Piloting a long-term evaluation of library data workshops
Keywords:library evaluation, data education, data science, library workshops
Background: Over four years of hosting library data workshops, we conducted post-workshop evaluation of attendees’ satisfaction with the workshops but not longer-term follow-up. To best allocate library resources and most effectively serve the needs of our users, we sought to determine whether our data workshops were impactful and useful to our community. This paper describes a pilot project to evaluate the impact of data workshops at our academic health sciences library.
Case Presentation: We surveyed individuals who signed up for data workshops between 2016 and 2019. Surveys included open-ended and multiple-choice questions, with the goal of having participants describe their motivations for taking the workshop(s) and how they ultimately used what they learned. An analysis of responses using the Applied Thematic Analysis model indicated that the workshops had an impact on the respondents, although the strength of our conclusions is limited by a relatively low response rate.
Conclusions: Survey results indicated that our workshops impacted how researchers at our medical center collect and analyze data, supporting the conclusion that we should concentrate our educational efforts on providing skills-based workshops. The low response rate and time-consuming nature of the analysis point toward several improvements for future evaluation efforts, including better tracking of workshop attendees, a shorter survey with fewer open-ended questions, and survey implementation within one year of the workshop date.
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