How to collect data
In addition to planning and selecting your evaluation design, you also need to figure out how to collect evaluation data. There are two main types of data: quantitative and qualitative.
Quantitative data is quantifiable and numerical and is particularly useful when trying to establish causality between an independent variable (program or activity) and dependent variable (food safety knowledge, attitudes, or behavior etc.) or if you want to obtain some sort of score or rating on a topic, such as a knowledge score. It is best to use quantitative methods when the subject topic is well researched and when you have a valid and reliable data collection tool. This method is usually considered to be more objective and less biased than qualitative methods. In addition, it can be easier to demonstrate the validity and reliability of quantitative data than with qualitative data.
Qualitative data is generally non-numerical and more exploratory in nature. It is used to identify important themes related to a particular topic and to gather detailed insight into more complex issues . Qualitative data collection methods can provide valuable information about personal thoughts, experiences, feelings, and interpretations that can often be overlooked when using quantitative methods. It is a particularly good method to use when there is little is known about research topic.
Below are different data collection methods you could use to for your evaluation. Consider the benefits and limitations of each option in relation to your resources, the purpose of your evaluation, and your target audience.
- Aldoory, L., Ryan, K.B., & Rouhani, A. (2014). Best practices and new models of health literacy for informed consent: review of the impact of informed consent regulations on health literate communications. Institute of Medicine. Retrieved from: http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/PublicHealth/HealthLiteracy/Commissioned-Papers/Informed_Consent_HealthLit.pdf
- Beatty, P. C., & Willis, G. B. (2007). Research synthesis: The practice of cognitive interviewing. Public Opinion Quarterly, 71(2), 287-311.
- Borrusso P, Quinlan JJ. (2013) Development and Piloting of a Food Safety Audit Tool for the Domestic Environment. Foods, 2(4),572-584.
- Brodalski, D., Brink, H, Curtis, J., Dia, S., Schindelar, J., Shannon, C., & Wolfson, C. (2011). The health communicator’s social media toolkit. Electronic Media Branch, Division of News and Electronic Media, Office of the Associate Director of Communication at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/toolstemplates/socialmediatoolkit_bm.pdf
- Byrd-Bredbenner, C., Maurer, J. Wheatley, V., Cottone, E., & Clancy, M. (2007). Observed food safety behaviors of young adults. British Food Journal, 109(7),519-530.
- Byrd-Bredbenner, C., Schaffner, D. W, & Abbot, J. M. (2010). How food safe is your home kitchen? A self-directed home kitchen audit. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior. 42,286-289.
- Byrd-Bredbenner, C., Wheatley, V., Schaffer, D., Bruhn, C., Blalock, L., & Maurer, J. (2007). Development of Food Safety Psychosocial Questionnaires for Young Adults. Journal of Food Science Education; 6(2),30-37.
- Carmines, E. G., & Zeller, R. A. (1979). Reliability and Validity Assessment. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
- Cates, S., Blitstein, J., Hersey, J., Kosa, K., Flicker, L., Morgan, K., & Bell, L. (2014). Addressing the challenges of conducting effective supplemental nutrition assistance program education (SNAP-Ed) evaluations: a step-by-step guide. Prepared by Altarum Institute and RTI International for the USDA, Food and Nutrition Service. Retrieved from: http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/SNAPEDWaveII_Guide.pdf
- Collins, D. (2003). Pretesting survey instruments: An overview of cognitive methods. Quality of Life Research, 12, 229-238.
- Creswell, J. W. (2007). Chapter 3: Designing a Qualitative Study. Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing among Five Approaches, 35-41.
- Daugherty, S. D., Harris-Kojetin, L., Squire, C., & Jael, E. (2001). Maximizing the quality of cognitive interviewing data: An exploration of three approaches and their informational contributions. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Statistical Association.
- Dharod, J. M., Perez-Escamilla, R., Paciello, S., Venkitanarayanan, K., Bermudez-Millan, A., & Damio, G. (2007). Critical control points for home prepared ‘Chicken and Salad’ in Puerto Rican households. Food Protection Trends, 27(7), 544-522
- Food and Drug Administration (FDA). White Paper on Consumer Research and Food Safety Education. (DRAFT).
- Grembowski, D. (2001).The practice of health program evaluation. London, U.K.: Sage Publications.
- Haeger, H., Lambert, A. D., Kinzie, J., & Gieser, J. (2012). Using cognitive interviews to improve survey instruments. Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research – Paper presented at the annual forum of the Association for Institutional Research. Retrieved from: http://cpr.indiana.edu/uploads/AIR2012%20Cognitive%20Interviews.pdf
- Issel, L. Michele. (2014) Health program planning and evaluation: a practical and systematic approach for community health Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
- Jobe, J. B. (2003). Cognitive psychology and self-reports: Models and methods. Quality of Life Research, 12, 219-227
- Kendall, P. A., Elsbernd, A., Sinclair, K., Schroeder, M., Chen, G., Bergmann, V., & Medeiros, L. C. (2004). Observation versus self-report: Validation of a consumer food behavior questionnaire. Journal of Food Protection, 67(11), 2578-2586.
- Medeiros, L.C, Hillers, V. N, Chen, G., Bergmann, V., Kendall, P. & Schroeder, M. (2004) Design and development of food safety knowledge and attitude scales for consumer food safety education. J Am Diet Assoc. 104(11), 1671-1677.
- Parra, P. A., Kim, H., Shapiro, M. A., & Gravani, R. (2014). Home food safety knowledge, risk perception, and practices among Mexican-Americans. Food Control, 37(1), 115-125.
- Phang, H. S., & Bruhn, C. M. (2011). Burger preparation: what consumers say and do in the home. Journal of Food Protection, 74(10), 1708-1716.
- Takeuchi, M. T., Edlefsen, M., McCurdy, S. M., & Hillers, V. N. (2006). Development and validation of stages-of-change questions to assess consumers’ readiness to use a food thermometer when cooking small cuts of meat. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 106(2), 262–266.
- U.S Department of Health & Human Services. (2009). Code of federal regulations, title 45, public welfare, part 46 protection of human subjects. Retrieved from http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/regulations-and-policy/regulations/45-cfr-46/index.html
- Wallerstein, N. B., and Duran, B. (2006) Using community-based participatory research to address health disparities. Health Promotion and Practice. 7(3), 312-323.
- Willis, G. B. (1999). Cognitive interviewing: A “How To” guide. Research Triangle Institute. 1999 Meeting of the American Statistical Association. Research Triangle Park, NC: Research Triangle Institute. Retrieved from: http://appliedresearch.cancer.gov/archive/cognitive/interview.pdf