Muddy Sneakers: Deciding what to measure

DSC_0005This week we returned to the mountains to work with Muddy Sneakers.  The main objective: figuring out what we are going to measure.  We gathered an advisory board to help us: Muddy Sneakers staff, teachers who work with the program, school administrators, and board members.

I’ll confess I love a good logic model.  At first glance, they look pretty tedious and boring, but they’re really useful in organizing thoughts on what aspects of a program work (at least and theory) and why.  During the meeting, we used a logic model to help us think through how the program works.  I posed the following questions:

  • What key resources does Muddy Sneakers have that makes it successful?
  • What are the most important activities Muddy Sneakers does to make it successful?
  • What outputs do those activities accomplish?  For example how many people are served and in what way?
  • What short-term outcomes do students experience because of their participation in Muddy Sneakers?
  • What long-term impacts can we hope for?

We broke into groups to answer these questions and then compiled all our answers as a whole.  Our goal as the research/evaluation team will be to identify which key outcomes and impacts we can feasibly measure.

Their enthusiasm for the program was infectious, and they made the process as fun as it was productive.  We are excited to get started!