Writing Outcomes: What Will Change?
Outcomes are the basis for your evaluation plan. Ask yourself what will change as a result of your project and use the answers as outcomes. Then ask yourself how you will measure the change.
If you are implementing a project to make your local high school safer from school violence, you might plan on the following changes and measures that can be combined into an outcome statement:
What will change? Students will not bring weapons to school.
How will we know? Reduced number of students expelled for weapons; findings of random locker checks.
Outcome statement: As an outcome of the safer-schools program, results from four random locker checks will yield fewer weapons and at the end of year one; fewer students will have been expelled for weapons violations on school grounds.
What will change? Teachers will be able to identify behaviors indicative of propensity for school violence and take appropriate intervention measures.
How will we know? Number of teachers attending workshops provided by FBI school-violence specialist; number of teachers scoring high on workshop learning reviews; number of students referred to counseling for suspicious behaviors.
Outcome statement: As a result of workshops conducted by FBI school-violence specialists, teachers will be better equipped to identify behaviors that signal school violence and make appropriate system referrals for troubled students as indicated by an increased number of teacher referrals to counseling specialists and the reasons for referrals.
What will change? Fighting on school grounds will decrease.
How will we know? Fewer suspensions/expulsions for fighting; referrals for counseling; number of students participating in peer-dispute resolution sessions.
Outcome statement: Fighting on school grounds will decrease as indicated by comparative data on school disciplinary actions and by the number and results of student peer-dispute resolution sessions.
Some outcomes cannot be achieved during the grant period, even in a three-year funded project. When you report on your outcomes, you should be sure that you report progress toward the outcomes even when you cannot report having achieved the change(s) permanently.