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Answering the Right Questions: Data Collection for Health Information Outreach

Class Description

It really isn't that difficult to collect data. Collecting useful information for program evaluation, on the other hand, takes a plan and some skill in the use of basic evaluation tools. This class emphasizes simple, focused techniques that allow you to gather information to answer your key evaluation questions while keeping the volume of data to a manageable level.

By the end of the session, you will be able to:

  • Write basic evaluation questions and use them to guide your choice and design of data collection methods.
  • Choose when to use quantitative methods, which provide numerical data, or qualitative methods, which provide text-based data.
  • Write effective questionnaire items.
  • Develop a questionnaire-distribution system that will boost your response rate.
  • Design simple interview guides to collect stories that can be used for program evaluation.
  • Adopt interviewing techniques that can make the interview process more comfortable and productive for you and the interviewee.

Continuing Education

Upon successful completion of this class, each participant will receive 4 hours of continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association.


This session is offered by Cynthia Olney, PhD, of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Outreach Evaluation Resource Center. Cindy has been an evaluation specialist since 1991 and has worked with the OERC since 2004. She specializes in providing evaluation consultation to libraries, public health departments, and community-based organizations.