The Afterschool Learning at a Distance: Key Themes and Promising Practices

The Afterschool Learning at a Distance: Key Themes and Promising Practices describes the experiences and practices of Genesee Intermediate School District: Brides to Success’ (GISD) Team Leads and direct staff serving children and families after substantially redesigning afterschool programming due to the COVID-19 crisis. While the original evaluation plan was to do a (second) round of in-person observations (no longer possible due to school closures), QTurn conducted 15 staff interviews via zoom. Key themes from the interviews include professional uncertainty made manageable because of their strong organizational culture, the importance of addressing inequity, adjustment to flexible service, and a focus on a whole child, whole family approach.

Citation: Smith, C., Smith, L., Roy, L., & Peck, S. C. (2020). Afterschool learning at a distance: key themes and promising practices [Grantee Evaluation Report]. Ypsilanti, MI: QTurn.

Measure Once, Cut Twice: Using Data For Continuous and Impact Evaluation in Education Programs

Frustration and confusion often occur when practitioners require detailed information about program processes for continuous quality improvement (CQI) while policy-makers require evidence of outcome effects for accountability and funding.  Impact studies are often preferred over continuous improvement studies, but they seldom offer useful information to practitioners.  Per the conference theme, this situation leads to a worldview that emphasizes the limitations of social science methods for achieving practical purposes and welcomes arbitrary decision making (i.e., Type-2 error) in the absence of better evidence and arguments. 

This paper describes a generic quality-outcomes design (Q-O design) that meets the need for performance measurement methodology for concurrent and integrated impact evaluation and continuous improvement in the same organization; that is, measure once, cut twice

Citation: Smith, C., Peck S., Roy, R., & Smith, L. (2019).  Measure once, cut twice: Using data for continuous improvement and impact evaluation in education programs.  Meetings of the American Education Research Association, Toronto, ON, CA.