**Introduction to a Basic Study**

This post provides information about one way to evaluate a workshop or seminar.

I will illustrate the process using a hypothetical example of forgiveness.

Suppose you wanted to evaluate the effectiveness of a workshop on forgiveness.

You **hypothesize **that the group participating in the workshop would be more forgiving toward an offender than the group not receiving the forgiveness workshop.

Get **approval **from your company, university, or other research review board. They usually have forms listing the information you need to provide.

**Recruit **participants for your workshop.

Obtain **consent **for the study.

**Select**** **a forgiveness program

**Select **a survey to measure progress in forgiveness.

**Create **two groups of people.

Group 1 gets the workshop now.

Group 2 gets the workshop later and will serve as a control group.

**Randomly **assign volunteers to one of the two groups.

**Deliver **the workshop.

**Assess **the participants' progress by having people in both groups complete the forgiveness survey along with basic information such as age and other relevant characteristics.

**Score **the survey.

**Calculate **statistics such as the mean and standard deviation of the forgiveness measure for both groups.

**Analyze **the data to see if one group obtained a better score than the other group**. **A ** t test **can help you decide if the differences are statistically different. A measure of

**effect size**provides information on the effectiveness of the workshop. You can hire a consultant to perform the statistics.

******

**Notes**: Some researchers like to provide a survey before and after a workshop (this is a pretest-posttest design). The advantage is offering a basis for comparison for any changes between before and after but the disadvantage is that the participants may be influenced by reading the set of questions they will complete a second time.

Other researchers avoid the pretest problem by relying on random assignment to control for differences.

Another alternative, is to use a different forgiveness measure as a pretest to see if the groups are different on a relevant dimension of forgiveness before the workshop began. A statistician can use that pretest data as a **covariate **in the analysis

You can read more about evaluating workshops and seminars in **Chapter 15 of Creating Surveys.**

**The text below is from Chapter 15.**

**************

After reading about the REACH model
developed by Everett L. Worthington Jr. at Virginia Commonwealth
University, they decide to implement the program in a weekend format. The
research team formulates a simple hypothesis: the REACH forgiveness program
will help people forgive someone who deeply offended them.

In
this example, forgiveness is the independent variable having two levels or
groups formed by randomly assigning participants to the REACH workshop or the
control group. The control group does not attend the REACH workshop. At the
conclusion of the workshop, all the people in the study complete a forgiveness
survey, which asks questions to determine how forgiving they are toward a person
who offended them. The forgiveness survey measures the dependent variable,
which is forgiveness. Notice that forgiveness is used in two ways. Forgiveness
is both the independent and dependent variable. As an independent variable,
forgiveness is defined as participation or nonparticipation in the REACH
forgiveness workshop. As a dependent variable, forgiveness is a state of
forgiveness measured by a score on a forgiveness survey.

IV Forgiveness |
DV Forgiveness |

Forgiveness Workshop |
Forgiveness Survey |

No Workshop Control |
Forgiveness Survey |

After the surveys have been completed, the
data are analyzed. A common statistical analysis to analyze data from a
two-group study is the ** t test.** The test results will indicate the REACH workshop was effective if
people who took the workshop produced much higher scores than did people in the
no-workshop control group.

**Link to measures of forgiveness and other psychological variables.**

**************

**Learn more about using surveys to explore ideas and evaluate programs in the highly recommended book, Creating Surveys available on**

**Resource Link: ****A – Z Test Index**

**NOTICE**:

The information about scales and measures is provided for clinicians and researchers based on professional publications. The links to authors, materials, and references can change. You may be able to locate details by contacting the main author of the original article or another author on the article list.

**Post Author**

** **

**Geoffrey W. Sutton PhD is Emeritus Professor of Psychology who publishes book and articles about clinical and social psychology including the psychology of religion. Website: ** www.suttong.com

** **

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