The ultimate goal of the alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) prevention efforts across Minnesota is to reduce youth substance use. Provision of high-quality evaluation training and activities will play a direct role in supporting this goal. Program evaluation can be used to assess program design and implementation, improve program performance, and demonstrate the success of a program.
Additionally, program evaluation helps advance the understanding of effective services. Evaluation can identify helpful approaches, learn why some approaches may not work, and test new ways of addressing individual or community concerns. By sharing this information, the effectiveness of others who are working toward the same goals can be strengthened.
A well-thought-out evaluation has some major benefits for your program and the people who use your services.This course takes you through five essential steps of evaluation, including how to meaningfully engage stakeholders throughout the process.
An effective logic model makes an explicit, often visual, statement of the activities that will bring about change and the results you expect to see for the community and its people. Take this course to learn about the purpose and components of a logic model, as well as basic steps for building and reviewing your model.
You have to make many decisions when conducting an evaluation, and often these decisions are not clearly black and white. This course will lead you through key principles for protecting the rights and dignity of those who participate in your evaluation and examples of how to apply these principles in the gray area.
There are many different ways to collect data, such as key informant interviews, surveys, and focus groups. This course will explore the benefits and challenges of these different kinds of data collection.
There are multiple factors to consider selecting data sources and making meaning from the data. Learn how to interpret and critique data in this course.
In order to share your evaluation results successfully, you need to understand your audience and how to communicate effectively with them. This course will lead you through key decisions you will need to make to ensure that your evaluation is used as effectively as possible.
Evidence-based practices have been shown through scientific research and evaluation to be effective at preventing or delaying behaviors we all want to prevent or delay, such as underage drinking. Take this course to learn more about identifying and selecting evidence-based practices.
By selecting and addressing high-priority shared risk and protective factors, you can bring together a diverse set of stakeholders to work toward a common goal. In this course, you will learn more about risk and protective factors that affect both substance use and mental health, as well as how to prioritize which factors are most important in your community.