Improvement & Evaluation : Step 3

Plan Evaluation

Teams during the Plan Evaluation phase identify performance measures and evaluation methods to evaluate the solutions, both in terms of progress on implementation and the impact on contributing factors. If data-collection procedures are not in place, teams should develop them at this point.

Recommended activities:

A. The team reviews the solutions recommended in the Pathways to Results Implementation Plan. For each solution, team members identify an evaluation method that helps them decide whether or not the solutions have been implemented in the Pathways to Results Evaluation Plan. When choosing evaluation methods (e.g., questionnaires, interviews, or follow-up studies), the team should consider the knowledge and capacity of others to conduct the process properly, the cost and feasibility of conducting the method in the allocated time, and the ability of the group to analyze the data. Whatever methods are chosen, the team needs to be able to answer the following questions:

  • By what measures should the proposed solutions be evaluated?
  • Does the team have data available for these measures currently? If not, can team members collect it?
  • Does the team have a baseline for these measures?
  • What measures will give the team an indication of whether the solutions are working, including measures of progress toward the desired outcomes?

Additionally, how will the team know that its evaluation methods are sensitive to the solutions being implemented, as well as its contributing factors?

After identifying possible measures and data-collection methods, teams should discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using different methods and evaluate the extent to which the solutions have addressed the problem. Selected evaluation actions and reporting requirements should be added to the Pathways to Results Implementation Plan as additional steps.

B. The evaluation of outcomes may require that data collection takes place in the future, and in these cases, teams should propose an extended timeline. For instance, if the team is focused on improving student retention results, several semesters may elapse before improvements due to solutions take effect and results can be assessed.