Module 2: Data Analysis for Program Decision-Making
The second in a three-part series on using data, this course guides program administrators and practitioners in: 1) identifying needs for program improvement based on data analysis; 2) using a team approach to plan, implement and evaluate program changes; and 3) taking changes from a pilot to full scale implementation for overall improved program performance. The underlying premise of the course is that all aspects of data-driven decision-making become institutionalized practices, thereby establishing a culture of continuous program improvement.
This online course constitutes a quite valuable resource to adult education practitioners who are committed to continuous improvement of their programs and services. It is clearly written and accessible, and is loaded with useful ideas and resources. I think the inclusion of multiple case studies, and the hands-on opportunities to work with them, adds a great benefit. I was also really impressed by the treatment of the necessity to develop a “data-driven culture” within adult education organizations, and of the attention paid to team-building and collaboration in support of quality data-driven decision-making.
This resource is of primary value to the field of adult education primarily because it is centered on teaching and helping programs with continuous program improvement. CQI is essential to the success of Adult Education and literacy programs, helps programs improve the quality of service provided to students, and is an essential tool for programs that are performance based funded and/or incentivized for good performance.
The resource is easy to follow because it provides concrete and practical adult education examples and case studies that adult literacy administrators, instructors and staff can relate to and apply immediately. While grounded on sound management theory, it is also practical and applicable to the field of adult and basic literacy education. It also helps adult educators at various levels understand the importance and value of using more than intuition, without discrediting intuition and experience, to drive continuous improvement planning. The resource further cites some of the experts and demonstrates how management models can be effective. Included were: Toyota’s Kaizen model, Abilene Paradox pertaining to group decision making, Force Field Analysis, and Walter Shewhart’s Continuous Improvement Model (plan/do/study/act)