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4-H Youth Development Home »  Evaluation

getting started

Where Do I Start?

Evaluation is a process that involves asking questions, collecting and analyzing data to make judgments about our programs, improve our programs and inform our planning decisions. 

As a member of Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development, you are responsible for making sure your programs are as good as they can be, meet the needs and use resources wisely. Working with volunteers and youth raises particular issues for evaluation.

First Things First!

  • PowerPoint icon Getting Started with Evaluation (18 slides, 1374 KB) - This brief PowerPoint provides background on what evaluation is and is not, images of evaluation, language and terminology and some key concepts. 
  • PDF Icon Evaluation Glossary (4 pages, 140 KB) - Common terms used in evaluation.
  • PDF Icon Developing a Concept of Extension Program Evaluation (6 pages, 120 KB) - UW-Extension Program Development and Evaluation publication that provides background on how we define and apply evaluation in Extension.
  • Program Evaluation Standards - Four professional standards have been established in the field of evaluation to guide sound practice: Utility, Feasibility, Proprietary, and Accuracy Standards. Select the link for Program Evaluation Standards to view this document by the Joint Committee on Evaluation Standards, posted on the Evaluation Center web page at Western Michigan University.
  • PDF Icon Ways to Improve the Quality of Your Program Evaluations (2 pages, 20 KB) - A Quick Tip  from UW-Extension Program Development and Evaluation based on the evaluation standards.      

Planning Your Evaluation

The better you plan, the more useful your evaluation will be.

  • PowerPoint icon Planning Your Evaluation (32 slides, 2755 KB) - There are 5 core steps to think about when planning a program evaluation.  Use this PowerPoint to review these steps and all the key concepts in order to create a quality evaluation.  Turn to the documents posted below for additional help. 
  • Windows Media Icon Planning Program Evaluations Wisline Web Presentation - Presenter: Ellen Taylor-Powell,UW-Extension Evaluation Specialist. This program focuses on taking a youth development program logic model and developing an evaluation plan for the program, using the Evaluation Planning Worksheet.
  • PDF Icon Planning a Program Evaluation (27 pages, 333 KB) - UW-Extension Program Development and Evaluation Publication that provides a helpful overview of planning for a program evaluation.  The publication addresses focusing the evaluation, collecting the information, using the information and managing the evaluation.
  • Planning a Program Evaluation Worksheet - Look for the link to the Word version of this document posted on the Cooperative Extension Program Development and Evaluation web page. The worksheet is a companion for the Planning a Program Evaluation publication. Use this planning worksheet to help you remember the steps and create your plan.
  • Examples of Completed Planning a Program Evaluation Worksheets

Human Subjects Protection (HSP)

Youth Specific Issues

  • Collecting Data From and About Children
    • word icon Collecting Data from and about Children (3 pages, 37 KB) - Includes information about: Adapting interviews and questionnaires to the developmental and literacy levels of children, obtaining parental consent, and considering other sources of data about children.
  • Involving Youth In Evaluation
    • word icon Involving Youth in Evaluation (2 pages, 35 KB) - Discusses participatory evaluation with youth to build skills that can be applied to other research, evaluation, and planning situations, create change as youth are involved in decisions that affect organizations and communities, bring insights and access to informants that might be missed if they were not involved.