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Evaluation: Data Sources and Methods (online)

Improve quality and ensure the success of your programs with this evaluation course online. This online course will explore a variety of sources and methods for collecting data to inform your evaluation.

About this course

Evaluation is a valuable tool for strengthening the quality of programs and improving outcomes. Evaluation provides an opportunity for critical, strategic thinking through collecting and analysing evidence about a program's activities and outcomes to both understand its effectiveness, and to improve and inform future program services. This course will cover a range of both quantitative and qualitative methods for collecting evaluation data.

In this course you will learn when to apply a range of data collection methods to support evaluation. This course will consist of six online modules that will be facilitated by our presenters through an interactive live video link, with each module 60 minutes in duration (6 hours in total). This is the third course in our evaluation online series which includes:

  1. Evaluation Course Online: Getting Started
  2. Evaluation Course Online: Evaluation Design
  3. Evaluation Course Online: Data Sources and Methods (this course)
  4. Evaluation Course Online: Organising and Analysing Data
  5. Evaluation Course Online: Reporting for Impact

Course structure

This course provides participants with applied knowledge and skills to evaluate programs and projects within their work. Lead by two academic practitioners who have extensive experience conducting evaluations, you'll be taught by the experts in the field. These live, online Zoom modules will allow for real-time interaction between the presenters and participants, encouraging deep discussion and analysis of the course content. The modules that make up this online course will cover the following topics:

  • Analysing administrative data.
  • Designing and running focus groups and interviews.
  • Creative facilitation techniques for focus groups.
  • Undertaking a survey (a) sampling.
  • Undertaking a survey (b) questionnaire design.
  • Reviewing literature and other documents.


Learning outcomes

At the completion of this evaluation course online you will:

  • Understand the role that quantitative and qualitative data play in evaluation.
  • Understand the strengths and weaknesses of various data collection methods.
  • Choose from among the variety of methods for data collection.
  • Understand potential ethical issues with the choice of methods.


Delivery style

This evaluation course online will be facilitated through an interactive live video link. Registered participants will be able to connect to the video link using Zoom (available free) and a reliable internet connection is required. Video connection details will be made available to each participant prior to the course via Canvas, the UTS Learning Management System (LMS). Course materials, presentations and/or readings will also be made available to participants within Canvas LMS.

Each module from within this online course will follow a common learning path that will involve:

  1. Some minor preparatory work to get participants thinking about the topic prior to the module.
  2. Clarifying specific learning objectives for the module.
  3. Introduction of key concepts, frameworks, terminology.
  4. ‘Deconstruction’ of a worked example.
  5. Extension of key concepts to discuss challenges and risks and other applications.
  6. Online interactive discussion to help participants apply knowledge to their own evaluation context.
  7. Short summary of main principles/skills/concepts.
  8. Direction to other useful resources and tools.


Course prerequisites

This online evaluation course has no prerequisites and is open to all members of the public. This course is the third in the evaluation online course series and builds on the content covered in earlier courses. Participants are not required to complete all the courses within the series although it is the suggested learning pathway.

  1. Evaluation Course Online: Getting Started
  2.  Evaluation Course Online: Evaluation Design
  3. Evaluation Course Online: Data sources and Methods (this course)
  4. Evaluation Course Online: Organising and Analysing Data
  5. Evaluation Course Online: Reporting for Impact


In-house training solutions

This evaluation course online can also be customised and/or delivered in-house. Find out more.

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for professionals seeking to develop their understanding of evaluation. The course is also suitable to professionals who have to conduct evaluations as well those who need to manage or commission an evaluation, such as evaluation officers, research officers or policy officers.

If you are new to evaluation, you might be interested in our Evaluation Course Online: Getting Started which will introduce you to evaluative thinking and practices.

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