Evaluation costs:  A few weeks ago, I posted a summary about evaluation costs. A recent AEA LinkedIn discussion was on the same topic (see this link).  If you have not linked to other evaluators, there are other groups besides AEA that have LinkedIn groups.  You might want to join one that is relevant.

New topic:  The video on surveys posted last week generated a flurry of comments (though not on this blog).  I think it is probably appropriate to revisit the topic of surveys.  As I decided to revisit this topic,  an AEA 365 post from the Wilder Research group talked about data coding related to longitudinal data.

Now, many surveys, especially Extension surveys, focus on cross sectional data not on longitudinal data.  They may, however, involve a large number of participants and the hot tips that are provided apply to coding surveys.  Whether the surveys Extension professionals develop involve 30, 300, or 3000 participants, these tips are important especially if the participants are divided into groups on some variable.  Although the hot tips in the Wilder post talk about coding, not surveys specifically, they are relevant to surveys and I’m repeating them here.   (I’ve also adapted the original tip to Extension use).

  • Anticipate different groups.  If you do this ahead of time, and write it down in a data dictionary or coding guide, your coding will be easier.  If the raw data are dropped, or for some other reason scrambled (like a flood, hurricane, or a sleepy night), you will be able to make sense out of the data quicker.
  • Sometimes there are preexisting identifying information (like location of the program) that have a logical code.  Use that code.
  • Precoding by the location sites helps keep the raw data organized and enables coding.

Over the rest of the year, I’ll be revisiting survey on a regular basis.  Survey is often used by Extension.  Developing a survey that provides you with information you want, can use, and makes sense is a useful goal.

New topic:  I’m thinking of varying the format of the blog or offering alternative formats with evaluation information.  I’m curious as to what would help you do your work better.  Below are a few options.  Let me know what you’d like.

  • Videos in blogs
  • Short concise (i.e., 10-15 minute) webinars
  • Guest writers/speakers/etc.
  • Other ideas
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