The use of a logic model to guide evaluation questions and measures is helpful for a top-level visualization in organizing planning and analysis when designing outcome-based evaluations. For example, if a college were evaluating a new instructional approach for a two-semester remediation sequence and found that it was ineffective or even harmful, it might be important for colleges to understand more about what was occurring in the classroom and how students perceived the instructional approach in order to understand why it failed and avoid similar issues in the future.
Logic models in corequisite remediation typically have at least three sections, including the following:
- Inputs are the resources and support required for delivering the aspect of corequisite remediation that is being evaluated. These could include staff, instructional materials, financial resources and facilities.
- Program activities are the core components of the corequisite model, i.e., the things that are being done to deliver the particular practice or aspect of the corequisite model being evaluated. Depending on which part of corequisite remediation is being evaluated, these activities might include structural components of the corequisite model, instructional activities, or other required support activities (e.g., scheduling, advising, tutoring). Some logic models also specify outputs, which are the immediate result of having delivered the corequisite remediation practice or model component as planned.
- Outcomes represent the types of expected changes and results when the corequisite is delivered successfully. It can be useful to break these out into short-term outcomes, which might be observed within the semester, and longer-term outcomes, which ultimately are the measures of student success that the feature, practice or process is meant to affect. Because of the need for quickly turning around results, rapid-cycle evaluation will focus on measuring short-term outcomes.
- Start with the key activities, including what must be done to deliver the corequisite model component, practice, or process that is evaluated. Next, list the inputs—i.e., what resources are required to achieve these activities. Then fill in long-term outcomes—the ultimate student success outcomes the college aims for. Map backward to shorter-term outcomes to describe what the college hopes will happen between the time the corequisite activities take place and the long-term outcomes are observed.
- Identify which aspects of the logic model are highest priority to measure effectiveness and inform improvements.
- Develop concrete questions that will be addressed through the evaluation.
An example of a logic model in corequisite remediation can be found on page 32 of the “Tools for Improving Corequisite Models” RAND report.