| ||Evaluating the amount of interest and learning derived from your project will help you to plan and improve future projects. Project evaluation can be formal, for example, using an evaluation form with specific questions, or it can be informal, such as comments from coffee shop conversations.
To evaluate the effectiveness of a field study, try the following:
|1.||Include the site on a tour in your area. Record how many people attend the tour. Talk to participants to determine if some of the attendance can be directly attributed to your project. At the last stop, hand out an evaluation form to find out if tour participants are likely to change management practices as a result of seeing your field experiment. |
|2.||Use a mailbox at the site to hold project information sheets. Count the number of sheets placed in the box initially and the number at the end of the season. Alternatively, count the number remaining at the end of each month. Was there a month of peak interest? What factors might have produced this peak (e.g., the peak visual impact of the plots, peak media publicity about the project)? |
|3.||At a large winter extension meeting have an evaluation form available for the research and awareness activities that you or your agency conducted during the previous year. This allows you to evaluate several projects at once and ask for suggestions for future projects. |
|4.||Gauge community response. Was there talk about the new technology at the coffee shop, wedding dance, pot-luck supper? Did increased awareness of the technology arise as a result of visits to your project site? Were complaints or criticisms levelled at the study? How might future projects be improved to avoid these criticisms? |
Evaluation forms should be concise, with a few clear, straightforward questions. Allow space for general comments and suggestions.
Include an experimental site on a field tour
Contact: Conservation and Development Branch, Alberta Agriculture and Food.