IMPROVE Evaluation Framework

IMPROVE Evaluation Framework

Do you believe the evaluators can help programs achieve their goals? Do you know how to use evaluation and assessment as a toolkit to stay on track to meet your program’s objectives?

The overarching goal of any evaluation is not only to measure the outcomes and verify the implementation of a project but to help IMPROVE the results by supporting the program’s activities and services. For example, if a program’s goal is to increase graduation rates for first-generation students, continuous evaluation of all program’s phases and activities can guide educators to target specific needs of the students to ensure that all activities offered by the program are effective in helping the students elevate their grades, understand the importance of finishing high school, and raise their self-confidence.  

A well-designed strategic evaluation plan is based on the program’s goals, objectives, and milestones. It not only assesses outcomes and effectiveness but brings together all project partners’ needs and perspectives.

The following steps represent a framework for any evaluation process to help IMPROVEthe outcomes.

Inform the staff about the evaluation plan and goals you are going to achieve. The evaluators discuss the plan with the staff to coordinate all stages with the program implementation plan.

Monitor the progress towards objectives. Build a comprehensive database of measured outcomes by developing and administering assessment instruments (surveys, focus groups, and interview protocols). It is imperative to involve all project partners in the evaluation process, so they feel valued, connected, and united by the same goals.

Provide feedback after conducting any evaluation step by giving intermediate or preliminary reports on the progress towards benchmarks and objectives.

Research the existing literature on the evaluation topic to develop recommendations for the project staff to modify their activities and enhance the impact of the program.

Outline and timely sharethe results of any assessments to inform the project partners of the successes and identify areas that need more emphasis and improvement.

Visualize your findings to make the information easily understandable for the project partners and the general public.

Empower the educators and broader audience by reporting the final findings based on the analysis of the evaluation data, conclusions, and recommendations to develop best practices in the field.

Such an approach to evaluation uses the power of data and research to increase the quality of program activities, strengthen the outcomes and promote continuous program improvement.

Diagonal blue lines as a separator

Contributed By Nadia Kardash

Nadzeya (Nadia) Kardash, Ph.D., is an Associate Researcher with the Research, Evaluation & Dissemination Department in the Center for Educational Opportunity Programs. She currently conducts research and evaluation of the CEOP’s federally funded college access programs including GEAR UP, TRIO, and other college access programs. 

Follow @CEOPmedia on Twitter to learn more about how our Research, Evaluation, and Dissemination team leverages data and strategic dissemination to improve program outcomes while improving the visibility of college access programs.