Evaluation 101: Constructing Evaluation Plans that Work

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Park and recreation professionals with little to no evaluation knowledge/expertise are invited to join this two-hour interactive session to learn about and to practice developing a clear evaluation plan. Using programs from their agencies, participants will take part in hands-on exercises and use materials provided to plan evaluations for their real-life programs. Participants will leave the course with the confidence to plan a program evaluation that can be used to collect evidence to share with stakeholders and funders.  

During the session, attendees will engage in reading and listening to new instructional content; participating in thought and application exercises; engaging in small and large group discussions and share-outs; and providing and accepting peer and instructor feedback. Activities will walk participants through course topics such as understanding the definition of evaluation and the evaluation life cycle, writing effective program objectives and evaluation questions, selecting appropriate measurable indicators and metrics, creating a basic logic model, and documenting the next steps for building upon and executing their program evaluation plans at their agencies. Each attendee will be provided access to all materials created during the session to use as a guide or starting point for evaluating their programs after returning to work. Please note that because this is an interactive session, it will not be available on-demand after the live event.

Teaching Objectives:

By the end of this module/ event, learners will have:

  1. Developed one program objective statement and one evaluation question that could be used to evaluate a program at their agencies.
  2. Selected measurable indicators and metrics appropriate for evaluating a program objective.
  3. Created a logic model they can use to evaluate a program objective.
  4. Used the evaluation life cycle diagram as a guide to list the next steps of an evaluation plan.
  5. Modeled that basic evaluation planning skills can be learned and that they are capable of incorporating simple, efficient and cost-effective evaluation into their work.

Dianne Palladino, PhD (she/her)

Senior Evaluation Manager

National Recreation and Park Association

Dianne Palladino (she/her) is NRPA’s Senior Evaluation Manager. Dianne oversees evaluation activities and strategy at NRPA, and she is dedicated to developing training and resources for park and recreation professionals that will assist with effective, low-cost evaluation efforts in the field. Dianne has over 16 years of research and/or evaluation experience and leadership and additional experience in several diverse fields. She holds undergraduate degrees from Clarkson University and Georgia Institute of Technology, and she earned her Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University.

Austin Barrett, PhD (he/him)

Evaluation Manager

National Recreation and Park Association

Austin Barrett (he/him) is an Evaluation Manager with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). Austin joined NRPA in 2021 and works to evaluate the impact of NRPA-facilitated grants and Association-wide activities. Prior to joining NRPA, he served for 3.5 years as a Data Analyst and System Administrator working to address homelessness in the Upstate of South Carolina. In 2017, Austin completed his Ph.D. in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management at The Pennsylvania State University. Before that, he worked as a Wilderness Ranger for the US Forest Service and an Interpretation Ranger with the National Park Service.

Jennifer Ward (she/her)

Evaluation Manager

National Recreation and Park Association

Jennifer Ward (she/her/hers) is an evaluation manager with NRPA. She is passionate about participatory evaluation and brings significant experience with qualitative data collection and analysis. Her background is in the disability field, focusing on inclusive community recreation. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and her master’s degree in Program Evaluation and is currently completing her Ph.D. in Human Development.


Evaluation 101: Constructing Evaluation Plans that Work
06/23/2022 at 2:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
06/23/2022 at 2:00 PM (EDT)   |  120 minutes
NRPA Learning Experience Survey 2022 (Evaluation 101)
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Live Viewing: 0.200 CEU credits and no certificate available
Live Viewing: 0.200 CEU credits and no certificate available