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Asking the Right Questions: Data Collection for Health Information Outreach

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Northwest Region (NN/LM PNR) is offering another RML Rendezvous Medical Library Association Continuing Education (MLA CE) course, Asking the Right Questions: Data Collection for Health Information Outreach . Susan Barnes, Assistant Director of the Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC) and Maryanne Blake, Outreach/Evaluation Coordinator at NN/LM PNR, will teach the course.

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 designing and administering questionnaires and developing guides for conducting interviews. Approved for 4 MLA contact hours.

Learning objectives include:

  • Identify and correct common errors in questionnaire items
  • Describe ways to maximize response rate
  • Write and sequence interview questions to assure the interviewee's comfort and participation
  • Use "story" techniques as a foundation for targeted, semi-structured interviews
  • Select a "purposeful" sample for interview projects
  • Describe the benefits of incorporating quantitative and qualitative methods in evaluation studies
Topics on this page:

Dates and Time, Recordings

The Data Collection course consists of three one-hour RML Rendezvous sessions and assignments to complete on your own time. Recordings will be posted next to the session dates below soon after their completion. The sessions will be webcast at 1:00 PM Pacific Time (12:00 PM Alaska Time and 2:00 PM Mountain Time) and held every Wednesday on the following dates:

Planning and Evaluating Health Information Outreach Projects booklets
These booklets are designed to support this, and other, evaluation workshops. They will be referred to during this course, and you can turn to them for more information. You do not need to print them out. If you would like copies send a message to and they will be mailed to you. Material in this course is based on Booklet 3: Collecting and Analyzing Evaluation Data. pdf_icon (WARNING: this is a big pdf file--34,760Kb). We have used it to create this class but will not be referring to it during the class; this url is provided for your information only.


(Agenda in printable pdf version) pdf_icon

Session 1. - Wednesday, September 9, 1:00 - 2:00 PM PST

Session 1. Homework assignment: Exercise One. word_icon

Session 2: - Wednesday,September 16, 1:00 - 2:00 PM PST

Session 2. Homework assignment: Exercise 2. word_icon

Session 3. - Wednesday, September 23, 1:00 - 2:00 PM PST


Please register for Data Collection via the registration link at

The class is limited to twenty (20) participants for MLA CE credit. Registration will automatically close when the limit has been reached, and information about how to request placement on a wait list will be provided at the registration link when this occurs. This class has been approved for 4 units of MLA CE credit. Upon receipt of the two assignments, the final exam, and the MLA CE evaluation form, your MLA CE certificate will be mailed to your registration address.

How to Participate

During the session times connect to the following URL and login as a Guest, using your full name:
For more information on how to use Adobe Connect for the RML Rendezvous go to