My name is Kim Norris and I am the Evaluation Coordinator for University of Maryland Extension’s Food Supplement Nutrition Education (FSNE) program. Included in my work is to assist educators in developing useful strategies for assessing the impact of their work on our target audience, limited-income, and often, low-literacy, populations.
Hot Tip: Utilize Audience Response Technology System in group class settings for immediate, anonymous assessment and feedback. The “clicker” technology, as we sometimes refer to it, allows questions to be asked both orally and in writing, allows individuals to respond anonymously, and allows for immediate feedback after responses for both educator and audience. We used these recently with our own educators to ask questions that, in a setting in which anonymity was not guaranteed, could lead to false answers due to high motivation to fall within socially acceptable norms. Since results are calculated and visible to all on the spot, group responses can be reviewed, analyzed, interpreted, and addressed by the group, thereby increasing potential for empowering participants.
Other advantages of using this easy-to-teach technology include the ability to:
- collect data from larger numbers of people in a shorter amount of time
- eliminate data entry errors by direct transfer of electronic data to a data base
- engage technology-averse populations in computer technology to their benefit
- help low-literacy populations participate in surveys as respondents
- provide confidentiality for respondents
The technology can lead to missing data if not preceded by sample questions and as group sizes become larger or less engaged. Studies are underway to better understand strengths and limitations of the technology as an educational and evaluation tool.
Rad Resource: A Bibliography of Selected Readings on Audience Response Systems: http://bit.ly/audienceresponsesystems.
This week’s posts are sponsored by AEA’s Collaborative, Participatory, and Empowerment Evaluation Topical Interest Group (http://comm.eval.org/EVAL/cpetig/Home/Default.aspx) as part of the CPE TIG Focus Week. Check out AEA’s Headlines and Resources entries (http://eval.org/aeaweb.asp) this week for other highlights from and for those conducting Collaborative, Participatory, and Empowerment Evaluations.