Evaluation Not Using Scan Forms

You may decide that a scannable form is not appropriate for your intended audience or program. Or perhaps you were unable to find a scan form that meets your needs. Whatever the reason, conducting evaluations not using scan forms is valid and appropriate in a lot of situations. In fact, for much of Extension’s existence, it was the only way to conduct evaluations.

Be aware that by not using scan forms, all parts of the evaluation are done by you. However, you have total freedom to design and implement the evaluation to best meet your needs, and Organization Development is here to advise and assist at every step of the process. Here are some of the suggested basic steps you need to perform, along with some suggested resources:


Determine a Data Collection Strategy

From who are you collecting data?

  • All participants (census)
  • Representative sample

Decide whether you need to collect pre-program and post-program data from participants, or just post-program only data.

  • Traditional pre-post
  • Retrospective post
  • Post-only


Select an appropriate data collection tool which may include:

Survey Methods

  • In-person surveys using non-scan forms or audience response systems (clickers)
  • Mail surveys using non-scan forms
  • Phone surveys
  • Web surveys

Non-Survey Methods

  • Observation
  • Records review
  • In-depth interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Case study

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Develop Your Questionnaire (if applicable)
Developing a quality survey can be a formidable task. Make it as short, simple, and straightforward as possible while still collecting the information you need. Have multiple individuals review the survey for length, clarity, and ease-of-use, and pilot test it.

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Enter Your Data (if applicable)

Unless your data are captured automatically via a data entry app, web survey, or audience response system, you’ll need to enter the data you collected via non-scan paper forms. Develop a coding scheme (i.e., no=0; yes =1) for each question and enter the data in tabular fashion. Excel is ideal for this task. The first row should be your column (question) labels. Then enter data – one row per survey.


Tabulate and Analyze your Data Using an Analysis Tool
Once entered, you’ll need to tabulate and analyze your data. Tasks associated with this include data manipulation, filtering, descriptive statistics, and/or inferential statistics. Depending on the complexity of your data and analysis needs, an add-in tool within Excel may be sufficient or a more comprehensive data analysis package like SAS or SPSS may be required for more advanced procedures.

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Interpret Your Results

This task involves identifying and collecting pieces of information from the raw output produced by an analysis tool.

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Telling Your Story

Telling your story involves taking pieces of information collected from raw output into a concise, straightforward, and well-organized written or oral summary report for stakeholders that addresses “relevance, response, and results.”

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