While end-of-workshop surveys are a great way to gather data on your program's short-term outcomes, it is worthwhile to think about other data collection methods and evaluation questions. The following are alternative questions and ways to collect answers without using a survey:
What motivates your participants to attend your program?
Have participants interview each other as an ice-breaker. Break participants into groups of three. Assign one the role of interviewer, one the role of interviewee, and one the role of recorder. Give them a set amount of time (eg: two minutes) and have them interview each other. Rotate so everyone has a chance to be interviewed. Collect their answers.
What major challenges do participants face in tackling the issue your program addresses?
Give participants post-it notes and have them write down their greatest challenges and stick it on the wall. Their responses not only can be used to start discussion, but also collected and analyzed as needs assessment data.
How have your participants successfully applied what they learned in your program?
Have a photograph or video contest to gather success stories--and promotional material for your program. Ask participants to post pictures or videos of how they have been successful on your program's Facebook page and award a prize to the best one. Those who participate can also be used to generate a list of people to potentially interview for data that demonstrates your program's influence.
How do people use your website?
Use Google analytics data to identify when people come to your website and what sections they use. Such data can help you understand what drives people there (a newsletter, an external event, attention in the press?) and in what issues are they most interested.
If you need help or want to brainstorm other ideas on how to collect data, please contact me. Also note that the new Extension evaluation web section (still a work in progress!) also has an overview of different evaluation methods and different types of evaluation you could use.
-Whitney Meredith, evaluation specialist