Narrative: A team of academic researchers will conduct an independent program evaluation of the effectiveness of the VEEP project. They will work with the VEEP project manager to collect the necessary data pre and post-program delivery. Because this research project will involve the use of human beings as research subjects, researchers will obtain approval to proceed from the University of Windsor’s Research Ethics Board (REB).
A mixed-method approach will be used for evaluating VEEP project outcomes. For the quantitative study, using Qualtrics, two separate online anonymous structured quantitative surveys will be administered, one regarding youth participation in prior on-line, in-person/traditional learning, and the second to evaluate comparable aspects of the VEEP virtual/online learning component. The survey questionnaires will include 1) objective and comparative content benchmarking questions, 2) demographic information related to gender, age, duration of involvement in each program, and 3) perceived and attitudinal measures of learning orientation, confidence and satisfaction.
NCCE will send the survey link to all youth who are enrolled in VEEP initiative. Before sending the survey link to the learners, a consent letter will be sent to obtain permission from parents or legal guardians to let their children participate in the survey. Using a 5-point Likert Scale, participants will be asked to rate their knowledge, attitudes, skills, behaviors, performance, or status after completing the traditional on-line and in-person versus remote/online/virtual VEEP framework. Survey data will provide valuable insight to help understand the impact of the VEEP online/remote/virtual learning program, the effectiveness of the program in comparison to the traditional on-line and in-person learning.
In order to follow-up on interesting points that arise in the surveys, NCCE Inc. will send out invitations to the program participants to participate in a one-hour confidential telephone or video-based semi-structured interviews with the researchers. The interviews will enhance understanding of participant experiences, personal needs, opportunities, and challenges of the virtual learning approach. Once finished, the researchers will independently review the transcribed notes and identify and group challenges and themes. Patterns related to participants’ experiences, social embeddedness and resiliency will be identified. The interpretations will be compared, and agreement reached on the important emerging themes. This information from the participants will help to assess and enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of the VEEP framework.