Healthy and Robust Computer Connections (Mid-York Library System)

Outcome-Based Evaluation
Best Practices in New York State 

(Example illustrating the use of a Complete OBE Package, including a logic model)

Outcome #1: Library directors know what computer resources need to be updated or replaced.

Indicators: # and % of library directors who respond to the Computer Resources Inventory and Needs Assessment Survey.

Data Sources: Survey results compiled by Automation Consultant.

Results Summary: We sent a Survey, called “one gigabyte survey and needs assessment” in a Word document on a 64 MB flash drive and asked the libraries to either email it or send it back on the drive. The flash drive also contained 4 movies on keeping the Norton Antivirus up to date and a hint that they would need the movies for subsequent surveys. We provided and incentive of a 1 GB flash drive for a response. 31 of 43 (73%) libraries responded, with detailed information on the number of staff and public computers, including specifications. They identified a total of 100 staff computers that need to be replaced or upgraded. We consider this survey to be highly successful as to number and percent of responses, accuracy of responses and getting them present to the definitive need to replace staff computers as well as public computers

Outcome 1:The outcome truly states what the participants will know as a result of the survey because the project was designed for them to apply a knowledge set in the workplace. The use of and incentive to achieve a large survey return was effective. The outcome predicted what the participants would be able to achieve and a measurement was selected that would verify that achievement. The report makes clear how all the elements of OBE were applied and interpreted the data provided. 

Outcome #2: Library staff update the virus protection software on computers at least once a month.

Indicators: # of times Mid-York computer technicians restore a computer after it has been infected by viruses, comparing before and after distribution of Virus Protection movies and Virus Protection Survey; # and % of libraries who responded to the Virus Protection Survey that they update once a month or more often.

Data Sources: Counts of restored computers from IT Dept To-Do database; Survey results compiled by Automation Consultant.

Results Summary: 16 computers were restored during the sixth month time period of June-December 2006, before the Virus Protection Survey. These may have been affected by viruses, spyware, excessive downloads or equipment failure. In addition to virus and spyware protection, we identified a further need for restrictions or recommendations against game-playing and downloading, or training on distinguishing what is safe and what is not safe to download; 29 of 43 (67%) libraries responded to the Virus Protection Survey, however, only 21 (49%) indicated that they update the virus definitions at least once a month. We consider this survey be successful in reminding people to perform the virus definitions updating; however, the survey identified the need for more reminding and training. We plan regular reminders. Since the survey, our computer technicians report that when they check during site visits that more computers have updated virus definitions.

Outcome 2:The outcome truly states what the participants will do as a result of new knowledge because the project was designed for them to apply a knowledge set in the workplace. While the report suggests the need to keep reminding participants of the need to update virus protection, the initial 49 percent success was probably and realistic expectation for a first follow-up and should be considered a success. 

Outcome #3: Library public services staff download materials to flash drives or other devices.

Indicators: # and % of library public services staff who use a flash drive or assist a customer in using a flash drive at least once a week.

Data Sources: Self-reports after assessment exercises and training on downloading to a flash drive. Results Summary: We have not yet directly asked for this self-assessment. We have observed more staff using flash drives to download and upload files during workshops. One of our administrative objectives for this grant was to make use of flash drives ubiquitous and that was achieved, especially with the target population of computer technicians and key-user trainers. 

Outcome 3: While the follow-up has not yet occurred, the planned follow-up is OBE appropriate. It would also be good to ask patrons abut the value of the assistance received when library staff provides the described assistance applications. All of the outcomes in this project met OBE standards.


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Last Updated: June 3, 2009