Evaluations may be geared to the entire group or subset of program participants, or a random sample from a specific population to gather some baseline information. Choosing a sample size for proper statistical methods is important, as are proper data collection methods. How, too, do you ensure an acceptable response rate? The following resources provide information on choosing sampling techniques.
This on-line training guide by The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, the Institute for Higher Education Policy, and Pathways to College Network, focuses on proper statistical methods to select a sample of participants that are representative of the population you wish to study. Part of a on-line training series titled "Evaluation Toolkit"; see Training Materials section for details.
Choosing a Data Collection Method for Survey Research
This reference guide by Keith Diem, Rutgers University, discusses data collection methods. 2002.
Baseline Data for Your Program?
This Journal of Extension article by Nancy Ellen Kiernan, Penn State University, presents how to use sampling techniques to gather baseline data for multi-county programs. 2006.
Choosing Appropriate Research Methods to Evaluate Educational Programs
This reference guide by Keith Diem, Rutgers University, discusses types of research to determine program impact assessment methods. The contents are peripheral to sampling, but describes research methods based on outcomes you wish to measure. 2003.
Using Experimental Designs for Program Evaluation
This reference guide by Keith Diem, Rutgers University, discusses educational/experimental design. 2003.
Random Samples: How and Why
This fact sheet by Nancy Ellen Kiernan, Penn State University, provides information on how to select random samples of surveying. Good advice on random sampling techniques. 2002.
How to Determine a Sample Size
This fact sheet by Jeff Watson, Penn State University, covers how to determine sample size to increase statistical accuracy. 2001.
How Do I Evaluate Impact When The Make-Up Of The Audience Is Not Consistent?
This fact sheet by Nancy Ellen Kiernan, Penn State University, focuses on how to evaluate series programs with floating (varying attendees) audience. 2002.
Increasing Your Survey Response Rate
This fact sheet by Nancy Ellen Kiernan, Penn State University, presents protocols to increase survey response rates; focused on mail surveys - adaptable to e-surveys? 2005.
Maximizing Response Rate and Controlling Nonresponse Error in Survey Research
This reference guide by Keith Diem, Rutgers University, discusses response rate strategies. 2002.