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NEO Shop Talk

The blog of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Evaluation Office

Archive for April, 2015

Infographics Basics: A Picture is Worth 1000 Data Points

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Open Access Week at University of Cape Town infographicYou’ve been collecting great data for your library, and now you have to figure out how to use it to convince someone of something, for example how great your library is. Part of the trick is turning that data into a presentation that your stakeholders understand – especially if you are not there to explain it.  Infographics are images that make data easy to understand in a way that gets your message across.

It turns out it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to create your own infographics.  Last week I went to a hands-on workshop at the Texas Library Association called “Infographics: One Picture is  Worth 1,000 Data Points,” taught by Leslie Barrett, Education Specialist from the Education Service Center Region 13 in Austin, TX. Using this website as her interactive “handout” http://r13hybrarian.weebly.com/infographicstla.html, Leslie walked us through the process of creating an infographic (and as a byproduct of this great class, she also demonstrated a number of free instructional resources, such as Weebly, Padlet, and Thinglink).

Starting at the top of the page, click on anything with a hyperlink.  You will find a video as well as other “infographics of infographics”  which demonstrate how and why infographics can be used.  There are also a variety of examples to evaluate as part of the learning process.

Finally, there is information on the design process and resources that make infographics fairly easy to create.  These resources, such as Piktochart and Easelly, have free subscriptions for simple graphics and experimenting.

Leslie Barrett allowed us to share this website with you, so feel free to get started making your own infographics!

Image credit: Open Access Week at University of Cape Town by Shihaam Donnelly / CC BY SA 3.0

Keep It Simple with Micro-Surveys

Friday, April 17th, 2015

A hot trend in marketing research is the micro-survey. Also known as the bite-sized survey, these questionnaires are short (about three questions) with the goal of collecting focused feedback to guide specific action.

The micro-survey is a technique for overcoming what is arguably the biggest hurdle in survey assessment: Getting people to respond to your questionnaire. It is a technique that is particularly useful for populations where mobile technology use is on the rise, and where there is competition for everyone’s attention in any given moment.  If we expect our respondents to answer our questionnaires, we can’t saddle them with long, matrix-like questions or require them to flip through numerous web pages. We need to simplify, or we will lose respondents before they ever get to the submit button.

The trick to micro-surveys is to keep them short, but administer multiple questionnaires over time. You can break down a traditional membership or customer questionnaire into several micro-surveys and distribute them periodically. “Survey Doctor” Matthew Champagne gives evidence to the effectiveness of this technique in his blog post about bite-sized surveys. He provides an example of a project that boasted an 86% response rate.

Of course, the length of your survey is not the only factor contributing to response rate. You should strive to follow the Dillman method, which provides time-tested guidelines for administering surveys. (Here is one researcher’s description of how to use the Dillman method.) Also, take a look at Champagne’s Nine Principles of Embedded Assessment. His website has articles and YouTube videos on how to implement these principles.

If you want to try doing a micro-survey, check out the effective practices described in this blog article from the marketing research company Instantly.

 

Grid of sticky notes with notess: Simplify, Keep it Simple, Less is More, Spend Less, Unclutter, Become Minimalist

An Easier Way to Plan: Tearless Logic Models

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Sample Logic Model

Are you apprehensive when someone says it’s time to do “outcome-based planning using a logic model?” The Wichita State University Community Psychology Practice and Research Collaborative, and the Community Psychology Doctoral Program in Wichita, KS, have come up with an easy way to do logic models. This is described in an article, “Tearless Logic Model,” in the Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice.

Their goal was to create a facilitated, non-intimidating logic model process that would be more likely to be used in planning.  This approach is designed to give community-based groups, faith-based organizations, smaller nonprofits and people with little experience in strategic planning greater impact when planning community projects.

Tearless Logic Model planning requires only flip charts, magic markers, blue painters’ tape and a safe space to work with a group.  Jargon is eliminated, and is replaced with simple terms that anyone can understand.  For example, instead of asking “what are the anticipated impacts,” a facilitator would ask, “if you really got it right, what would it look like in 10 or 20 years?”

The step by step process that anyone can use is found in their article http://www.gjcpp.org/en/tool.php?issue=7&tool=9 as well as links to a Prezi visual guide and the full PDF that includes a helpful template.

Ashlee D. Lien, Justin P. Greenleaf, Michael K. Lemke, Sharon M. Hakim, Nathan P. Swink, Rosemary Wright, Greg Meissen. Tearless Logic Model. Global Journal of Community Psychology Practice [Internet].  2011 Dec [cited 2015 Apr 10];2(2). Available from http://www.gjcpp.org/pdfs/2011-0010-tool.pdf

 

Story-Telling: The NTOTAP Community Health Advocate Project Showcase

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Want to see how stories can raise the visibility of successful programs? Check out the project showcase of Community Health Advocate programs, created under the direction of the Native Telehealth Outreach and Technical Assistance Program (NTOTAP). NTOTAP, a program of the Centers for American Indian & Alaska Native Health, provides training on website design and social media marketing to Native health programs. The short videos, which are project slides with narrative by the community health advocates themselves, provide digital vignettes of community health advocacy activities and accomplishments.

I heard about the NTOTAP showcase from Spero Manson, PhD, Director of the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health. Dr. Manson was a keynote speaker at the Quint*Essential Conference in Denver last October. He incorporated one of the videos into his presentation. (See the video of Russell George under “Walleen Whitson.”) Dr. Manson’s use of one of the stories proves the versatility of digital story-telling. The audience heard, in a participant’s own words, how a community health program made a difference in his life.

In the field of evaluation, which emphasizes evaluation use, story methods are emerging as an important trend. Project stories seem to have greater reach to program stakeholders than traditional reporting formats. The NTOTAP showcase is a great example of digital project story-telling in action.

Logo for NTOTAPNTOTAP Willeen

Last updated on Monday, June 27, 2016

Funded by the National Library of Medicine under Contract No. UG4LM012343 with the University of Washington.