January 2012 - Inciter
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The Success Case Method

If you want to know if your program's participants mastered the objectives of the program, the Success Case Method might be for you. (See this report for a summary of this method: http://tinyurl.com/successcasemethod). This approach involves focusing on those individuals who were either particularly successful or particularly unsuccessful at learning your program's objectives.The approach is very purposeful, in that you don't select a random sample of participants; you go to participants at both ends of the learner spectrum to gather information. It might seem odd to not focus on the average learner, but not so. Focusing on the extremes can offer you much more specific information that is likely to help the average learner as the goal is to seek out successes and failures and rigorously describe the story of...

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Evaluations on a Shoestring

Having more demands on a program than a budget will allow was common well before the market went into decline. Today, programs have even fewer resources than several years ago, but they are still expected to maintain all documented aspects of their programs, including evaluation, which makes the need for efficiency highly critical. How do you carry out an evaluation on a tightly constrained budget?A common approach is to first have a discussion with the evaluator about the various evaluation designs that may be appropriate for this particular program. Part of that discussion will likely involve the strengths and weaknesses of each methodology and the costs associated with each. Oftentimes, when designing a budget for an evaluation, we propose "phases of evaluation", such as logic model development (Phase 1), evaluation...

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