Monkey Forest Tales:  How to evaluate your education activities in the field?

Over the past week we made a couple of education/ informative activities about our project in the town with kids and adults. Usually after this kind of activities, I ask myself how I can improve the impact of Zocay project in the area. Also, people ask me how to evaluate if the information we give is accepted and probably implemented by participants.

Generally, education activities that are well planned implies a measure of evaluation in terms of evaluations done before and after each education activity. How well participants respond to those questions after the activity compared with their answers before the activity give you a measure of how much they understand and “incorporate”.

For this kind of evaluations, you must have in mind the audience you have and education. Did they write and read? How old are they? This will help you to implement strategies to make possible to really evaluate your activity. For example, with small kids or adults that don’t write and read, a strategy that worked for me in different contexts is to use multiple choice question and ask verbally to choose an answer and count the number of participants who choose each option for both evaluations (before and after activity).

When giving a more informative activity, for example a talk to local authorities, how can you measure if they listen to your talk. You can also implement a few questions at the beginning and end of your talk to evaluate the impact of your talk or use the questions they do after the talk to measure how clear you deliver the information, how clear was your message and if you need to make a follow up activity that can increase your impact on that specific audience.

So, the message I will like you to take from this post is that before delivering any informative or education activity, stop to think how to evaluate that activity you are going to give so you can plan to increase your impact. Adjust your questions to your audience and the topics of your talk. Have a clear message that is easy to understand for you audience background and don’t forget to evaluate it.

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