Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Runaway and Homeless Youth Project

The following link is not a traditional program evaluation. This link provides the plan for a program for runaway youth. In the plan, it includes ideas about program evaluation. In addition, you will find some of the specific points that should be included in a logic model. I thought it would be a good idea for you guys to see the actual planning of a program that is going to need to be evaluated. Take a look at the link and tell me, with a critical eye, what you think.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cost Benefit Analysis of Substance Abuse Treatment

The Journal of Mental Health Policy and Analysis published an article in 1998 entitled, "Cost Benefits of Substance Abuse Treatment: An Overview of Results from Alcohol and Drug Abuse. This study is a review of results from several studies which examines the cost benefits that were experienced, or not experienced, in health care settings after the inclusion of substance abuse treatment services. Review the article, and critically comment on the results, the method of evaluation, and the author's comments on both.

Presidential Debate Number 3 . . . Better Late Than Never

Some of you are involved in a Social Work policy class that is requiring you to watch the third presidential debate. Therefore, we have decided to incorporate that activity into our evaluation research class. What I want you to do is to evaluate the process of the debate. Start with the moderator and how they say the questions are developed . . . how did the moderator address each candidate . . . did the moderator, in fact, moderate or control the debate. Did the candidates respond respectfully or talk over each other. I want you to evaluate the process of what you watched, and perhaps suggest ways you would improve upon the process . . . what would you take out . . . what would you add . . .

P.S. Try not to talk about your own personal politics here, just focus on the process of the debate.

Hooray, they re-enabled the coding!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Evaluation of an Eating Disorder Program

The masses have been clamoring for a program evaluation of an eating disorder prevention program targeted at junior high school students. A couple of different issues here . . . how do you think the program measures up and, ethically, what do you think about this type of program targeted at junior high school students. Should make for plenty of good discussion. Click the link to read the article.

Evaluation of an Eating Disorder Prevention Program

NARCONON Drug Abuse Prevention Program Evaluation

NARCONON is a secular program based on the teachings and writings of L. Ron Hubbard. This program provides drug rehabilitation, eduation, and prevention services. The program provides a curriculum that is meant to be utilized in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms and is designed to supplement the school's core health and drug prevention curriculum. The link below presents a program evaluation of the NARCONON program. Let me know what you think.

Program Evaluation of NARCONON

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Advantages of Qualitative Interviewing in Program Evaluation

The majority of program evaluations utilize a quantitative research method. When reading both outcome and process evaluations, one most often encounters the use of some kind of a survey to elicit changes that have occurred. However, there is another method that can be used to elicit information during program evaluations. Qualitative interviews can be useful in eliciting more detail when investigating both processes and outcomes. These types of interviews can be used by themselves or in conjunction with, otherwise refered to as mixed methods, quantitatively based measures. Click the link below to read a general article about the use of qualitative interviews in program evaluation.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Silly, Silly Laws

Yet another little diversion from a point that was mentioned in class. Susan mentioned a law that was around when she lived in Tennessee that prohibited more that three unrelated females to live in the same dwelling - thus preventing brothels and, as it turns out, sororities . . . Click the links to check out the silly, silly laws.

Silly Law Site One
Silly Law Site Two

Making Evaluation Meaningful to Stakeholders

In 2002, Western Michigan University released a checklist meant to assist in making evaluation meaningful to education stakeholders. The checklist establishes three major areas of interest to make these evaluation meaningful to wide range of stakeholders: 1) Assessing the customer base, 2) Formatting the evaluation report, and 3) Disseminating the information and educating the stakeholders. Click the link to read through the checklist. Do you think this type of a checklist would be useful in social work agencies? Let me know what you think.

Freaky Cell Phone Popcorn

A little break from evaluation here. I thought I would post the youtube clip to which we referred in class tonight. Click the link below to watch one of the fun tricks your cell phone can perform.

Evaluating Medicaid Managed Services

In January, 1994 the Board of Directors and the Health Care Policy and Practice Network of the New York City Chapter held a think tank for leading health and mental health social workers to discuss their experiences with the development of managed care for clients enrolled in the Medicaid program. Out of the think tank, a work group was formed to analyze the implementation of managed care and to make suggestions for impromvement. Click the link to read the report.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cultural Competency Training for Physicians and Health Care Providers

Here is another article that outlines the evaluation of cultural competency training. This time, the article outlines the development and eventual evaluation of cultural competency training for physicians and health care providers. Click the link below and read the ENTIRE article. In addition, I would like you all to view this article with a critical eye . . . start thinking like the budding research evaluators I know you are. Remember, you evaluate things everyday. You evaluate storylines on your favorite tv shows. You evaluate new CD's by your favorite artists. You evaluate new menu items at your favorite restaurants. This task is no different . . . however, this time, you are being asked to evaluate information that could effect you professionally.

Let me know what you think.

Cultural Competency in Pharmacy Students

The following link will send you to an article evaluating the effectiveness of cultural competency training on 60 pharmacy students (from first year to fourth year). In this study, an 8 hour elective course was offered on cultural competency. At the conclusion of the course, a 12 item survey was given to evaluate the effectiveness of the class. Click the link to read the study, and let us know what you think. Give us a little critical evaluation!

NASW Standards of Cultural Competency

Although I have yet to find a social work related study on evaluation and cultural competency, I thought I would post the NASW standards of cultural competency. Below you will find the link for these standards. Check them out. Are the standards what you thought they would be? Do you think anything else should be added to make them more culturally relevant? Let me know what you think.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Evaluation of a Mental Health Court

The folks over in Norfolk Virginia have posted an article about the evaluation of their Mental Health Court. They are reporting that the four year old program has reduced recidivism and saved approximatley 1.63 million dollars in tax player money. They have kept these indivdiuals out of Virginia jails, and instead, have utilized the services of social workers and probation officers, along with already estblished court programs, in an attempt to slowly stabilize these individuals. Click the link to read the article and let me know what you think about this program.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Evaluating School Social Work

I am posting the link for a study which discusses school social work and it's outcomes in the state of Wisconsin. The researchers have not actually performed an evaluation study, but are proposing the best method for implementation. I would like for you all to read through the literature and review the suggestions the authors make for evaluating school social work. Are there suggestions plausible? Did they miss anything? Would their suggestions for evaluation result in the types of outcomes they desire? How might you do this type of evaluation differently?

Click the link to read the study.

As a result, now more than ever before, school social workers need to document positive outcomes for students related to the provision of their work. The challenge is to locally design a simple, valid evaluation system that addresses the priorities of the school district while not consuming inordinate amounts of time and resources. This paper 1) reviews available, relevant literature regarding outcome evaluation of school social work services, 2) includes salient passages from this literature which provide critical direction in designing outcome evaluation, 3) provides suggestions to help guide local design, and 4) outlines a process to develop an outcome evaluation plan using readily available data commonly gathered by school districts that reflects progress on school districts’ goals and is indicative of the positive impact of school social work services.

Freedom Writers Part 12

Freedom Writers Part 11

Freedom Writers Part 10

Freedom Writers Part 9

Freedom Writers Part 8

Freedom Writers Part 7

Freedom Writers Part 6

Freedom Writers Part 5

Freedom Writers Part 4

Freedom Writers Part 3

Freedom Writers Part 2

Freedom Writers Part 1

Monday, August 25, 2008

Evaluation Research: A New Take

So, I had a conversation with the Chair of my Dissertation Committee today (and yes, she does deserve capitalization!). She and I were discussing our evaluation research class, and the inclusion of the blog. We were looking at the blog and reviewing the objectives of the class, and an epiphany occurred . . . I have set this blog up all wrong . . . like any good Chair, she let me come to this conclusion myself . . . therefore, I have switched things around a bit.

Now, I will be posting articles and news stories that relate to evaluating evaluative research. If you guys look at the powerpoint on Evidence Based Practice, you will notice that one of the last steps in this process is a practitioner learning to evaluate reserach that is relevant to their practice. Therefore, I have switched some verbage in the blog, and now feel like I have a better grip on things.

Check back for updated posts upon which you can comment!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Practical Realities of Evidence Based Practice

I wanted to write a quick post demonstrating how often the concept of evidence based practice is explored in the literature . . . even when it is not referred to as evidence based practice. The reality is, any time you see an article that refers to the effectiveness of a certain intervention, program, or agency, you are reading about evidence based practice. Simply put, evidence based practice is applying research to intervention, program, agency, etc in an attempt to examine whether or not what is being done is actually working.

Think about it, how many of you have worked at an agency, or even a store in the mall, when you were told what to do without any explanation as to why you are doing it, or how what you are doing is benefitting the desired end result. . . probably not very often. However, with the advent of the concept of evidence based practice, research is providing the practitioner the ability to examine the hows, whens, wheres, and whys of what they are doing. Check out the following links to read some examples.

Evaluating Therapeuting Effectiveness in Counseling and Psychotherapy

The effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy on changing eating disorder symptoms and psychopathology of 32 anorexia nervosa patients at hospital discharge and one year follow-up.

Behavior Modification in the Treatment of Obesity

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Welcome Budding Researchers!

So . . . if you are reading this blog, you are most likely enrolled in Evaluative Research in the School of Social Work at the University of Alabama . . . Or . . . you are one of the many people all over the planet who have subscribed and make this blog a part of your daily reading . . . :) Either way . . . Welcome to the wild, wild world of Social Work Research!

This blog will feature articles, news stories, etc. that will attempt to bring research off of the text book page and into real life. You see, those of you who are social work practitioners or quite frankly anyone who exists in day to day life, already utilize the skills we will discuss in this class . . . we're just going name these skills with researchy labels and discuss the research process.

We are going to try and bring this topic to life a bit by discussing research in terms of practical application and evidence based practice. If they are not already, these two concepts will be branded into your brain. The concepts of practical application and evidence based practice are key because they are what allow us to transform the academic experience of research into the real life experience of research.

So, check back in on a regular basis and I'll try to come up with creative ways to bring this stuff to life!

Oh, by the way, check the map and live feed to the right of the postings . . . that map will show you the people around the world that are viewing our site . . . TRANSLATION: People all over the world will be reading your comments . . . that's kind of cool !