Two Saturdays ago I was at the Harvard Medical School’s palatial conference facilities, attending the launch of RISE, an organization that supports innovation through social enterprise in Egypt. I got to see Dr. Mona Amer, a psychology professor at the American University of Cairo, give an excellent presentation on program development and evaluation. She emphasized that only by making assessment mechanisms part of the design process will it be possible to generate the data needed to measure success — echoing the points that we often make about the use of classroom simulations and learning outcomes.
Dr. Amer discussed how a logic model functions as an effective design template in this regard, and while she was talking I suddenly realized that it is the perfect tool for students in my upcoming development economics course. As I’ve been doing in some of my other courses, students will be collaborating on projects and as part of their work they will have to both define success and create a means of measuring it. I can explain the purpose of a logic model and then give student teams copies of a blank version for them to fill in. This might work much better than the worksheets I used in the spring semester.
The University of Wisconsin office of cooperative extension has this helpful guide to teaching and training with logic models.