Collecting Longitudinal Evaluation Data in a College Setting

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  • 1. AEA 2007 Paper Presentation Collecting Longitudinal Evaluation Data in a College Setting: Strategies for Managing Mountains of Data Jennifer Ann Morrow, Ph.D.1 Erin Mehalic Burr, M.S. 1 Marcia Cianfrani, B.S. 2 Susanne Kaesbauer2 Margot E. Ackermann, Ph.D. 3 University of Tennessee1 Old Dominion University2 Homeward3 Overview of Presentation • Description of Project Writing • Research Team • Evaluation Methodology • Data Management • What worked • What did not work • Suggestions for EvaluatorsFunded by the Dept. of Education(#Q184H060039) 1
  • 2. AEA 2007 Paper Presentation Description of Project Writing • Goal: to reduce high-risk drinking and stress in first- year college students. • 231 students were randomly assigned to one of three online interventions. • Online Interventions • Expressive Writing • Behavioral Monitoring • Expressive Writing and Behavioral Monitoring • Participants received payment and other incentives (e.g., gift certificates). Research Team • Jennifer Ann Morrow (project PI). • Robin Lewis (project Co PI). • Margot Ackermann (Evaluation team leader). • Erin Burr (Project manager and assisted with evaluation). • Undergraduate assistants: Marcia Cianfrani, Susanne Kaesbauer, Nicholas Paulson.Funded by the Dept. of Education(#Q184H060039) 2
  • 3. AEA 2007 Paper Presentation Evaluation Methodology • Comprehensive formative and summative evaluation. • Online data collection method: • Participants emailed link to intervention/survey each week. • Timing of data collection: • Pretest survey, midpoint surveys (weeks 3 and 6), posttest survey. • Types of data collected: • Qualitative: online journals, open-ended questions. • Quantitative: numerous standardized measures. Online Data Collection • We utilized Inquisite® software to collect all data. • Features of software: • A variety of question types available. • Survey templates are available or you can customize. • Allows you to upload email lists. • Can create invitations and reminders. • Enables you to track participation using authorization key. • You can download data into a variety of formats (e.g., SPSS, Excel, RTF files). • Performs frequency analyses and graphs.Funded by the Dept. of Education(#Q184H060039) 3
  • 4. AEA 2007 Paper Presentation Evaluation Tools Used • Project specific email account: • Multiple researchers had access and were able to send, read, and reply to participants’ emails. • Allowed us to keep all correspondence with participants in one location. • Project notebook: • Copies of all project materials (e.g., surveys, invitations). • Contained instructions on how to manage surveys and download data. • Included descriptions of problems encountered and how they were addressed.Funded by the Dept. of Education(#Q184H060039) 4
  • 5. AEA 2007 Paper Presentation Evaluation Tools Used • Weekly status reports: • Project manager created weekly reports that were sent to all team members each Sunday. • Contained: summary of work completed previous week, key tasks for each member to complete that week, any issues that needed to be addressed. • Reports were discussed in weekly meetings. • Project data codebook: • Contained complete list of variable names/labels, value labels, and syntax for creating composites/reverse scoring. • Listed name and description of every dataset for project. Evaluation Tools Used • Data analysis plans: • Created detailed analysis plans (using SPSS syntax) for each dataset. • Included: data cleaning (e.g., composite creation, addressing assumptions), qualitative coding, descriptive and inferential statistics. • Master participant list: • Contained complete list of all participants. • Included: contact information, participant id, list of weeks participated, list of payments and incentives received.Funded by the Dept. of Education(#Q184H060039) 5
  • 6. AEA 2007 Paper Presentation What Worked • Online data collection: • Enabled us to collects lots of data in a short period of time and with little effort. • Automated system for contacting and tracking participants. • We could download the data multiple times each week and in multiple formats. • Project specific email: • Enabled us to split the work of responding to participants among all researchers. • Each researcher had access to every email that was received/sent. What Worked • Project notebook: • All project materials were located in one larger document. • Enabled us to train new research assistants easily. • Allowed us to keep track of problems that we encountered. • Weekly status reports: • Could track the number of person hours each week. • Each team member could see what they and others were responsible for completing.Funded by the Dept. of Education(#Q184H060039) 6
  • 7. AEA 2007 Paper Presentation What Worked • Other tools/activities that were useful: • Project data codebook. • Data analysis plans. • Master participant list. • Analysis teams. • Cross-training of all researchers. • Weekly meetings and specific team meetings. • Student research assistants (inexpensive labor). What Did Not Work • Technology issues: • We had various technical clitches with the survey software. • MAC versus PC use of research assistants. • We had not involved the technology staff at the school in our project until we had issues. • Inflexibility of data collection schedule: • We created a rigid schedule and when problems occurred it was difficult and stressful to modify our plans.Funded by the Dept. of Education(#Q184H060039) 7
  • 8. AEA 2007 Paper Presentation What Did Not Work • Too many “cooks”: • We had multiple people work on the same dataset. • Not always did they keep accurate track of what modifications were made. • Too much data, not enough person hours: • We underestimated how much time it would take to manage all of the data we collected. Suggestions for Evaluators • Use standardized tools (e.g., project notebook, data analysis plans) to manage your data. • Use online tools to recruit and manage college student participants: • Project email, project website, social networking sites. • Involve students/interns: • Offer course credit, internship hours instead of salary.Funded by the Dept. of Education(#Q184H060039) 8
  • 9. AEA 2007 Paper Presentation Contact Information If you would like more information regarding this project please contact: Jennifer Ann Morrow, Ph.D. Asst. Professor in Assessment and Evaluation Dept. of Educational Psychology and Counseling University of Tennessee Knoxville, TN 37996-3452 Email: Office Phone: (865) 974-6117Funded by the Dept. of Education(#Q184H060039) 9