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188.8.131.52 Let’s Talk Data Collection!
While there are many ways of collecting data, the following methods are the most commonly used:
Methods of Collecting Data
|Surveys||A set of questions administered to a group of people in person, over the phone or online||
|Focus Group||A focused discussion with key stakeholders i.e. service users or partners led by a facilitator||
|Service Data Reviews||A review of existing data on a program or service or initiative captured through service logs and administrative data related to delivery||
|In-Depth Interviews||A one-on-one structured or semi-structured interview where an interviewer guides an in-depth discussion on a subject of interest||
As outlined in section 1.2 some evaluation approaches incorporate arts-based or creative methods of data collection using photography, storytelling or sketching. Using art can offer a powerful way to connect to students that allows them to share their thoughts or experiences in different ways.
Which Methods Might Work Best for You
When deciding on which methods might work best for you, consider the following questions below. In Section 3.2, the steps you take to develop the tools listed above that you decide on will be outlined.
- How much time do you have to develop tools? Recruit participants? Coordinate
groups/evaluation activities? Analyze data?
- Do you have access to evaluation participants in sufficient numbers depending on the method you are interested in?
- Who will pilot your tools?
- What kind of technology can you access – e.g., online survey platforms? Analysis software?
Worksheet #4: Data Collection Plan
A list of all the toolkit’s worksheets can found in Appendix 3
Case Example 5
Lee is a student leader at Coolwaters University who organizes diverse social awareness events on campus along with the Student Life Centre. He has been learning more about alcohol addiction and mental health among students and has organized a seminar with guest speakers from the local Addictions Treatment Centre. The seminar is planned as an all-day event with two workshops and one keynote speaker. Lee is also developing feedback surveys for all those planning to attend. His learning goals are: (1) to determine how useful the seminar was for students who attended; and (2) if students would like to see more events such as these on campus in future. Lee has developed the following questions:
a.) The following information was most useful to me:
☐ Early signs of mental health and addiction challenges
☐ Information about available services in the area
☐ How to talk about addiction
b.) How satisfied were you with the speakers of workshop 1 and workshop 2:
Unsatisfied Somewhat Satisfied Satisfied Very Satisfied
c.) List three (3) things you learned today that you did not know before:
d.) Has this seminar affected the way you think about alcohol addiction or other forms of addiction?
Consider the following:
- Choosing a data Gathering Method
- Surveys versus focus groups versus interviews
- Choosing Appropriate Data Collection
- Using Art to Collect Data: ArtReach Toronto
- Harvard University, Program on Survey Research
- Survey Monkey, 5 Tips for Writing a Great Survey
- Tips for Building Effective Surveys
- Get The Most Out of Your Survey: Tips for Writing Effective Questions
- Likert Items and Scales
- CDC Coffee Break: Using Likert Scales in Evaluation Survey Work
- The 5Qs of this Toolkit
- 1.0 What is Evaluation?
- 2.0 Planning Your Evaluation
- 2.1 Assessing Readiness
- 2.2 Building an Evaluation Plan
- 2.3 Section Summary
- 3.0 Conducting Your Evaluation
- 3.1 Understanding the Ethics of Data Collection
- 3.2 Designing the Tools and Collecting your Data
- 3.3 Inputting, Analyzing and Interpreting Data
- 3.4 Section Summary
- 4.0 Sharing and Learning
- 5.0 Evaluation Projects
- Resource List
- Partner Resources
- Bibliography and References
- Appendix 1: Glossary of Terms
- Appendix 2: Case Study Answers
- Appendix 3: Worksheets & Templates