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Outreach Evaluation Workshop Series

Workshop Series

The goal of the Outreach Evaluation Workshop Series is to develop the ability of those who conduct health information outreach projects to gather and use evaluation data for program improvement and decision-making. The series targets general milestones in program evaluation: needs assessment, to identify the needs of target communities and make decisions about resources and activities to address those needs; program planning, focused by outcomes (i.e., intended results); data collection of useful information through a variety of methods; and data analysis and display with the intention of improving projects and making decisions about their future implementation. The series focuses on community-based projects, but the logic of evaluation can be used in many settings.

Workshop Descriptions

Community Assessment (3 hours)
(Approved for 3 MLA CE contact hours; MLA Course #3013)

This class will help librarians and others involved in health information outreach to design quality programs and garner support for those programs by taking the right first step: collecting community and needs assessment information about the groups of people who will be involved.

Topics include collection of data to create a picture of a target community, including its needs, assets, resources, and potential obstacles that may affect the success of health information outreach efforts. This information also can be vital in winning the support of community partners and in strategic planning. For example, the information gathered in a community assessment is often used in background sections of funding proposals. Participants will learn how to use existing data, such as US Census data, state data, and local resources in community assessment. They also will learn the type of information they should seek through interviews and questionnaires. The workshop will combine lecture with interactive group exercises that allow participants to work with data and plan community assessments.

By the end of the workshop, participants should be able to:

  • Identify different sources of data (e.g., organizational records, community members) that can be used in developing community profiles
  • Describe the strengths of different data collection approaches for gaining insight into their target communities
  • Develop a plan for conducting a community assessment
  • Identify people to interview to get a more local view of their communities
  • Use community assessment information for grant proposals

For more information or to request a session to be held at your location or via distance technology, contact your Regional Medical Library or Susan Barnes.

Planning Outcomes-Based Outreach Programs (3 hours)
(Approved for 3 MLA CE contact hours; MLA Course #3011)

This workshop will help librarians and anyone interested in health information outreach to focus on what they want to accomplish by designing outreach programs around intended results. Participants will learn to construct logic models to plan health information outreach projects, with project outcomes as the pivotal part of the plan.

The class will be very useful to those writing proposals for funding, but it will also address the usefulness of the logic models through the life of the outreach project. Participants will learn how to create logic models and then write objectives and evaluation plans based on their logic models. A well-constructed logic model pulls together a picture of how resources and planned activities will lead to outcome achievement, providing a perfect framework for developing funding proposals. The logic model also is useful at other stages of a project, such as reviewing strategies and writing final reports. The workshop will combine lecture with interactive group exercises where participants develop a logic model and use it to write objectives and develop an evaluation plan.

By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Create a logic model and be able to apply it in different stages of the project (proposal writing, project implementation, and report-writing).
  • Write objectives that are closely related to the logic model.
  • Develop an evaluation plan that will provide useful information for program improvement and decision-making.

For more information or to request a session to be held at your location or via distance technology, contact your Regional Medical Library or Susan Barnes.

Answering the Right Questions: Data Collection for Health Information Outreach (4 hours)

In this workshop, participants will learn to apply good principles of data collection to assure that data - both qualitative and quantitative - will be useful in making project decisions.

The emphasis will be on efficient methods that can keep data collection at a manageable level. Topics will include using evaluation questions to focus data collection; conducting short, to-the-point interviews to collect outcome data; using a "contact sheet" to organize interview notes and communicate findings with other team members; using participatory methods to get information from a large number of community members; using standard "counts" (attendance rates; drop-out rates) as evaluation data; and designing and administering short questionnaires.

By the end of the project, participants will be able to:

  • Use end-of-session and session-follow-up questionnaires effectively
  • Design short questionnaires and interview guides that can be used to collect very targeted feedback
  • Design participatory methods to collect qualitative data from a larger group of individuals.
Identify existing information (e.g., attendance) collected for other reporting purposes that can be used for evaluation

For more information or to request a session to be held at your location or via distance technology, contact your Regional Medical Library or Susan Barnes.

Finding Information in Numbers and Words: Data Analysis for Health Information Outreach (4 hours)

Participants will learn basic methods for compiling and analyzing qualitative and quantitative evaluation data to maximize their usefulness in project improvement and decision-making.

Discussion, presentations, and exercises will cover compiling and analyzing evaluation data. For quantitative data, participants will learn to use descriptive statistics and graphs to make sense of their data. For qualitative methods, participants will learn to organize and code text-based data, then analyze it. Topics will include analyzing qualitative data (e.g., developing and using codes, summarizing, interpreting); compiling and graphing descriptive statistics; and exploring the validity of evaluation findings.

By the end of the session, participants will be able to

  • Code text-based (qualitative) data, summarize findings, and use the findings to make improvements or decisions about health outreach programs.
  • Graph quantitative data to develop visual pictures of findings
  • Summarize numerical (quantitative) data using frequencies, percentages, means, medians, and modes
  • Interpret findings and use them to make improvements and decisions about health outreach programs.

For more information or to request a session to be held at your location or via distance technology, contact your Regional Medical Library or Susan Barnes.