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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, through this Shaping Outcomes project, is $150 per participant (payable in U.S. funds). One person can lead a team at his/her home institution; the team will work together to develop one project idea into a logoc model. The instructor will communicate directly with the lead participant.

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How can my team participate in Shaping Outcomes?
Shaping Outcomes works well for teams. Working through the course as a team, rather than as an individual, can be a good option for work groups that have one idea they want to develop into a project or for groups for whom a single registration fee makes more fiscal sense.
In order to participate as a team, a team leader registers for the desired Shaping Outcomes session. That person serves as the contact point between the team and the instructor. The team works together to turn an idea for a project into a logic model. Team leaders include the email addresses of the other team members into the "cc" line of email messages to the instructor, who then replies to all.

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Are scholarships available?
There are full scholarships available for up to 30% of course participants. No individual financial information is required to qualify for a scholarship. Assistance is based on two things:

  1. The Community or Institution-Based Need: The applicant’s institution should demonstrate that it serves needy populations.  This can take any of the following forms:
    • For school librarians, working in a school or system where at least 30% of the students receive free or reduced price lunches.
    • For academic librarians, working in a college or university in which at least 30% of the student body receives Pell grants.
    • For public librarians, working in a library or library system whose service population area (or the city or the county) has an average income at 70% of the state median or less as reported in the 2000 Census or later data.
    • For special librarians, working in an organization which has a demonstrated component of service to economically disadvantaged clients (e.g. pro bono work for law firms, charity work for hospitals). 
    • For museums, deliberate and substantial outreach to low-income populations.
  2. The individual’s commitment as reflected in a project proposal:
    • Applicants should describe a library or museum (or partnership) project for which an outcomes-based approach to design would be useful, and which they will work on during the course. The project need not be grant-funded; it should be realistic but need not be an actual existing project.
    • The requirement for a project description is to promote scholarship recipients' commitment to the course. Applicants can discuss project ideas with Shaping Outcomes staff.

People interested scholarships should email Shaping Outcomes staff describing how they meet the criteria.

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Who can benefit from using the course?
Anyone who wants to learn about Outcomes-Based Evaluation in library and museum services—including practitioners and students as well as other interested parties. Participants learn this skill and then can implement it.

Some may 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 strengthening their proposal. 
  • A good choice is to participate in teams. Since OBPE affects implementation throughout a program, it is very effective for several people from the same institution to take the course at the same time, preferably when starting a real program. (A course fee is applied to each person who communicates with the instructor. The whole team can work through one registered participant.)

This course is not suitable for those looking for an in-depth introduction to research methods and evaluation. (A Resources page refers users to suitable sources for that information.)

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How much time does Shaping Outcomes take?
It takes most people about 45 minutes to an hour to read each module. Then participants work on their own logic models (project evaluation designs) and get feedback from their instructor. For these activities you should budget at least another hour. It's difficult to be exact because it will vary with your familiarity with online learning.

Keep in mind two things: a) if you are working on this with a team at your institution, you'll need to budget extra time, particularly if you are doing a full, real, project proposal. b) if you are unfamiliar with online courses, spend a little extra time at the beginning familiarizing yourself (contact us at outcomes@iupui.edu for assistance if you need it).

For continuing education certification, "contact hours" are conservatively estimated at 10 hours.

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How does the course work? 
The course consists of:

  • a website with online instructional material,
  • assignments made and responded to by an instructor, and, for some sessions,
  • collaboration and communication through a course management site (moodle, which is similar to Blackboard, WebCT, or OnCourse/Sakai).

Course participants interact with the instructional material, communicate with the instructor, and work with fellow students online.

The 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), 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.
  • Includes 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).
  • Uses participants' own projects: on each module, participants apply the concepts to their own projects.

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In what forms can the course be delivered?

  • An online, instructor-mediated course, ranging from three to six weeks in length. Check our Registration page for schedule of course sessions.
  • An online, independent-study course where students read the material on their own and learn from the provided case studies. This format does not provide continuing education credits. .
  • An organization that has its own personnel development staff can use the online Instructor's Manual and course materials to offer the course internally.
  • Associations can arrange for an instructor to offer the course as an in-person workshop. If you would like to tap Shaping Outcomes staff and instructors for this, please contact outcomes@iupui.edu.

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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 where Shaping Outcomes is certified. If your location is not listed, consult with your supervisor, or local certifying authority.

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Who is eligible to participate?
Shaping Outcomes works best when participants have:

  • some experience OR education
  • a workable technology set-up
  • a project idea

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What are my responsibilities during the course?
Participants work with online materials as determined by the course structure and the instructor. Typically, this will entail one module of the course course, plus accompanying assignments, each week. To maximize the course experience and benefits, participants should have a project or program idea of their own they would like to implement through their work with the incorporated Shaping Outcomes logic model.

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When are course materials available?
The Shaping Outcomes course modules are always available. Once you have registered for a particular class, your instructor will make additional materials available to you.

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How do I register for the course?
For information about registering for upcoming courses, please visit our Registration page, or contact:

Dr. Rachel Applegate, Project Director
755 W. Michigan St., UL 3100
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Voice: (317) 278-2385
Fax: (317) 278-1807 (Call first)

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