Development of the OSTRC Conference Evaluation Toolkit

Jennifer Buher-Kane, Nancy Peter, Stefanie Gabel


Research demonstrates that staff quality directly impacts student achievement in out-of-school time (OST) settings, and that effective staff development contributes to a skilled workforce. Evaluating OST professional development is therefore attracting increased attention from researchers, practitioners, and funding agencies. In the spring of 2004, the Out-of-School Time Resource Center (OSTRC) began searching for professional development evaluation instruments designed specifically for the OST field. Since the OSTRC could not locate research-based surveys for this genre, it implemented a pilot study to create and test such instruments. These surveys were designed to evaluate professional conferences, which are critical (but not exclusive) components of OST professional development opportunities. The overarching goal of this study was to operationalize the pathway between professional development conferences and increased student learning.

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