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Frequently Asked Questions About Instruments

Below are answers to frequently asked question about instruments in OERL. Also see the user scenarios for instruments as well as answers to more general questions about OERL.

Question Answer

What are evaluation instruments?

Data collection instruments provide information to address the evaluation questions. Instruments can be used to gather multiple types of evidence to document project accomplishments and challenges.

What criteria were used in selecting evaluation instruments?

OERL presents examples of EHR project evaluation instruments that reflect current best practices. Criteria for judging the quality of evaluation instruments are based on Program Evaluation Standards: 2nd Edition, which represents consensus in the evaluation profession. The quality criteria for instruments summarizes the key characteristics relevant to EHR project evaluations, including Design, Technical Qualities, and Use & Utility of instruments. In addition, the criteria have been cross-referenced to other widely used evaluation texts and training materials.

How can the resources for evaluation instruments be used?

The OERL resources for data collection instruments can be used as follows: (1) the alignment table, quality criteria, and glossary can serve as references for project PIs and evaluators to check that their data collection strategies align with the standards recognized in the field; (2) questions and approaches used in the instruments can be used as is or adapted to fit into the design of new instruments; and (3) the user scenarios can be consulted for instruments.

What is in the glossary of instrument characteristics?

The glossary of instrument characteristics presents definitions of key characteristics of effective project evaluation instruments created for EHR projects.

What is the alignment table for instrument characteristics?

The alignment table for instrument characteristics describes each instrument characteristic is (the glossary), the features that make it sound (the quality criteria), and which standards should be met that are aligned to it. These standards are based on the Program Evaluation Standards: 2nd Edition and other publications that elaborate evaluation design and methodologies in greater depth.

Not sure where to start?  
Try reading some user scenarios for instruments.