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EXAMPLES: Course Objectives, Assessments, Outlines

Objectives:

By the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Develop program objectives based on findings from a needs assessment.
  2. Demonstrate the use of a logic model as a tool for linking the phases in the program development and program evaluation process.
  3. Describe the uses for program evaluation, including examples of front-end, formative, and summative uses.
  4. Compare and contrast selected approaches to program evaluation.
  5. Explain the steps in the program evaluation process.
  6. Develop an evaluation plan for an existing environmental education program.
  7. Select appropriate evaluation tools to use in response to specific evaluation questions.
  8. Conduct the data collection, analysis, and synthesis portions of the evaluation process for an existing environmental education program.

Assessment:

  • Objectives 3, 4, 5 will be assessed through a written exam (essay format).
  • Objectives 1, 2, 6 will be assessed by having students develop a proposal in response to the EPA’s Office of Environmental Education annual grant solicitation notice, which includes the development of program objectives based on needs assessment information, the creation of a logic model to describe the program they are proposing, and the development of an evaluation plan reflecting the program’s logic model (students’ proposals will be scored using a rubric that will be provided in advance to students, along with a sample proposal).
  • Objectives 6, 7, 8 will be assessed through a class project, which involves an evaluation of an existing environmental education program, where students collectively work together to respond to the stakeholders’ evaluation questions by developing and carrying out a program evaluation (a performance-based rubric, provided in advance, will be used to assess students’ individual contribution to the group effort and their written reflections on what they learned through this class project).

Conceptual Outline:

  1. The Program Development Process: phases; tools for linking program development and evaluation
  2. Program Development Considerations: organizational mission and goals; stakeholder participation; characteristics of quality environmental education programs; needs assessments; developing program objectives
  3. Program Evaluation: purposes and benefits; evaluation models; guiding principles and standards and IRB’s role; steps in the evaluation process; focusing an evaluation
  4. Developing an Evaluation Plan: evaluation questions; sources of information; methods and tools; sampling and design
  5. Overview of Class Project/Introduction to Program to Be Evaluated
  6. Selecting and Developing Data Collection Tools
  7. Administering Tools/Data Collection
  8. Data Analysis and Synthesis
  9. Reporting and Using Evaluation Information (presentation to Program that was evaluated)
  10. Application of Theory and Techniques to the Development of a Program Proposal (putting it all together; linking program development and evaluation).