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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Web-based Youth Development Model Linking Program Design and Evaluation

Dr Susan J. Barkman.

For years, youth development professionals have proclaimed that their programs have developed life skills and workforce preparation skills. As youth development professionals, we intuitively have designed programs that build these skills, yet we really could not point to specific research for that design nor did we have any way to quantitatively measure the impact of those programs. The "Four-Fold Youth Development Model" was designed to solve both of these problems. The model includes all the skills (life skills, science process skills, and workforce preparation skills) that youth need to become confident, capable, caring and responsible citizens. For each skill, developers have conducted research to determine what components (referred as the skill set) are needed to achieve that skill. This "skill set" can be used to more effectively design youth development programs that develop targeted skills. Once the program has been designed and implemented, youth development professionals can then use the model's standardized procedures and instruments to measure whether their programs achieved the targeted outcomes (life skills, science process skills, or workforce preparation skills).

The Four-Fold Youth Development Model and web site is helping professionals in youth development organizations to more effectively design and evaluate the impact of their educational programs. Authors have incorporated several unique features that distinguish the Four-Fold Youth Development Model and web site from existing models.
- inclusion of components or a "skill set" for each individual skill
- inclusion of instruments that yield reliable and valid data:
- inclusion of research study abstracts:
- inclusion of sample educational activities.
- linkage to statistical software for instantaneous on-line data analysis.

The model was published in the Winter 2000 issue of the Community Youth Development Journal and received a President's Maximum Award from the American Evaluation Association in 1999. It recently was published as a chapter in 2002 CYD Anthology book. Conference participants will have an opportunity to view the Four-Fold Youth Development website, review sample instruments and educational activities, and talk with authors. They will learn that any program that utilizes the research based "skill set" to design their program can be evaluated using the standardize instruments. Participants will lean how to use the web site to download educational activities, evaluation instruments, and enter and analyze their data on-line.


Dr Susan J. Barkman  (United States)
4-H Youth Development Department
Purdue University

  • Youth development
  • Non-formal education
  • On-line data analysis

(60 min Workshop, English)