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Dec/10

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Paul Watkins on Itemized Report-Writing Template

My name is Paul Watkins, and I am an associate professor in Educational Leadership. Recently, Southeast Missouri State University’s College of Education received its on-site Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and NCATE visits, evaluating the quality for both graduate and undergraduate programs.  This post examines a key element in preparing for the examiner’s visit: an Itemized Report-Writing Template.

It does not take long before panic sets in for the report writer over the question, “Where do I begin?”  An Itemized Report-Writing Template helps move data collection, organization, and analysis along that linear path toward a successful evaluation document.

Portions of the template are completed by the College that describes the unit from 30,000 feet and moves closer to ground level with individual program data.  Southeast, as an example, provided three paragraphs explaining the College mission driving its purpose and the conceptual framework that graphically demonstrates the threads weaving together the unit’s functionality.  This serves as an opening statement for the template that is applied to every program report.

Beyond this unit overview, the template establishes a priority for reporting the program’s data.  Headings and subheadings establish the order of data with a standardized, template introduction alerting the evaluator about what is under each heading.  Further, required data areas are populated with examples of charts that help disaggregate numerical scores or counts.  Some data that are too large for the report (core competency alignment with curriculum, for instance) can be referenced under the appropriate subheading.  As a result, appendix data and reference are not overlooked in the final report.

Rad Resource: Examples of finished report writing can be found on the College of Education’s website, and clicking on Report.  Having an Itemized Report-Writing Template takes the confusion and complexity from writing and provides more confidence for the writer, approaching such a high stakes document.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

2 comments

  • Paul Watkins · January 20, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Bruce–

    I am not an expert on Microsoft applications. For what you are wanting to do Access may be the most flexible program. Sorry that I can’t help you more.

    Reply

  • Bruce Morison · January 16, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    Hi

    I have been writing property appraisal reports for about 40 years and have watched the format, length and content change over the years. The time has come for us to look seriously at the way we present and prepare our reports with a need to simplify the process by having a standard report template with much of the detail being filled in by the assessor him/her self using “drop-down” boxes embedded in the template to speed up the data input as much as possible.

    Are you able to advise how such a template is put together using MS Word/Excell/Access?

    Any suggestions you are able to offer will be greatly appreciated.

    Bruce Morison
    BE(Civil), MIPENZ, ANZIV, SPINZ
    Veitch Morison Valuers Ltd
    P O Box 957, Taupo 3331
    New Zealand

    Reply

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