Evaluation Tools

Published on 11/05/2020

NCWIT provides these tools in the hopes that you will find them useful as a starting point for your own evaluations. Along with survey questions, there are interview and observation protocols. Some of the survey instruments have been validated in particular settings, and others just field-tested. Ideally, you will hire a professional evaluator to work with you, but when that is not possible, you can move forward with these tools yourself.

Why Evaluate?

  • To help you assess where to put scarce resources
  • Answer questions about your particular program or intervention
  • To keep track of your inputs and outputs
  • To improve what you are doing
  • To find out if you are achieving your goals
  • To justify your activities to others
  • To secure funding

Evaluation Tools You Can Use

  • NCWIT’s evaluation tools contain customizable tools for many different audiences and contexts.
  • Surveys, Interview Guides, Observation Protocols, Worksheets, Self-Reports

How Should I Collect Demographic Data?

  • Use this Guide to demographic data for important considerations and sample questions.
  • This NCWIT blog explains why knowing participation across demographic groups is important.

How Do I Analyze the Data?

  • For help analyzing survey data, see the following two resources: NCWIT 101 (Module 5: Evaluation) & the Student Experience of the Major Program-in-a-Box
  • For analyzing qualitative data, we recommend using Excel if you only have open-ended questions on a survey. If you have interview or observation data, then use a qualitative data analysis software program such as Dedoose or NVivo. If you are at a college or university, they may have a site license program you can take advantage of for free or at reduced cost.

General Tips

  • Tips for Survey Construction and Administration
  • You can upload questions from a .docx or Google Form to Survey Monkey, or a .doc or .txt on Qualtrics
  • If you do not have access to Survey Monkey or Qualtrics, you could use Google Forms. Doing so means your data will be available to you through Google Sheets, which you can export into Excel as needed.
  • While every institution (and funder) differs, you should determine if you need Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval before conducting your study. Typically, evaluations do not need IRB approval because they are not intended to produce findings that would generalize to a population. NCWIT’s home institution, the University of Colorado at Boulder, provides this decision tool for CU-Boulder researchers. Your institution may have different considerations. 
  • Explore non-NCWIT Survey & Evaluation Resources


This project was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under CNS 0813956. Any recommendations expressed in this toolset are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.

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