The Impact Cycle

  1. Define the impact do you hope to see. I hope to see people who participate in our program 1. Feeling more confident in their ability to deal with the real work and 2. Actually being more successful in the real world.
  2. Specify the way you will measure that impact. Both of these impacts would likely require surveys, the first qualiative and the second quantitative  the first right after the course, with maybe another follow up after some time and the second also later so that participants have enough time to more toward their goals (ie. graduate from high school, get accepted to college, graduate from college, find a job, find a job in their field, etc.). This is something that should probably be done several times in a longitudinal type study. 
  3. Include a way to get information about unexpected positive or negative side-effects. This would probably best be achieved by a general question at the end of the qualitative survey. Over time while we would retain the open ended question, we might be able to refine the other questions further through the answers we receive. 
  4. Decide on a way to record your results. It should be relatively easy (kiss of death, I know) to record the quantiative results in a simple spreadsheet for analysis. The qualitative results will be much more difficult. Maybe they could be collected via computer/internet and saved digitally. They would probably have to be open coded and I’m not sure if there is a way to do that quickly, but it can be done completely by hand or through a program like Nvivo. Maybe I’ll do an evaluation project.
  1. Did you see the impact you’d hoped to see?
    1. Pilot programs have been run in various schools with some preliminary evaluations. After only a truncated program 70% of students at one high school had a better idea of what it is they want to do then when they started, and 72% had more confidence in being able to be successful. 
  2. Did you see any unexpected positive impacts?
  3. Did you see unexpected negative impacts?
  1. These were not the results you wanted, and might have also seen negative side-effects.
  2. You saw some of the results you wanted, but you also saw negative side-effects.
  3. You saw the results you wanted, even if they could be improved.
The rest of these questions require a more in depth impact analysis, which will hopefully be able to be carried out soon. 
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