How to Evaluate and Measure Impact

As we wrap up our conversation on digital scholarship this month, I would like to share how you can measure the impact of the content you publish online…or anything else.

I believe that if we want our digital scholarship to be accepted then we must evaluate it. I do understand that traditionalists generally want ‘proof’ even if there is none that justifies what they are currently doing. Indeed, very few Extension professionals measure the impact of their fact sheets and/or journal articles. However, if we want people to change, then we need to provide the evidence that digital scholarship is worth recognizing and accepting.

I created this video to show you how to evaluate and measure impact. This method applies to digital scholarship as well as Extension programs.

When you produce digital scholarship, I recommend that you also create an evaluation instrument that collects data you can measure. Simple analytics won’t do. Analytics measure attention, where people are going and how they are spending their time online. You cannot know if you have made an impact just by the number of clicks, downloads, or views. Analytics help, but alone they are not enough.

You need to find out if what you published made a difference. You need to ask in a way that you can measure. For example, in the video above I included a link to a 3-question survey which allows me to measure the impact of what I have taught regarding statistical analysis using the T-Test method.

You can create an evaluation instrument in a variety of ways. I used Qualtrics to collect my data points, but Google Forms or SurveyMonkey are a few others I would recommend.

PS – if this video helped you, please take the survey so I can prove my impact.

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