What is evaluation and why do I need to take time to evaluate my program? may be the question that is on your mind...and honestly you would not be alone. Many program managers and grantees don't ever think about formal program evaluation and many of those who actually do, think of evaluation as taking "a snapshot of outcomes at the end of a program to prove to a funder that it worked or failed. Evaluation should, however, be used as an ongoing management and learning tool to improve an organization's effectiveness." (Martinez, 2005)
As Martinez outlined, "Well-run organizations and effective programs are those that can demonstrate the achievement of results. Results are derived from good management. Good management is based on good decision making. Good decision making depends on good information. Good information requires good data and careful analysis of the data." These are all critical elements of evaluation.
To define Evaluation, we will use this working definition: a periodic process of gathering data, and analyzing data to allow resulting information to be used to determine whether your organization or program is effectively carrying out planned activities, and the extent to which it is achieving its stated objectives and anticipated results. In short...Are we actually doing what we set out to do and what have we accomplished?
What difference is your arts program making? How do you know? What is the value of an arts program to a school? A community? The state? Do these questions sound familiar? Are they questions you are being asked? Is your arts program respected? Funded? Supported? Valued? These questions are easily answered with evaluation.
Why Shared Evaluation???? Participation in the Shared Evaluation System, provides artists and arts programs with an answer to those everyday questions, but does so in a way that allows for a Collective Picture, and a Collective Voice for Arts in Alabama.
So where do I get started???? The information collected in the Shared Evaluation model does not have to start from scratch, even if you are a new program. Much of the information requested can be gleaned from grant application, teacher and program evaluation goals, strategic planning and accreditation goals and program descriptions.
The shared evaluation model can be completed by an individual or a group of people (using the shared evaluation model worksheet) and can be accessed and worked on from any internet capable devise, yes, you can do this on your smart phone or tablet.
Don't delay! Get started today!
The shared evaluation model can be modified as needed, as often as every day if you like, and all responses are automatically saved, so your responses are secure.