Self-Paced Learning Modules for Evaluation & Research

Module Overview

The University of Michigan School of Social Work evaluation instructors developed six online self-paced modules to supplement evaluation and research courses. These web-based modules allow students to practice and master evaluation competency skills in a more interactive and engaging way. There are six interactive, educational web-based modules.  The competency skills demonstration at the end of each modules increase in difficulty with multiple choice and fill in the blank questions. Even with no prior knowledge of evaluation, students have the supports to practice the skills needed until they could demonstrate mastery in the competency areas. A certificate of completion is provided to participants that can be used to prove their mastery of that particular skill area.  
Each module consists of three competency levels. In the first level, the beginning competency, key concepts are introduced. In order for the students to practice their understanding of the concepts and competency, a real world professional case study is introduced with sample data. A case study example could be how people with substance abuse are recruited for an evaluation project. At the beginning level, the supports will be all the possible answers with an explanation of those answers. Once the student has completed this beginning competency level, they will move to the emerging competency level.  Another case study with sample data will be presented. Partial supports will be offered to the student, such as all the possible answers but without explanations. The student must select the correct answer. When a student masters the emerging competency level, he or she will move to the final mastery competency level. A case study was given with sample data. No supports will be provided - instead, it is a fill in the blank format. The students completed the skills demonstration independently. At each level, the real world case studies showed students the relevancy of evaluation in social work.

Intended Audience

Students or evaluators who want to practice and/or demonstrate evaluation/research competency skills.

The Six Modules

Module Description
Evaluation Questions Formulating an appropriate evaluation question to drive the evaluation design
Evaluation Types Determining the appropriate type of evaluation
Evaluation Design Rigor Determining how rigorous an evaluation design is
Sampling Methods Determining what kind of sampling method to use
Data Collection Methods Finding out the appropriate way to collect the information you need
Statistical Tests* Selecting the appropriate statistical test to use

* Please read the following article to help you complete the statistical tests module:

Title: Teaching Inferential Statistics to Social Work Students: A Decision-making Flow Chart
Author: Kimberly A. Calderwood
Abstract: Given that social work research courses are typically built on modernist principles of teaching and content, it is not surprising that the majority of social work students dread these courses. Few attempts have been made to better align the modernist content of quantitative research with the postmodern philosophy and values inherent in current social work. This article presents a decision-making flow chart in conjunction with a problem-based learning framework so that students can be self-directed in the process of determining which inferential statistic to use when given a case example.​ You can visit or email to retrieve the full article.

Time to Complete

Each module will take approximately 20 minutes.

How to get your Certificate of Completion

To print the certificate at the end of the module, be sure you are in Internet Explorer or Firefox. If you do not have either of these browsers, you can also take a screenshot of the certificate and then print it.