3. Project Assessment and Evaluation

This section is geared toward researchers evaluating entire projects. The highly regarded sites that are included focus on libraries, educational settings, or non-profit projects. This collection of sites will help the new project manager or evaluator with the ‘big picture,’ providing good instruction on project assessment as well as specific tools and techniques.

We welcome suggestions for additional web sites. For this section, please send suggestions to Carolyn Radcliff (radcliff@kent.edu).

General Guides for Evaluation

OERL, the Online Evaluation Resource Library

Helps with design, conduct, document, or review of project evaluations. Provides a large collection of "instruments, plans, and reports from evaluations that have proven to be sound and representative of current evaluation practices" largely for areas of education. Includes modules on designing an evaluation, developing written questionnaires, and developing interviews. The material is from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education.

Enhancing Program Performance with Logic Models

This effective online course takes a holistic approach to planning and evaluating education and outreach programs. Includes a module on logic models and outcomes assessment, explanations, definitions, and exercises. Some information is aimed at those working in community nutrition education, but the first module has wider applicability. The authors are Ellen Taylor-Powell, Larry Jones, and Ellen Henert from the University of Wisconsin-Extension.

The 2002 User-Friendly Handbook for Project Evaluation


A basic guide for evaluation of educational programs, targeted to National Science Foundation (NSF) managers but applicable to other users. Focuses on understanding evaluation, communicating, and managing the evaluation. Includes an overview of quantitative and qualitative data collection methods, and strategies that address culturally responsive evaluation. Available as 92-page PDF or in sections. Written by Joy Frechtling and others, published by the NSF. Frechtling is a consultant with Westat, a research corporation.

Evaluation Activities in Organizations


Organizes links to articles, white papers, web pages, and other material by type of evaluation. Includes original material about program evaluation. This site is part of the Free Management Library, a joint effort between Management Assistance Program for Nonprofits (MAP) and Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD, of Authenticity Consulting.

Outcome Based Evaluation

Taking Stock: A Practical Guide to Evaluating Your Own Programs
A manual designed to assist community-based organizations determine quality and impact of the programs and to improve programs. Focuses on documenting context and needs; defining goals and objectives; using quantitative and qualitative data; strategies for data collection; and interpreting and reporting data. 97-page PDF. Written by Sally L. Bond, Sally E. Boyd, and Kathleen A. Rapp with Jacqueline B. Raphael and Beverly A. Sizemore for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

United Way Outcome Measurement Resource Network
Describes outcome measurement and provides various resources including documents produced by the <?XML:NAMESPACE PREFIX = ST1 />United Way plus related links that discuss both program and community level assessment. The United Way is a leader of the movement toward outcome based assessment of social interventions and the need to assess the human impact of programs and services.

W. K. Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook (1998)


Provides background and step-by-step directions and worksheets to facilitate planning, implementing, and assessing evaluation activities. Provides an excellent discussion of different types of evaluation and a detailed explanation of outcome evaluation. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is well-known for the development and use of outcome based program and policy evaluation.

Evaluating Digital Reference Services

DREI: Digital Reference Education Initiative


Provides a set of rubrics that describe core competencies for the performance of digital reference. These competencies can serve as a basis for training, the development of standards and policy, and as a framework for digital reference assessment. Includes a reference list of resources used in the development of these competencies as well as the names of individuals working on the DREI board, all leaders in the field of digital reference. The DREI is a project headed by the Virtual Reference Desk.

The Virtual Reference Desk (VRD) Facets of Quality


Provides an extensive discussion of and framework for the assessment of digital reference services used by the VRD to set a standard of services for participants in this network. These standards are applicable to all types of digital reference services, including K through 12 services, and consortia. The VRD, “a project dedicated to the advancement of digital reference” is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.

Statistics, Measures, and Quality Standards for Assessing Digital Reference Library Services: Guidelines and Procedures. Syracuse, NY: ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology, 2002


This document is a draft version of the book cited above that provides a practical set of guidelines and procedures for the assessment of digital reference services. Assists in the design and development of ongoing programs to assess digital reference services using methods that may allow for comparisons across different libraries. This project was written by Charles McClure, R. David Lankes, Melissa Gross, and Beverly Choltco-Devlin and was funded by OCLC, DLF, RUSA, and a number of public and academic libraries.