For the past 7 years the Out-of-School Time Resource Center has engaged in research regarding promising practices in OST professional development, OST professionalism and professional identity, and evaluation frameworks for workshops and conferences. Our work ranges from literature reviews on adult learning to key findings from our own focus groups, interviews and surveys on professional development.
We share our research with both a local and national audience. Most recently, however, we have focused our research efforts in the city of Philadelphia, identifying and tracking the professional needs and preferences of the OST community. We also continue to measure the short term and long term impact of professional development opportunities and resources in Philadelphia.
Our research directly informs our evaluation methods, tools, and implementation. We are pleased to offer evaluation assistance to organizations that design or provide professional development in the fields of out-of-school time (OST), afterschool, school-age care, positive youth development, and informal education.
We will work with you to create an evaluation plan that will meet the needs of your program and staff. The OSTRC evaluates professional development opportunities such as:
We have created research-based instruments that assess participant satisfaction, gains in knowledge and skills, changes in belief and professional identity, and the likelihood of using new information. Follow-up evaluations can document application and youth impact as well. The OSTRC develops and utilizes 1) participant surveys, 2) presenter self-assessments, and 3) online questionnaires. We have also developed interview, focus group, and observation protocols. We summarize our findings in a final report that features evaluation results, analysis and recommendations.
Prefer to get started on your own? Check out our free Professional Development Survey Toolkit and Sample Reports tabs, above left.
For information about OSTRC research and evaluation, contact OSTRC Research Coordinator Karen Okigbo.