Washington State University Resources
Extension is often asked by stakeholders to respond to difficult and complex issues and tasks; however, responding to all of them is not feasible in terms of capacity and resources. Therefore, project decisions should be made only after considering multiple factors. The Making an Informed Decision guide is designed to help direct this decision-making process.
This guide to project prioritization has two parts:
- An overview and description of the decision-making process: Making an Informed Decision – The Guide
- A spreadsheet to use during the decision-making process: Making an Informed Decision – The Rubric
The Institutional Review Board at Washington State University
If your evaluation findings will be used only for program improvement, the IRB at WSU does not require an application to be submitted prior to conducting an evaluation. However, if you plan to publish or present your findings, you will need to have IRB approval prior to beginning your evaluation. As a result, it is recommended best practice to have the IRB approve your evaluation protocol and tools.
A Determination of Human Subject Research Flowchart was created by the IRB In order to assist with deciding whether or not to submit an application.
To access the forms needed for approval, please visit the IRB Forms page.
Don’t forget, as the primary evaluator, the IRB requires you to complete CITI training in the ethical use of human participants in research. For a steop-by-step explanation of how to complete the training, please visit the IRB CITI Training page.
Although several online survey platforms have been used in the past (Survey Monkey being one of the most prominent), WSU has recommended that faculty and staff now use Qualtrics for their online survey needs. A system-wide site license for this online tool is now available to all Washington State University faculty and staff.
Additional information about using Qualtrics at WSU is located at WSU Qualtrics.
Faculty and staff without a current account can create one via the new university-wide Qualtrics site at the WSU Qualtrics site using their WSU network ID and password.
The Division of Governmental Studies and Services (DGSS) is a university outreach unit jointly supported by the College of Arts and Sciences and WSU Extension. DGSS is devoted to providing high quality and respected research, training, and technical assistance services to governmental agencies in Washington and the Pacific Northwest region. Its client services include applied research (quantitative, qualitative and mixed-mode), program evaluation, data analysis, organizational assessment, facilitation & group processes, and training in such topics as grant proposal writing, effective public policy research, program evaluation, public service ethics, conflict management and officer survival.
DGSS engages faculty and students in its projects, and also provides support for basic research and grant-related work for faculty and graduate students across the University, including the School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs, the Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, and the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications.
You can find additional information about DGSS and their fee based services by accessing their website.
The Social & Economic Sciences Research Center (SESRC) offers a number of fee based services related to conducting social science surveys and evaluations. They can help design a research project, develop and implement the tools to fit research needs, and analyze the results of the project or inquiry.
If you would like more information about the types of services SESRC offers or would like a cost estimate about a project, you can contact SESRC using their online contact form.
American Evaluation Association
The American Evaluation Association (AEA) is a professional association for anyone interested in the field of evaluation. Its mission is “to improve evaluation practices and methods, increase evaluation use, promote evaluation as a profession, and support the contribution of evaluation to the generation of theory and knowledge about effective human action.”
More information about AEA, including access to their online learning tools, can be found at the AEA website.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have a number of resources, tools, and links related to program evaluation.
Access to their materials can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC website.
The North Carolina Institute for Public Health produced two webinars focused on evaluation best practices. While geared to public health professionals, the webinars provide an overview about developing and conducting evaluations that Extension faculty and staff may find helpful.
The first one, only 15 minutes in length, gives an overview of how to engage stakeholders, describe your program, and determine evaluation design.
The second one, 35 minutes long, discusses how to gather credible evidence, justify your conclusions, and ensure findings are put to use.