Using Logic Models for Program Planning in K20 Education

Using Logic Models for Program Planning in K20 Education

Carol Adamec Brown (East Carolina University, USA)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4249-2.ch025
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A well-designed logic model shows inter-connections within components of outreach programs, community projects, grant proposals, and even the design of a graduate internship. The logic model is a systematic display of inputs, outputs, outcomes, and impact on a community. One may define community as any group of people with a common vision, purpose, or problem. Relationships among people are the focal point for a community and the logic model can be used as a tool for fostering open communication within the community. The logic model is typically one of three approaches in design: 1) theoretical, 2) outcomes-based, or 3) activities approach. Use of a logic model ensures accountability for stakeholders, a tool for generating a common vision, and a method for reporting far-reaching impact as a result of activities identified for the model.
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There is ample evidence in the research literature to recommend use of logic models for educational, community health, and quality of life projects. Most projects require investment from diverse groups of stakeholders. Settings can be complex and goals multifaceted. Trends reported in the literature suggest there is much value in use of logic models to ensure goals are achieved and programs are sustained. Lane and Martin (2005) reported use of the logic model as a systematic and visual way to understand relationships among resources and activities for a women’s public health program. Women in an underserved rural region were not receiving cancer screenings at the level needed for the size of the community. Program planners applied the use of a logic model template to develop a strong infrastructure in an effort to build a more sustainable program. Outcomes from the program included strategies to increase awareness, increased opportunities for screening, data collection, and methods for disseminating knowledge.

Logic models are also used in academic settings. Brown (2012) used logic models in the design of instructional technology internships. Graduate students in the program used logic templates and systematic planning to envision best practice experiences, make decisions for appropriate activities, and recommend valid measures for evaluating outcomes. Students moved from a somewhat disorganized method for writing proposals to a more strategic process that resulted in productive, theory-based internship experiences.

Cobigo, Morin, and Mercier (2012) designed a logic model to evaluate a medium-term residency service for teens and adults who have both intellectual and behavioral disorders. Serving populations with Intellectual and Developmental Disorders (IDD) is multifaceted and complex. Corbigo and her colleagues recognized the importance of evaluating all contributing factors associated with intervention. The use of the logic model approach seemed to provide the accountability template needed to evaluate the treatment program. Both process and physical setting were examined to determine ways to help IDD clients move to a less restrictive environment while also improving quality of job satisfaction for the staff working at the facility. The literature reports use of logic models in a variety of settings with most being in community programs for health and human services, however in one unique project a logic model was used to promote positive youth development. Wells and Arthur-Banning (2008) used logic models with parks and recreation staff to maximize aspects for positive youth development. The model included a strong theoretical base with stakeholders valuing extensive reading and discussion of theory to practice activities. The relationship between goals and objectives, alignment with appropriate activities, and ways to measure outcomes resulted can lead to successful outcomes. A good starting place for use of a logic model begins with understanding the basic elements and variations of design.

Key Terms in this Chapter

STEM: A K20 initiative to bring awareness in the disciplines for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in education. The curriculum for STEM schools is focused on these content areas and includes methods for inquiry based learning.

Logic Model: A concept map used to show relationships across inputs, outputs, outcomes, and impact on society. The logic model is used as a communication tool for stakeholders and as a method for tracking progress throughout a project.

Stakeholders: Individuals who have varying levels of commitment to a project or program for a given community or setting. Stakeholders should hold a common vision and purpose.

Technology Facilitator/Coordinator: Master-level teachers in K12 school settings who serve as instructional designers, teacher-leaders, staff development coordinators, and technical engineers. In North Carolina, the position requires public school licensure.

Impact: Change in attitudes, actions, or ideas as a result of activities and use of resources. Impact is measured locally or can extend to national and international scale.

Common Core State Standards: A standard curriculum for K12 schools being implemented as part of standards-based reform across all states in the U.S. A states initiative with writers and evaluators representing most state departments of education.

Outcomes: Identified results from the completed activities implemented throughout a project or program.

Concept Map: A graphical depiction of relationships ideas, principals, and activities leading to one major theme.

Outputs: Deliverables coming from a planned project or program. These are usually measured quantitatively.

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