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Frequently Asked Questions About Plans

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

Question Answer

What are evaluation plans?

An evaluation plan is the guiding document for a research proposal; it outlines how the evaluation will be carried out.

How are evaluation plans used in EHR proposals?

For EHR proposals, the evaluation plan lays out the questions the evaluation will address, the audiences for the information, the data collection methods and schedule, and the analysis plan. The evaluation plan specifies the key project goals to be measured and the types of evidence that will be gathered to document accomplishments and challenges.

What are the quality criteria for sound evaluation plans?

OERL presents examples of EHR project evaluation reports that reflect the current best practices. Criteria for judging the quality of evaluations and their components are based on the Program Evaluation Standards: 2nd Edition, which represents consensus in the evaluation profession. The quality criteria for sound project evaluation plans are organized into four sections corresponding to plan components: (1) Project Description, (2) Evaluation Overview, (3) Design, and (4) Analysis Process. See the criteria overview for a general introduction to the quality criteria.

What are embedded complete plans?

Embedded evaluation plans are components of EHR proposal narratives. Typically, an EHR proposal is about 15 pages in length, and the embedded evaluation plan is only one component of the narrative.

What are stand-alone complete plans?

These evaluation plans were prepared as documents separate from the proposal. They are usually longer and describe the evaluation to be conducted in more detail than the embedded plans.

What are plan excerpts?

Excerpts have been selected from actual EHR evaluation plans to illustrate effective and varied ways of presenting particular plan components. Excerpts have been selected for four major evaluation plan components: (1) Project Description, (2) Evaluation Overview, (3) Design, and (4) Analysis Process.

How can the resources for evaluation plans be used?

The OERL evaluation planning resources can be used in several ways: (1) the alignment table, quality criteria, and glossary can serve as references for project PIs and evaluators to check that their plans include the key components of plans, as identified by EHR; (2) material in the complete plans and annotated excerpts can be used as is or adapted for use in a new evaluation plan; and (3) the user scenarios can be consulted for plans.

What is in the glossary of plan components?

The glossary of plan components presents definitions of key components of effective project evaluation plans prepared for EHR projects.

What is the alignment table for plan components?

The alignment table for plan components describes what each plan component is (the glossary), the features that make it sound (the quality criteria), and which standards (based on the Program Evaluation Standards: 2nd Edition) should be met that are aligned to it.

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