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

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.

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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. The course provides knowledge checks and examples of how the concepts are applied.
  • A good choice is to learn in a team. Since OBPE affects implementation throughout a program, it is very effective for several people from the same institution to go through 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 they need to apply those concepts to their own project, in the form of a logic model. For this 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.

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How does the course work? 
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.
  • An online, independent-study course where students read the material on their own and learn from the provided case studies.
  • 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, or employers, 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 Dr. Rachel Applegate at

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Who benefits from participating?
Shaping Outcomes works best when participants have:

  1. some experience OR education,
  2. a workable technology set-up,
  3. and a project idea.

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When are course materials available?
The Shaping Outcomes course modules are always available by clicking on "Course" via the top navigation bar.

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Are courses available now?
Currently there are no courses scheduled on an independent basis. If your organization would like to arrange for an online instructor for a group of students, please contact the director of Shaping Outcomes, Dr. Rachel Applegate, at

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