Evaluation Services

How do you know if your program is reaching its target audience, or if it’s meeting the intended goals? What do funding agencies look for when comparing proposals? How do people use the website you made?

Measuring the effectiveness of a program or project can be a difficult task, but it’s an essential one. At CIRES, we have an in-house evaluation team that can help scientists within CIRES, or from other institutions and agencies. We’re here for anyone who seeks help with evaluation.

Evaluation Services

Student writing
Program Evaluation

Evaluation can be done at many stages of a program or project. Learn about the program evaluation services we provide.

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Workshop Evaluation

Learn how we can support your professional development workshops with a clear evaluation plan for before, during, and after the event.

Computer covered in post-it notes
Website Evaluation

Website evaluation will let you know if different audiences are getting what they need from your website.

Get the Evaluation Basics

What is evaluation?

Evaluation is a systematic investigation to assess how well a project is meeting its goals.

Why should you evaluate your project?
Evaluation will:
  • Monitor quality
  • Gather evidence on impacts
  • Document results and findings
  • Provide publishable data
Where do you start?

It is critical to the success of a project to articulate and carefully craft the project goals and objectives. Project goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Based.

A logic model, such as the example below, is a visual representation that can help align your project activities with the project goals and identify ways to measure the outcomes.
evaluation graph

Image credit: www.Evalu-ATE.org

How do you develop an evaluation plan?

An evaluation plan is guided by the project’s logic model, theory of change, or evaluation matrix. Evaluation can include both formative and summative assessment.

 formative vs summative grpahic

Examples of evaluation activities include:

  • Surveys
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Observations
  • Pretest to posttest assessments
  • Web analytics
  • Tracking
What else should I know?

Evaluation often requires approval from the institutional review board (IRB) of the institution that performs the study. The IRB board reviews all studies that include human subjects. IRB boards will usually rate evaluation studies as exempt (or even as non-research), requiring minimal oversight of the evaluation process. The IRB board ensures that data is de-identified before sharing, protect the rights and privacy of study participants, and holds the evaluation team to a high standard of data management and storage. If you are working with us at CIRES, our evaluation team will request IRB approval.

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