Evaluating changes in knowledge and behavior

Communicators often measure what we do, but too often measurement is limited to outputs. What really counts is the degree to which our communications really change the way people think and behave. So how to combine the use of new communication tools like blogs, wikis, and mash-ups with traditional research methods? Here’s a brief case study written by Glenn O’Neil, Benchpoint Ltd. and International University in Geneva, Switzerland. O’Neil measured the degree of change in the knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of people who attended the LIFT06 conference.

Measures of behavior change included actions undertaken, initiatives launched, and contacts made, as a result of attending the conference. O’Neil used qualitative and quantitative methods to construct an evaluation framework, and drew from methods developed in the fields of public relations and adult learning. Data sources included content analysis of blog posts and a conference program wiki, and a participant survey.

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