Evaluation Core Curriculum Courses

The Evaluation Core Curriculum is designed to help increase your program’s capacity to evaluate its intervention. Ultimately, evaluating your program will create the knowledge needed to improve services, and allow your program to serve more people, better.

AmeriCorps State & National

 
Planning

Laying the Groundwork Before Your First Evaluation: This presentation covers five foundational activities that programs should undertake during their first grant cycle so that they are ready to do an evaluation when they receive recompete funding for a second grant cycle.

  • Laying the Groundwork Before Your First Evaluation Slides (PDF) (PPT)
  • Laying the Groundwork Before Your First Evaluation Assessment Tool (PDF)
  • Laying the Groundwork Before Your First Evaluation Assessment Handout (PDF)
  • Laying the Groundwork Before Your First Evaluation - First Six Years Handout (PDF)
  • Access the recording of the Laying the Groundwork Before Your First Evaluation presentation held on January 28, 2016 here. (Description of audio.)  

Developing the Right Research Questions: This presentation describes the importance of research questions in overall program evaluation design, identifies the four basic steps for developing research questions, and demonstrates how to write strong research questions for different types of evaluation designs (i.e., process evaluation and outcome evaluation).

  • Developing the Right Research Questions Slides (PDF) (PPT)
  • Research Questions Handout (PDF) (DOC)
  • Access the recording of the Developing the Right Research Questions presentation held on April 16, 2015 here. (Description of audio.)
Budgeting for Evaluation: This course discusses the key components of an evaluation budget and approaches for creating an evaluation budget.
  • Budgeting for Evaluation Slides (PDF) (PPT)
  • Access the recording of the Budgeting for Evaluation presentation held on December 11, 2014 here. (Description of audio.)  
How to Write an Evaluation Plan: This course explains the purpose of an evaluation plan and outlines the key sections of the plan and what should be included in each section.
  • How to Write an Evaluation Plan Slides (PDF) (PPT)
  • How to Write an Evaluation Plan Slides February 26 (PDF
  • Handout packet for how to write an evaluation plan (PDF)
  • Sample evaluation plan checklist (PDF)
  • Example Impact Evaluation Plan (PDF)
  • Example Impact Evaluation Plan Annotated (PDF) (Accessible Version)
  • Example Process Evaluation Plan (PDF)
  • Example Process Evaluation Plan Annotated (PDF) (Accessible Version)
  • Access the recording of the How to Write an Evaluation Plan presentation held on February 26, 2015 here. (Description of audio.)
Logic Models: This course introduces the key components of a logic model and discusses how logic models can be used to support daily program operations and evaluation planning.
Managing an External Evaluation: This presentation describes how to manage an external evaluation and is intended for grantees that are considering or will be undertaking an external evaluation of their program.
  • Managing an External Evaluation Slides (PDF) (PPT)
  • Example Statement of Work (PDF) (DOC)
  • Sample Evaluation RFP (PDF) (DOC)
  • Sample Evaluator Assessment Form (PDF) (DOC)
  • Group Exercise (PDF) (DOC)
  • Access the recording of the How to Manage an External Evaluation presentation held on March 19, 2015 here. (Description of audio.)
Overview of Evaluation Design: This course explains different types of evaluation designs, the differences between them, the key elements of each, as well as considerations in selecting a design for your AmeriCorps program evaluation.
 
Implementation

?Basic Steps in Conducting an Evaluation: This course describes the basic steps for conducting an evaluation including planning, collecting and analyzing data, and communicating and applying findings.

  • Evaluation Basic Steps Slides (PDF) (PPT)
  • Evaluation Basic Steps Prework (PDF)
  • Evaluation Basic Steps Handouts with Examples (PDF)
  • Access the recording of the Basic Steps of Evaluation presentation held on November 18, 2014 here. (Description of audio.)
Data Collection: This course will address key questions to consider prior to selecting a data collection method; the importance of selecting appropriate methods; the advantages and disadvantages of a variety of methods; and the difference between quantitative and qualitative methods and their roles in process and outcome evaluations.
Managing an External Evaluation: This presentation describes how to manage an external evaluation and is intended for grantees that are considering or will be undertaking an external evaluation of their program.
  • Managing an External Evaluation Slides (PDF) (PPT)
  • Example Statement of Work (PDF) (DOC)
  • Sample Evaluation RFP (PDF) (DOC)
  • Sample Evaluator Assessment Form (PDF) (DOC)
  • Group Exercise (PDF) (DOC)
  • Access the recording of the How to Manage an External Evaluation presentation held on March 19, 2015 here. (Description of audio.)
 
Reporting

Reporting and Using Evaluation Results: This course will help AmeriCorps State and National programs understand the importance of communicating and disseminating evaluation results to stakeholders; write an evaluation report and become familiar with other key reporting tools; and determine meaningful programmatic changes based on evaluation findings and learn how to implement them.

  • Reporting and Using Evaluation Results Slides (PDF(PPT)
  • Pre-work Handout (PDF)
  • Dissemination Plan Example (PDF) (XLS)
  • Access the recording of the Reporting and Using Evaluation Results presentation held on June 18, 2015 here. (Description of audio.)
 
Using Results for Action and Improvement

Reporting and Using Evaluation Results: This course will help AmeriCorps State and National programs understand the importance of communicating and disseminating evaluation results to stakeholders; write an evaluation report and become familiar with other key reporting tools; and determine meaningful programmatic changes based on evaluation findings and learn how to implement them.

Developing a Long-Term Research Agenda: This course will help participants recognize the importance of building a long-term research agenda; identify the various stages in building evidence of a program’s effectiveness; and understand the key questions to consider prior to developing a long-term research agenda.
  • Developing a Long-Term Research Agenda Slides (PDF) (PPT)
  • Developing a Long-Term Research Agenda Handout (PDF)
  • Access the recording of the Developing a Long-Term Research Agenda presentation on July 30, 2015 here. (Description of audio.)
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Many of these materials were developed by NORC at the University of Chicago, in collaboration with CNCS.


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