FAQs

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This page provides answers to the following FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):


How much will it cost to take the course?
The cost of the online course, offered by Indiana University School of Library and Information Science, Indianapolis, is $150 per participant. One person can lead a team at his/her home institution; the instructor will communicate directly with the lead participant. For more information,contact us at outcomes@iupui.edu.

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Who can benefit from using the course?
Anyone who wants to learn about Outcomes-based Planning and Evaluation in library and museum services—including practitioners and students as well as other interested parties.

Not suitable for those looking for an in-depth introduction to research methods and evaluation. (However, the resources refer users to suitable sources for that information.)

Targeted audience: Those who want to implement OBPE at their institution:

  • In planning, grant-writing and as standard operating procedure: Learning the vocabulary (for example, by skimming the instructional material) doesn’t automatically translate into practice. The course is “instructor-mediated” so that users learn by applying the lessons to realistic problems, getting feedback from the instructor and revising. 
  • In teams: Since OBPE affects implementation throughout a program, best practice calls for several people from the same institution taking the course at the same time, preferably when starting a real program.

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How does the course work? 
The course consists of:

  • online instructional material
  • assignments made and responded to by an instructor

Course participants interact with the instructional material, communicate with the instructor, and work with fellow students online. (We’ll be observing situations in which face-to-face meetings can be part of the experience as well as trans-national classes with participants from many different institutions.)

Interactive instructional material:

  • Is web-delivered in five modules: Overview, Plan, Build, Evaluate, Report. 
  • Contains supplementary material, accessible from each screen, including Orientation (how to use the software), Resources (Bibliography, Acknowledgments, Credits, Advanced Glossary), Glossary (words in the course materials), Model (a graphic representation of a logic model for a program), and Cases (samples of real or fictionalized cases).
  • Includes one track for Library participants, another for Museum participants, with suitable examples and exercises.
  • Provides Coach segments for those needing more guidance and Dig Deeper segments for those wanting more information on selected screens.
  • Self-Assessment:  Each module contains a Check Your Understanding screen where users can try out their understanding with a suitable simulation (Information Commons at Whitney Library or MAPS exhibit at the Children’s Museum).
  • Instructor feedback: For each module the instructor chooses appropriate "Apply Your Understanding" activities.  The software comes provided with a simulated activity and work on a real-life project for the modules. Most of the simulations (except for the Overview module) require group work, which can be done at any time convenient for the student before the deadline.
  • Participants taking a Shaping Outcomes class are expected to complete five online modules, develop a logic model with instructor's feedback on drafts. and voluntarily participate in the Shaping Outcomes evaluation study. Participants are considered to have successfully finished the course upon submission of a fully developed logic model, and will be mailed a certificate of completion.

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In what forms is the course being delivered?
The course is currently being offered as an online, instructor-mediated course, ranging from three to six weeks in length. It can also be offered as an intensive, half-day workshop in a computer lab. If you are interested in alternative formats please contact the Project Director at outcomes@iupui.edu.

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How might my institution get access to the course?
We’re trying various models to provide maximum flexibility.  Here are some of the configurations we’re planning:

  • CEU: Available for those currently working in libraries or museums as continuing-education units (CEU) on a signup basis through IUPUI’s Community Learning Network (CLN).  Either all library people or all museum people. Questions: Can a joint class of museum and library people work? Who would teach it? Please send your questions to us at outcomes@iupui.edu
  • University credit: As a stand-alone course or embedded in a larger course.  (Both configurations are being tested with both library and museum studies classes.)
  • Institutional teams:  A class can be made up of people from the same institution (such as the trial with the Children’s Museum staff in Fall 2005). A class could consist of teams from small- or medium-sized institutions.

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Are scholarships available?
The Institute for Library and Museum Services (IMLS) is funding 30% of spaces (up to 90 per year) for participants in the online courses. Shaping Outcomes assists the library and museum fields. Individuals gain skills that help their institutions meet audience needs. No individual financial information is required to qualify for a scholarship; assistance is based on two things:

  • the parent institution
  • the individual’s commitment as reflected in a project proposal

People interested in this option should email Shaping Outcomes staff. Documentation will be requested, depending on the specific situation.

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Does the course offer continuing education credits?
The course qualifies as a "continuing education" course in various states and locales. Please email us to request a list of places Shaping Outcomes is certified in. If your location is not listed, consult with your supervisor or local certifying authority.

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a cooperative project between the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)