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OBE Step Four: Outcomes
Part Three: Data Sources

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Types of Data Sources

Examples, Special Features

Pre-post test scores
Program records
Assessment reports
Records from other organizations
Anecdotal self-reports Interviews
Open-ended surveys
Quantifiable self-reports Survey questions with quantifiable attitude rating scale
Self report of frequency of behavior
Self report of perceived level of competence
Professional assessments Supervisor assessment of reference skills
Portfolio assessment
Government, school, business or organization records Academic, attendance, and other school records
Employment records
Surveys and focus group results

Surveys: A system for collecting information to:

  • Describe
  • Compare
  • Explain

knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, skills, life status or condition

Interview (Phone or In-person)
Self-administered questionnaires (Mail, one-to-one, or group)
Online (Direct web survey or e-mail)
Survey Response Rates: How to Increase

  • Up-front volunteers/commitment
  • Incentives (material or informational)
  • Over-sampling
  • Direct distribution (time consuming)

Survey design:

  • Know all desired outcomes from the beginning
  • Define all potentially imprecise or ambiguous terms
  • Statements vs. Questions
  • Use audience and/or others to help identify objectives
  • Keep it specific, direct, and focused
  • Avoid over-tasking a survey

Focus Groups

  • Group interviews
  • Discussions = Data
  • Well trained moderator

Qualitative Data

  • Exploration and discovery
  • Content and depth
  • Interpretation

Focus Groups are Not:

  • Sales or educational seminars
  • Ongoing committees
  • Decision-making or consensus-building groups
  • Support groups
  • Public forums/open community meetings

Focus Group Process

  • Decide what you need to hear from participants
  • Create conversation among participants around chosen topics
  • Summarize what was learned from the participants

Four Uses:

  Academic Research Product Marketing Evaluation Research Quality Improvement
Problem Identification Generating Research Questions Generating New Product Ideas Needs Assessment Identifying Opportunities
Planning Research Design Developing New Products Program Development Planning Interventions
Implementation Data Collection Monitoring Customer Response Processes Evaluation Implementing Interventions
Assessment Data Analysis Refining Product or Marketing Outcome Evaluation Assessment Redesign

February 1, 2006 -- asm
For questions or comments, contact Linda Todd.
URL: http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/libdev/obe/basic/ods_tip.htm
Last Updated: June 4, 2019