaluation findings. Because of the amount of effort required, reaching justified conclusions in an evaluation can seem like an end in itself. Active follow-up may be necessary to remind users of the intended uses of what has been learned. Follow-up may also be required to stop lessons learned from becoming lost or ignored in the process of making complex or political decisions.
To guard against such oversight, it may be helpful to have someone involved in the evaluation serve as an advocate for the evaluation's findings during the decision -making phase. Facilitating the use of evaluation findings also carries with it the responsibility to prevent misuse. Evaluation results are always bounded by the context in which the evaluation was conducted. Some stakeholders, however, may be tempted to take results out of context or to use them for different purposes than what they were developed for.
For instance, over-generalizing the results from a single case study to make decisions that affect all sites in a national program is an example of misuse of a case study evaluation. Similarly, program opponents may misuse results by overemphasizing negative findings without giving proper credit for what has worked. Active follow-up can help to prevent these and other forms of misuse by ensuring that evidence is only applied to the questions that were the central focus of the evaluation. Dissemination is the process of communicating the procedures or the lessons learned from an evaluation to relevant audiences in a timely, unbiased, and consistent fashion.
Like other elements of the evaluation, the reporting strategy should be discussed in advance with intended users and other stakeholders. Planning effective communications also requires considering the timing, style, tone, message source, vehicle, and format of information products. Regardless of how communications are constructed, the goal for dissemination is to achieve full disclosure and impartial reporting. Along with the uses for evaluation findings, there are also uses that flow from the very process of evaluating.
These "process uses" should be encouraged. The people who take part in an evaluation can experience profound changes in beliefs and behavior. For instance, an evaluation challenges staff members to act differently in what they are doing, and to question assumptions that connect program activities with intended effects.
Evaluation also prompts staff to clarify their understanding of the goals of the program. This greater clarity, in turn, helps staff members to better function as a team focused on a common end. In short, immersion in the logic, reasoning, and values of evaluation can have very positive effects, such as basing decisions on systematic judgments instead of on unfounded assumptions.
There are standards to assess whether all of the parts of an evaluation are well -designed and working to their greatest potential. These standards, designed to assess evaluations of educational programs, are also relevant for programs and interventions related to community health and development.
The program evaluation standards make it practical to conduct sound and fair evaluations. They offer well-supported principles to follow when faced with having to make tradeoffs or compromises. Attending to the standards can guard against an imbalanced evaluation, such as one that is accurate and feasible, but isn't very useful or sensitive to the context.
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Another example of an imbalanced evaluation is one that would be genuinely useful, but is impossible to carry out. The following standards can be applied while developing an evaluation design and throughout the course of its implementation. Remember, the standards are written as guiding principles, not as rigid rules to be followed in all situations. The feasibility standards are to ensure that the evaluation makes sense - that the steps that are planned are both viable and pragmatic.
The propriety standards ensure that the evaluation is an ethical one, conducted with regard for the rights and interests of those involved. The eight propriety standards follow. There is an ever-increasing agreement on the worth of evaluation; in fact, doing so is often required by funders and other constituents. So, community health and development professionals can no longer question whether or not to evaluate their programs. Instead, the appropriate questions are:. The framework for program evaluation helps answer these questions by guiding users to select evaluation strategies that are useful, feasible, proper, and accurate.
To use this framework requires quite a bit of skill in program evaluation. In most cases there are multiple stakeholders to consider, the political context may be divisive, steps don't always follow a logical order, and limited resources may make it difficult to take a preferred course of action.
An evaluator's challenge is to devise an optimal strategy, given the conditions she is working under. An optimal strategy is one that accomplishes each step in the framework in a way that takes into account the program context and is able to meet or exceed the relevant standards. This framework also makes it possible to respond to common concerns about program evaluation.
For instance, many evaluations are not undertaken because they are seen as being too expensive. The cost of an evaluation, however, is relative; it depends upon the question being asked and the level of certainty desired for the answer. A simple, low-cost evaluation can deliver information valuable for understanding and improvement. Rather than discounting evaluations as a time-consuming sideline, the framework encourages evaluations that are timed strategically to provide necessary feedback.
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This makes it possible to make evaluation closely linked with everyday practices. Another concern centers on the perceived technical demands of designing and conducting an evaluation. However, the practical approach endorsed by this framework focuses on questions that can improve the program. Finally, the prospect of evaluation troubles many staff members because they perceive evaluation methods as punishing "They just want to show what we're doing wrong. We're the ones who know what's going on. Evaluation is a powerful strategy for distinguishing programs and interventions that make a difference from those that don't.
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It is a driving force for developing and adapting sound strategies, improving existing programs, and demonstrating the results of investments in time and other resources. It also helps determine if what is being done is worth the cost. This recommended framework for program evaluation is both a synthesis of existing best practices and a set of standards for further improvement. It supports a practical approach to evaluation based on steps and standards that can be applied in almost any setting.
Because the framework is purposefully general, it provides a stable guide to design and conduct a wide range of evaluation efforts in a variety of specific program areas. The framework can be used as a template to create useful evaluation plans to contribute to understanding and improvement. In addition to information on designing an evaluation plan, this book also provides worksheets as a step-by-step guide. Government Accountability Office with copious information regarding program evaluations. Department of Health and Human Services.
It provides links to information on several topics including methods, funding, types of evaluation, and reporting impacts. This guide includes practical information on quantitative and qualitative methodologies in evaluations. It was originally written for program directors with direct responsibility for the ongoing evaluation of the W. Recommended framework for program evaluation in public health practice.
Gazing into the oracle: This practical manual includes helpful tips to develop evaluations, tables illustrating evaluation approaches, evaluation planning and reporting templates, and resources if you want more information. Avoiding type III errors in health education program evaluation: Handbook of applied social research methods. Randomized controlled experiments for evaluation and planning. In Handbook of applied social research methods, edited by Bickman L. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Guidelines for evaluating surveillance systems. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report ;37 S Handbook for evaluating HIV education. Qualitative and quantitative methods in evaluation research. In Understanding and practicing participatory evaluation , vol. The utilization of qualitative and quantitative data for health education program planning, implementation, and evaluation: Ten organizational practices of community health and development: American Journal of Preventive Medicine;11 6: Harvard Family Research Project.
In The Evaluation Exchange, vol. Evaluation in a complex adaptive system. Planning a program evaluation. University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension. Evaluating community initiatives for health and development. World Health Organization - Europe. Evaluating community efforts to prevent cardiovascular diseases. User-friendly handbook for mixed method evaluations. Identifying and defining the dimensions of community capacity to provide a basis for measurement. Health Education and Behavior;25 3: In Statistics in Community health and development , edited by Stroup. Oxford University Press, In Handbook of applied social research methods , edited by Bickman.
Improving health in the community: National Academy Press, The program evaluation standards: Harvard Business Review ;Jan-Feb Health promotion indicators and actions. What independent sector learned from an evaluation of its own hard-to -measure programs. In A vision of evaluation, edited by ST Gray. In Handbook of applied social research methods, edited by Bickman, L. New Directions for Program Evaluation; What can you build with thousands of bricks?
Musings on the cumulation of knowledge in program evaluation. New Directions for Evaluation; National Quality Program , vol. National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Health care criteria for performance excellence , vol. National Quality Program, Qualitative evaluation and research methods. Toward distinguishing empowerment evaluation and placing it in a larger context. Effective use and misuse of performance measurement. American Journal of Evaluation ;19 3: Perrin, E, Koshel J. Assessment of performance measures for community health and development, substance abuse, and mental health. Handbook of training evaluation and measurement methods.
Program evaluation tool kit: Evaluative inquiry for learning in organizations. Public Health Functions Project. The public health workforce: Public Health Training Network. Practical evaluation of public health programs. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation; Uses of evaluation as a means toward organizational effectiveness. After the conversation, decide which of these individuals will serve best as a accountability partner for the specific milestone you are trying to reach. You cannot ask and ask and not expect to give anything in return.
Figure out what you can offer and actually give it. Spending time writing every day helps you become a better communicator, improves your ability to recall important information, and it also enhances your creativity. Write in a diary format and you also have the added benefit of greater self-understanding. One of the first things I do every morning is write Morning Pages , a practice devised by Julia Cameron that clears my mind and helps to clarify what I want out of life.
To do your own Morning Pages, simply sit down and write three pages. They can be about anything you want them to be. Just write each and every day. The point of this exercise is to work your brain and get your creative juices flowing. They can be big ideas how to cure cancer or small ones ways get your cat to quit scratching the furniture. They say that everyone has at least one million-dollar idea in his or her lifetime.
You may just find yours on this list! I plan up to six tasks that I want to complete during the day on mine and the reason this works is twofold. First, it helps me plan my day in a way that allows me to get the most out of it versus just performing random tasks and hoping that they move you forward. Second, creating a to-do list keeps me on task. While all of these tips are meant to help you forage ahead, sometimes you just need to step back and give your mind a break. This revolutionary time management system is deceptively simple to learn, but life-changing when applied correctly.
By utilizing this technique, I am now able to get 40 hours of work done in just All the while, keeping my energy levels more stable and eliminating burnout for the most part. According to The National Sleep Foundation a short nap of minutes can help to improve your mood, alertness and even performance.
Winston Churchill, John F. Kennedy, Thomas Edison and Salvador Dali were all regular nappers. Breaking your day into chunks helps you be the best you as too much time spent doing one thing can cause you to lose focus…and interest. Now, look at your own day and figure out how you can break it into chunks…and determine what you need to do to spend your time doing what you want to do as much as possible.
Jack Dorsey , co-founder of both Twitter and Square, used to manage both of these companies at the same time without getting overwhelmed. He did this by setting aside different tasks for different days of the week. This can give you the time you need to make headway in those particular areas…without putting your brain on overload. Being your best also requires that you take care of your body and are firing on all cylinders!
Here are a few things you can add to your daily routine to do just that…. For instance, if you inhale for 6 seconds, you will hold for 24 seconds, and exhale for 12 seconds. This type of breathing brings energy to your body, making it healthier and less stressed in the process. The items you choose to consume each and every day can actually affect how well your brain functions, ultimately making it easier or harder for you to hit your goals.
Research has found that your brain operates optimally when you consume a very specific amount of glucose 25 grams, to be exact in a form that is released slowly over time. Foods that fall into this category and have positive effects on your body and mind include:. Do you fall into this group? If so, this can leave you feeling tired all of the time, result in more frequent headaches, and also lower your strength and stamina, making any routine at all difficult to create, let alone keep.
One way to overcome this all-too-common occurrence is to have water with you at all times. Keep sipping the rest of the day too so you get your Mayo Clinic recommended intake of 9 cups daily for women and 13 cups for men. Harvard Medical School says that the polyphenols found in tea have been found to do many good things for your body. Specifically, they are anti-inflammatory and provide antioxidant-like benefits. Here are some of the best teas to drink as well as the reasons why:.
In his article The Healthiest Way to Work , Buffer content crafter extraordinaire Kevan Lee provides a few tips to help you get out of your chair and move more often. Some to think about implementing in your own life are getting up every 20 minutes, using a standing desk, and sitting on a saddle or balance chair. Exercise is the one part of a daily routine that most everyone loves to hate. And there are tons of excuses not to exercise:. Other benefits of regular exercise include having an easier time controlling your weight, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and cancer, improved mood and more!
Take a minute walk.
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Do yoga, stretches, or dance around your living room. Get on the elliptical. Or do the Scientific 7-Minute Workout:. Sleep is extremely important to your overall health for a multitude of reasons. In the short term, not sleeping enough can affect your judgment, mood, and even your ability to retain information.
In the long term, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even early death. Remember, consistency and routine are key when it comes to creating healthy sleep habits. Epstein points to two simple tenets for healthy sleep: Just as mental and physical aspects of your daily routine can elevate you and push you forward, the same is true when you tend to yourself emotionally and spiritually. Here are a few options to consider:. Engaging in this daily practice has a lot of positive benefits. Giovanni with the Live and Dare blog points out 76 of them, such as greater focus, better decision making and problem solving skills, improved memory, and an easier time managing hyperactivity or attention deficit disorder.
There are so many awesome guided meditations available for free online and for many people this is a great way to get started or to enhance your practice. Inspiration and motivation can come from many places—books, music, podcasts, videos, emails, other people. All you have to do is find the one or ones that resonate most with you and commit to engaging with them. Research has shown that inspiration can be activated, captured, and manipulated…and it has a major effect on important life outcomes.
I have a few apps on my phone that I read daily to inspire and motivate me. They keep me centered and grounded, giving me a more stable mental foundation. Another way to get inspired involves repeating positive affirmations, which is why I do this both in the morning and at night. In fact, researchers at Stanford University have found that affirmations have been shown to improve education, health, and even relationships.
So find a word or phrase that is empowering and motivating to you and repeat it over and over again to yourself. If you woke up tomorrow and only had the things you were thankful for today, what would you have? By spending time each day expressing gratitude for all of the blessings in your life, you do two things. Second, the more blessings you are thankful for, the more you draw in or attract.
Beyond just realizing your blessings, it also helps to actively appreciate them. For instance, I make sure I spend some time daily with my daughter and wife because I always want them to know how grateful I am to have them in my life. Come up with a list of all of the things that you are grateful for and go over it when you get up in the morning and again before you go to bed at night.
Imagine the impact this could have on them…and you! According to a study by San Francisco State University, learning something new makes you happier long-term. While it may cause you a little stress in the short-term, at least until you reach some level of comfort, the end result is a higher level of life satisfaction, making it more than worth the initial uneasiness.
How about painting, drawing, or writing? Think about the people in your life…do they give you emotional energy or take it away? There is something extremely satisfying about helping those around you. Something as simple as opening the door for someone or giving a stranger or loved one a genuine compliment has the ability to make a huge impact on their day…and yours.
Make it a goal to do something good for someone each day…and the smile on your face will be as big as the one on theirs. If you have time, you might also want to volunteer at a local charity or non-profit organization. If so…it might be time to take an honest look at what you are currently doing with your day and figure out where your time is being spent. This is where technology can lend a helping hand. There are several this is an understatement!
It also tells you how much time you spend sleeping and engaged in physical activity. It even tracks your moods. I also use the Way of Life app to help me keep track of my habits on a daily basis. Spend about a minute each day to track, identify and change your habits …and as you collect more and more information you will be able to easily spot positive and negative trends in your lifestyle. There are also websites that you can use to help you be the best you. One to consider is The Daily Practice.
This site allows you to set your own repeating goals, helping you turn them into habits. Or you can check out theXeffect on reddit. The late Steve Jobs touched on this concept in the commencement address he gave Stanford students when he said,. If not, then maybe you need to think about what you could be doing that would leave you feeling more fulfilled and full of life. Ever wake up first thing in the morning worried about something that may happen later that day, week, month, or year?
Or maybe you spend a lot of time throughout the day going over future events in your mind, feeling an overwhelming sense of dread as you ponder everything that could go wrong. Specific feedback appears on the research paper. Marker decides that it was well done, with some more elaboration needed in the area of andragogical concepts. Make a list of methods or formats for organizing learning experiences with a brief description of each item.
Try to include at least 2 novel methods. The list will be submitted to the advising faculty member. An annotated bibliography of reference material will be submitted with the list. Each will be evaluated for thoroughness and creativity. Specific feedback appears on the list. Marker decides that it was extremely well done and presented some new and creative methods. Videotape the three one hour sessions of the night student orientation class.
Develop a student workbook to accompany the videotapes. The videotape and workbook will be evaluated by the distance education office consultant and the advising faculty member for effectiveness, practicality, applicability, and depth. Particular attention will be paid to evidence of applying knowledge gained about andragogical concepts. The videotape was completed on time. All evaluators agreed that the tape is of poor quality. Until editing is complete, tape will not be useful. The workbook was not handed in for evaluation.
Leveraging a personalized system to improve self-directed learning in online educational environments. Containing all of the words. Containing any of the words. Containing none of the words. Teaching tip categories Educational Technologies. Planning courses and assignments.
Creating a positive learning environment. Centre for teaching excellence. Territorial Acknowledgement We acknowledge that the University of Waterloo is located on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishnaabeg, and Haudenosaunee people. To gain a better understanding of the differences between andragogical and pedagogical concepts. To create film and edit videotapes of the self-directed learning student orientation class to be used for distance education students.