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Program evaluation is important for understanding the implementation and outcomes of local, state, and federal programs. However, school and state education agency personnel may not have the resources and tools to conduct effective program evaluations. The Program Evaluation Toolkit includes easy-to-understand instructional videos, handouts, worksheets, and other materials to help you build your knowledge and skills.

The toolkit was developed in partnership with educators and is designed to be used in a variety of education settings. The toolkit started in fall 2017 as a project with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) to develop a professional development series and resources to help districts evaluate local programs. CDE partners were active participants in developing the modules, adding examples and revisions to the materials based on their collective experience. Since 2019, the partners have been using the materials to train Colorado district and department staff. With the assistance of CDE and other stakeholders, REL Central expanded the original set of program evaluation materials to develop this toolkit.

After using the toolkit to evaluate a recently implemented program, one district user explained, “We often think of evaluation as a dirty word, but after spending time in this session today, I realize we are just asking ourselves to do the same thing we ask of our teachers. Formatively assess how things are going and make changes as needed, based on data and results.”

What is included in the toolkit?

The Program Evaluation Toolkit focuses on the practical application of program evaluation and presents a step-by-step process for conducting a program evaluation. The toolkit consists of a Quick Start Guide and a website organized around eight learning modules. The modules begin at the planning stages of an evaluation and progress to the presentation of findings to stakeholders.

Each module covers a critical step in the evaluation process:

  1. Logic models
  2. Evaluation questions
  3. Evaluation design
  4. Evaluation samples
  5. Data quality
  6. Data collection
  7. Data analysis
  8. Dissemination approaches

The toolkit includes accessible instructional videos for each step of the evaluation process. It also includes tools, handouts, worksheets, and a glossary of key terms to help you conduct your own evaluation.

As one participant in our October webinar introducing the toolkit said, “The resource itself is fabulous. For anyone who hasn’t studied or conducted program evaluation, this is a godsend!”

Who is the toolkit for?

This toolkit is intended for anyone who evaluates local, state, or federal programs. It is especially for those who design evaluations, collect and analyze data, or write reports or disseminate findings. You do not need previous experience or advanced training in program evaluation to use the toolkit, although some optional resources are geared toward more advanced users.

You can use the Quick Start Guide to help determine your readiness to use the toolkit. The modules do not have to be completed in order, so the Quick Start Guide can also help you decide where to start.

We are excited to launch this powerful resource and welcome your feedback and questions. You can reach us at