Although experimental measurements in a spotless laboratory are out, there are a number of other methods by which to evaluate an academic program. In order to better understand the long-term impact of the MAOL, this summer we conducted in-depth qualitative interviews and focus groups with alumni, thesis-stage students, DAI staff and academic partner staff. For each group, we devised a set of standard questions about key aspects of the program that guided our interviews.
What did we want to know? At its most basic, we wanted to uncover what’s working and what needs improvement. Below is a sampling of the questions we used to get at this information.
- What would you say are the primary strengths of the program?
- What challenges are you experiencing in your job that you wish had been addressed – or addressed more thoroughly – during your MAOL program?
- What were some of the best educational practices you experienced? Which ones were not so effective?
- Did the MAOL help you grow in your spiritual life? If so, in what ways?
- What are the greatest strengths of the MAOL in your location? What do you think is missing? What would you want more of?
- Imagine a time when the partnership between you and DAI is operating really effectively. Can you describe what that relationship would look like?
- If you were to recreate the MAOL for future cohorts of students, what would you do?
See Also: Measuring Success: The MAOL at 10 Years
Author: Dr. Jim Gieser, Director of the MAOL Program, joined DAI in 2013. Jim manages the enrollment process, curriculum development, academic partnership development and faculty recruitment and training. His new eyes and fresh perspectives are wonderful additions to the MAOL team during their 10 year evaluation process. Jim holds three graduate level degrees the highest being a Doctorate of Education. He has lived and worked in Germany and South Africa.