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Clinical Education
Evaluating an activity

Evaluations demonstrate the outcomes of an activity. This can serve many purposes: Many providers like to ensure that the attendees enjoyed the conference and collect data to assist in planning the next meeting. It is also the time to answer a few questions:

  • What did the attendees learn?
  • Were the targeted gaps closed?
  • Was there something that we hope to do, but were unable to accomplish?
  • Was this meeting a success?

ACCME Criteria 11: The provider [the Academy and its joint sponsors] analyzes changes in learners (competence, performance, or patient outcomes) achieved as a result of the overall program's activities/educational interventions.

As clarified by the ACCME, this does not mean that that every activity achieve a change in outcomes, but all activities must be evaluated in order to see if a change in competence, performance, or patient outcomes was made. What level an activity will be evaluated at will be determined by your Gap Analysis, and Learning Objectives.

Tips and Recommendations
  • Begin with the end in mind. When creating your activity, think about what information you will need and how you will collect it later.
  • Write measuable objectives, based upon established gaps.
  • Include the objectives on the evaluation form or pre/post test.
  • Compare your post-activity evaluations to your pre-activity needs assessment. Are you measuruing the problem that you're attempting to solve?
  • Using a pre-test serves several purposes:
    • You verify that the audince which you're teaching has the gaps that your activityis designed to change.
    • Coupling pre with post-testing measures a transition in the abilites of your audience.
    • Pre and post-test can capture gaps data for later activities
Suggested Reading

World Health Organization (WHO) Workbook: Process Evaluations 

Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing,  American Educational Research Association (AERA), the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME)