Evaluation and Research
The Center for Aging and Disability Education and Research provides comprehensive, skill-based online training programs to ensure that workers have the knowledge and skills needed to meet the challenges in a rapidly changing health and social services landscape. Demonstrating that learners have mastered the competencies needed for effective practice is a key objective of our program. Competence requires professional judgment and critical thinking to translate knowledge, skills, and values into effective practice behaviors.
Below are the major tools the Center uses to assist organizations in selecting programs and analyzing the effectiveness of the programs we provide. These reports provide information on the extent to which training has resulted in improved practice skills with older adults and people with disabilities and ultimately in the program’s overall effectiveness.
Pre- and Post-Course Assessment of Competency Gains
One of our primary methods to measure the success of an organization’s training program is to conduct pre- and post-course assessments of competencies. The assessment tool is a multi-item self-assessment that relates to the key content of each course. The learner completes the same assessment at the beginning and end of the training and a score is derived by comparing pre- and post-training assessments. A final report enables organizations to assess competency gains in specific content areas, both for individuals, and the organization as a whole. We are also able to provide benchmark scores so that the organization can compare the competency gains of its workers to similar workers in other organizations.
Each online course is followed by a course quiz. This measures the learner’s understanding of the concepts covered in the course. Learners who score 70% or above on the quiz, will receive a certificate of completion. If the score is below 70%, learners can review and retake the quiz.
An important element of any evaluation program is feedback on the quality of the training. Upon completion of each course, participants rate courses through a brief evaluation tool. This evaluation includes questions about the effectiveness of the online course, including whether course objectives were clearly described and met, the quality and applicability of the course, whether the course expanded learner knowledge and understanding of the topic area, and whether the training will help them to apply practice skills in the topic area.
Program Evaluation at the Conclusion of the Training Program and Six Months Post-Training
In addition to the evaluation of each course, learners who have taken multiple courses can complete a program evaluation at the end of their program. This brief evaluation includes questions related to the expansion of knowledge, development of new skills, and the ability to do a better job as a result of the training program. In addition, the program evaluation can be repeated at six months in order to assess the degree to which new learning is applied and maintained over time.
Data Management and Final Reporting
A major feature of the Center’s work with organizations is the provision of monthly reports. These provide a way for organizations to track course and Certificate completion. In addition, at the end of the training program, the Center will prepare a final report for participating organizations with an analysis of training outcomes. This will include demographic information about the learners, course and program completion rates, a summary of competency gains, and course and program evaluations.