Module D: Evaluate
Short-term, medium-term and long-term outcomes
Remember, outcomes can be observed in the short term, medium term, and long term. Start with an achievable, measurable short-term outcome, then ask “what happens next?” Then “what happens after that?” In this way you show how you assume the program leads to long-term outcomes or goals. Examine the examples below.
Short-term outcomes: changes in skills, attitudes and knowledge
Girl Scout can identity 5 birds by name in an exhibit and on a field trip.
Medium-term outcomes: changes in behavior and decision making
Girl Scout chooses bird-watching activity for family vacation.
Long-term outcomes: changes in status of life conditions
Girl Scout becomes biology major in college.
Plan to evaluate short-term outcomes, but check whether you have the time and money to evaluate any medium- or long-term outcomes. For example, see the Denver Firefighters Museum (found on the Cases page on full site) case teaching fire safety to children with the long-term goal of reducing the number of children as fire victims, but the outcome is medium-term: “children demonstrate knowledge of fire safety” as tested in a teacher-administered survey 4th weeks after their museum visit to see if they can identify the safest way out of their house in case of an emergency.
The MoNA program provides intensive training and other art museum services for Skagit County elementary school teachers in order to enhance teaching with art and related concepts such as visual thinking. Which of the follow statements are outcomes for the MoNA Program?
A. Teachers attend 5-day summer workshop at MoNA and attend 2 training days on exhibits
B. Teachers know how to lead an effective discussion with students about art, develop a curriculum unit for an exhibition, and teach a related hands-on art making lesson
C. Docents are trained to lead school visits
D. Teachers incorporate Museum visits and links to exhibitions into their ongoing classroom teaching
E. Teachers currently feel uncomfortable going to MoNA and don’t have time to include art in their classrooms
Answers: B - this is the change that will occur in the teachers if the program is successful; D - this is the change in behavior that will occur in the teachers if the program is successful.
The Riverton Library Memoirs Program is offering a year-long program with a facilitator helping participants to grow in their writing of autobiographically-based essays through critique, discussions with published writers and public performance. Which of the following statements are outcomes for the Riverton Memoirs program?
A. Participants critique the original and revised copies of other participants’ work.
B. Participants write in a way that is judged as improved according to blind expert review of original and revised essays.
C. An expert on creative writing is hired to evaluate original and revised essays (without knowing the names of writers or the order of composition)
D. Participants demonstrate that they feel they belong to a community of writers
E. Riverton residents respond to a needs assessment questionnaire describing the type of workshop they would like.
Answers: B - this is the change in skills that will occur if the program is successful; D - this is the outcome (change in attitude) that will occur if the program is successful