Quantitative Methods for Program Evaluation (11:035:200)

Note: This syllabus is for general information about the course. The instructor will provide you with an updated syllabus specific for the semester of enrollment.

Course Description

3 Credits. Online. This course introduces students to the summary and analysis of evaluation data from community education and outreach programs in environmental, youth development, community healthy, and agriculture disciplines. Students will develop skills in appropriate data analysis, interpretation of statistics, and presenting this information in written and graphical form.

Learning Goals

As a result of this course, students will:

  • Understand and interpret common descriptive statistics, analyses, and plots used in outreach education and program evaluation
  • Conduct, interpret, and present results from statistics, analyses, and plots
  • Demonstrate an ability to conduct these analyses in the R statistical package and interpret the results

Organization

The class meets enirely online, and will have no regular meeting times. Students will need to complete assignments weekly over a fifteen week period.

Requirements

Text

Mangiafico, S.S. 2016. Summary and Analysis of Extension Program Evaluation in R. rcompanion.org/handbook/. Or the pdf version: rcompanion.org/documents/RHandbookProgramEvaluation.pdf (PDF).

Software

Students will use the R Project for Statistical Computing software (www.r-project.org/) to conduct analyses and produce plots. This software is free, open-source and cross platform, meaning students will be able to install it on any personally owned Windows, Linux, or Mac computer. It is also available in computer labs in New Brusnwick and online through apps.rutgers.edu/.

The RStudio software is also recommended (www.rstudio.com/).

Students will be required to install supplemental packages from the Comprehensive R Archive Network (cran.r-project.org/web/packages/). Students using university or library computers will need to confirm their ability to install these supplemental packages.

Basis for Grading

Students will be evaluated on their demonstrating that they have met course objectives, specifically their ability to understand, interpret, and compose analyses and plots commonly used in extension education and program evaluation.

Students will complete weekly assignments that include narrative responses demonstrating understanding and reporting correct results and plots from analyses of problem sets.

Schedule

Typical topics include:

  • Using R
  • Why Statistics
  • Evaluation Tools and Surveys
  • Types of Variables
  • Descriptive Statistics
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Basic Plots
  • Hypothesis Testing and p-values
  • Reporting Results of Data and Analyses
  • Choosing a Statistical Test
  • Likert Data
  • Nonparametric Tests
  • Tests for Nominal Data
  • Parametric Tests
  • Correlation and Linear Regression

Academic Integrity

As an academic community dedicated to the creation, dissemination, and application of knowledge, Rutgers University is committed to fostering an intellectual and ethical environment based on the principles of academic integrity. Academic integrity is essential to the success of the University's educational and research missions, and violations of academic integrity constitute serious offenses against the entire academic community. This academic integrity policy is designed to guide students as they prepare assignments, take examinations, and perform the work necessary to complete their degree requirements.

Students are required to adhere to the professional standards outlined in the Rutgers University policies on academic integrity, which are available Policy on Academic Integrity (PDF) and at: Office of Student Judicial Affairs. http://academicintegrity.rutgers.edu/integrity.shtml.

Attendance and Participation Policy

Students are expected to actively participate in all of the online activities for the course. Attendance in the online sessions is determined by thorough, thoughtful, relevant and on time contributions made in the weekly assignments including threaded discussions, reaction papers and quizzes. The course proceeds with the assumption that students have thoughtfully read and reviewed the assigned materials.

Students are responsible for completion of all assigned readings, materials discussed and assignments on or before the assigned due date.

Accessibility at Rutgers

Rutgers University welcomes students with disabilities into all of the University's educational programs. In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, a student with a disability must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview and provide documentation. For a the full explanation of the process, go to Documentation Guidelines. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus's disability services office will provide you with a Letter of Accommodation. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. To begin this process, please complete the registration form on the ODS website.