Findings from Five Out-of-School Time Focus Groups: Professional Development Preferences, Experiences and Recommendations for Future Planning

Jennifer Buher-Kane, Nancy Peter, Stacy Olitsky, Susan Kinnevy


Evaluating professional development can assist with designing better programs in the future, yet survey instruments may not always capture the nuances of participant’s experiences. Therefore, in order to develop better survey instruments, the Out-of-School Time Resource Center conducted a series of five focus groups. Questions pertained to participants’ job-related needs, preferred types of professional development, characteristics of both “good” and “bad” workshops, reasons why new information is not utilized, and recommendations for policymakers/funders. Findings from the focus groups have been used to revise OSTRC pilot surveys, which will be standardized and published as an Evaluation Toolkit that can be used to design and evaluate OST conferences.


Professional Development Evaluation; Out-of-School Time; AfterSchool Focus Group; Workshop Evaluation

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