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Author: Corey Newhouse

You Shouldn’t Play With Your Food, But You Should Play With Your Data!

I’ve worked with many expanded learning programs in many settings over the years, making me one of the luckier researchers out there. Too often, though, I see program staff dedicating a lot of time and effort to collecting data, and almost none to learning from it. What a bummer. One reason why data goes in, but doesn’t come back out, is because teams have too few experiences with exploratory, low...

Finding The Right Visual For Explaining Data

When I’m not writing blog posts for BOOST, I help mission-driven organizations use data to get better at what they do. I collaborate with really terrific organizations that are making a big difference in the lives of their communities, and their teams are dedicated to continuous improvement. And yet, sometimes when we say, “let’s look at your data!” our clients react like we’d just suggested a sel...

Make Your Surveys and Enrollment Forms More Inclusive

Equity and inclusion are on everyone’s minds these days. Out-of-school time professionals across the nation are taking a good look at their practices with an eye toward assuring that all young people and their families feel welcome. Don’t forget to review your program’s enrollment forms and surveys as part of this process – it’s a common, yet overlooked, spot for unconscious bias to have a field d...

Hate Your Data? There’s A Toolkit For That!

We’ve all been there. Frustrated with maintaining 15 different spreadsheets, 30-word documents, and 19 Survey Monkey Surveys, a nonprofit leader says, “Enough! Let’s just get a database.” Yes! Finally! A centralized place for all the program’s data will help the team serve clients better and make reporting to funders a breeze. Joy and excitement fade to sadness as the team struggles to fathom how ...

Turn Your Survey Hell into Survey Heaven in Three Easy Steps

Nearly all after-school and summer programs have their kids take surveys, and nearly all programs suffer through the process. Surveys so rarely live up to their promise, and it gets harder and harder to convince staff and youth to complete this annual chore. In my experience as a professional evaluator, surveys almost always have three big flaws that limit their usefulness. Fix these flaws to turn...

Get More from Your Data! Three Steps to Success

The end of the school year is a great time to take stock of your after school program, celebrating what went well and setting course to get even better in the future. It can be tough to wade through the data on hand. Too often, when teams sit down to get clear about what their data is saying, they struggle to figure out what really matters and what do to next. Use this three-step method to make mo...

Quality Comes First on the Road to Critical Skills and Mindsets

There’s a burgeoning conversation about what kids need in America. More and more, educators, youth developers, and policymakers are thinking and talking about how we help young people build critical skills and mindsets like persistence, self-awareness, empathy, and communication. Paul Tough’s popular book How Children Succeed brought these concepts to popular culture, even Ira Glass go...