mixed research methodology, thereby using both qualitative and quantitative data to bring about results. Using data collection tools that best reflects the advantages of both qualitative and quantitative research is therefore the method that makes the most sense to use. These instruments are discussed in the following paragraphs.
Evaluator notes can be used to determine a qualitative response concerning the objectives of the program. Using the program objectives as guidelines open-ended questions will be asked of the participant(s). The questions will individually focus on each objective. Sample questions include:
The dialysis program seeks to provide information that will assist the caretaker in efficiently connecting and disconnecting the patient to the dialysis machine. The question is does the course provide enough information that the caretaker is comfortable in all aspects of connecting/disconnecting the patient and the possible results if it is done incorrectly?
2. Does the questionnaire cover all aspects of the dialysis program?
3. Will caretakers attending the course be provided enough comprehensive material to be able to discern what is needed to efficiently run the dialysis machine on a consistent basis?
4. Can a caretaker with very little knowledge in technology navigate the course's various technological avenues without much difficulty?
5. Where there any improvements that could be made to the program that would ensure that the program covers all aspects of dialysis?
Divergent thinking found in the evaluation will likely add to and improve the subject matter as well as the presentation of the dialysis material. Evaluators should be ready to note such qualitative responses.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Some of the advantages an evaluator might discover when using evaluator notes as an instrument include the fact that the evaluator can participate during the evaluation process by offering prompts to the participants as they converse. The evaluator can also gather information directly from the participants by observing behavior and discussions. Oftentimes the evaluator can set a tone for discussions by providing the general idea on the scenario and then let the discussions bear fruit in a natural setting. The evaluator note process is also quite flexible and an unstructured type of evaluation process which many evaluators consider another advantage.
The disadvantages perceived with evaluator notes is that is can be very time-consuming for both the evaluator and the participants. Even though this process provides for the opportunity for participants to try different avenues, oftentimes the divergence can lead to other more time-consuming efforts. Another disadvantage might be the evaluator's bias and the selected data may become distorted or biased due to that effect. If the evaluator does not set a good tone for the discussions the group may respond in a correspondingly negative manner, therefore the evaluator must be knowledgeable of the process and an effective communicator.
As part of the evaluation process an interview will be conducted with a purpose to discerning whether the program fills a need in the medical+ community. This interview would take place during the first stage of the evaluation process and would involve a one-on-one process. The evaluator would seek out an individual that is knowledgeable in dialysis technology (hardware), nursing (especially someone in the kidney area) and in teaching.
This type of interview is normally conducted in private with participation from only the two individuals (the interviewer and the interviewee). The purpose behind this type of evaluation is one of comfort and discernment. The interviewer is looking for answers to specific questions regarding the product's viability and ease of use.
The interviewees will include learners who are likely to participate in a course such as the program offers, or who would at least have some interest in the medical community. Since this is a summative evaluation the interviewees could provide some valuable insight into how the product is perceived. The product seeks to provide information that is timely, accurate, easy to understand, simple yet comprehensive, and easy to assimilate. Asking direct questions of a likely participant and receiving direct answers that can influence the progress of the product is very effective.
The evaluator is using this type of interview due to time constraints and a desire to gather the information in a manageable and efficient manner. Other interview processes would not work as well.
The screening interview would be much too cumbersome since the interviewer would have to interview a large number of applicants that wish to discourse on the product. This method would help to ascertain which individual(s) would be most likely to provide the necessary feedback, but it would likely be much to time-consuming for the evaluator.
Another interview process that was considered for this project was the behavioral interview. During a behavioral interview the candidates are asked to explain their life experiences, how their skills relate to the product and how past behavior can influence their present situation. This type of interview would not have worked.
Additionally an unstructured interview in this case might be advantageous if time allowed for such an approach. The evaluator will use a list of questions to ask the interviewee and each question will be answered using a 1 to 5 rating system. However, if a more in-depth type of interview was appropriate, then the unstructured interview could take place. Since an unstructured interview demands the interviewer be a good listener and allows for the interviewee to have a wide array of answers it was considered an advantage to the evaluator, but the limitations of time ensured that a structured approach would be more effective.
In this specific arena, the interview process that would work best would be the one-to one because it provides the evaluator with exactly what is needed.
1). What was your general feelings about the program?
2). Was the program's overview understandable?
3). What would you do to improve the overview?
4). What did you think of the structure of the sessions?
5). Would you have changed anything in any of the sessions?
6). Was the technology easy to use?
7). Did you encounter any difficulties using the technology?
8). Was provided material relevant to the course of study?
9). Would you change anything about the program?
Other qualitative tools that could be employed during this evaluation include such tools as focus groups and brainstorming sessions. Focus groups are an excellent qualitative tool when used correctly. Oftentimes, these groups provide the evaluator with a goldmine of unbiased data. Focus groups can be costly to implement but the amount of information gathered can more than compensate for the cost of the endeavor. Likewise, brainstorming sessions are a plethora of data when used correctly. The difference between focus groups and brainstorming sessions is that focus groups are normally comprised of individuals who have no specific stake in the outcome, while brainstorming sessions often are comprised of the stakeholders in a project who will most likely be directly affected by the outcome.
Some of the threats to the validity and reliability of data collection process include the natural bias found in all evaluators and evaluations. The evaluator should take special care to consider the inherent bias found in all individuals. Along with the natural bias of the evaluator is the medical bias of healthcare professionals towards their patients and towards academia in general. Though they are two separate bias' they can both affect the evaluation process. The first threat is the bias of healthcare professionals towards the patient. The patient is the one that is sick, the healthcare professional may often view themselves as the healer and the person with the knowledge of how events will take place in a medical sense.
The healthcare professionals may often view the patient in a condensing manner. Such a perception may bias the results of the data collection process. Additionally, the natural stress experienced by…