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With a natural aversion to change, humans often have the mindset that if it’s not broken, why fix it? But if we aren’t making a conscious effort to continuously improve, we may miss out on opportunities to grow and excel.
Fuelled by a passion to help people do what they do, only better, graduate student in counselling psychology Art Assoiants, and undergraduate psychology students Clare Hickie and Nina Frampton combined efforts to create the Program Evaluation Toolkit. Released on Feb. 15, the toolkit aims to create a culture of evaluation and growth at the University of Calgary.
“At the most basic level, this toolkit is an accessible resource to help introduce the UCalgary community to program evaluation,” Hickie says. “It offers an explanation about what program evaluation is, why it’s important, and how to begin incorporating evaluation on a daily basis.”
Although regular program evaluation is often overlooked, the group stresses its importance. “Sometimes we get so caught up making our programs the best they can be, we don’t take the time to reflect on the entire process,” Hickie explains.
“Program evaluation allows us to take a step back and see where we’re going, how we can improve our processes, and how well we’re achieving our objectives,” Assoiants adds.
Although initially created to enhance mental health programming on campus, since the team conducted more than 60 interviews with UCalgary stakeholders Frampton believes the toolkit can be applied to other programs. “This toolkit was created with the voices of program managers throughout the university and is based on the values, ideas, and needs they expressed,” she says.
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