Simple Solutions for Creating Assessment and Evaluation Protocols at Low Cost For NSF BI Programming
Not all agency and foundation proposals require that you hire an outside or external evaluator for your societal or broader impacts (BI) program, portfolio, and/or activities. These types of assessment and evaluative protocols do not have to be complicated (i.e. 1-3 small meaningful and specific evaluative rubrics per activity). However, NSF along with other agencies and foundations do require that you determine if progress is being made and gauge your societal program, plan, portfolio, or activity benefit.
Provided below are a few way that this can be achieved for a relatively low cost (i.e. time, money, personnel, and other resources). These suggestions could be combined or used separately. For more ideas, review of your proposal, or to help you set up evaluative protocols please contact your local impact representative or me for a consultation.
1. Use the evaluation and assessment tools that are provided at your College or University or that you have in your organization. Your institution or organization may offer these for free, (for example survey licenses and etc.), to you for free or at relatively low cost.
2. If you are working or collaborating with another organization, individual, unit, or institution and they already have assessment or evaluation protocols in place – ask if you can integrate their evaluative, research, and/or assessment protocols or program/s into the proposed BI activities, project, program, etc.
3. If you have an Impact Professional at or associated with your campus or organization ask them to help you develop an evaluation plan.
4. If you have graduate students or post docs – ask them to figure out how to write the evaluative piece for the BI programming. Getting post-docs and graduate students involved early is also a good way to develop a sustainable BI program.
5. Ask a close colleague who does evaluation to help you get some assessment and evaluative measures in place.
6. Use or integrate on-line web analytics into your assessment and/or evaluation protocol. It is very likely that you already have free access to these resources.
7. Ask someone who’s recently been awarded an NSF grant to provide a few ideas about setting up an evaluative protocol for your BI or to help you set one up.