Solving the Mystery of Program Evaluation: Start with the End in Mind

Sergakis_smPresenters, Georgianna Sergakis and Jill Clutter, from Ohio State University, discussed the importance of using a logic model for program evaluation. The breakout session began with both presenters sharing about their backgrounds and moving into an interactive activity with the attendees. Georgianna, a respiratory therapist, stated that she trains new trainees’ at Ohio State University who are becoming respiratory therapists. Most of her work and knowledge is on Tobacco and the phenomenon of e-cigarettes.

Jill is a professor at Ohio State University at the School of Health Science and works closely with the Rehabilitation Division as well. She teaches graduate students and explains that science is in everything we do and everywhere.

The presenters led the group into a pole activity where attendees were asked few questions about program evaluation. Then, attendees answer the questions and they were able to visually see what others thought about program evaluation. This sparked a conversation among attendees and the presenters.

During the breakout session, Jill explained the importance of the logic model and explains the benefits of using this tool. She stresses that the logic model is a tool used to clarify an initiative and to graphically depict a plan for future program evaluation. The logic model serves as a foundation for planning, communicating and evaluation. Although there are many different types of logic models, it is important to understand that one size does not fit all. In addition, she stressed how it is very important to start with the end in mind when sorting out a plan for program evaluation.

Presenters discussed about evidence-based practices such as the literature of CDC Framework for Program Evaluation. This framework explains the importance of working backwards to connect all the gaps and find the missing pieces that may need additional evaluation to have a successful program. By using a logic model, it visually provides a big picture of evaluation. Recognizes what has been done and what still needs improvement for future evaluation.

The presenters shared with the attendees three different types of evaluation. The first was context evaluation. This particular evaluation method looks closely at the issues of the program relationships and reevaluates the needs assessment. Second, implementation evaluation is the implementation of the program, what activities were executed and to what extent, and the quality of the overall program. Lastly, outcome evaluation initiates a base to discuss the overall progress and what still remains unresolved for future evaluation.

The breakout session concludes by attendees engaging in a active program evaluation activity.