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Assessing the Efficacy of School Health Programs

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  • 0:01 Assessing Efficacy
  • 0:52 Surveys
  • 1:58 Links to Other Programs
  • 3:04 Other Assessment Strategies
  • 4:02 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Assessing the efficacy of a school health program on a regular basis is a critical component of ensuring that it meets the desired and stated goals in its plan and curriculum. This lesson covers some strategies related to assessing its efficacy.

Assessing Efficacy

I think that we can both agree that helping a school health education program is one thing, but ensuring that it actually meets the goals it has set out to meet is entirely another. We may design a program with the best intentions in mind but that doesn't mean it will accomplish those goals. A school health program is a comprehensive set of classes, policies, programs, and support networks designed to encourage student health and safety.

So how do we assess the efficacy of a school health program, in order to ensure those educational goals are actually being met? I think you'll agree that it's important we do so in a proper manner. Otherwise one of the most critical aspects of any child's education issues critical to their health may be ignored or accidentally glossed over. Let's go over assessment strategies we can employ to ensure neither of these things happen.

Surveys

Why don't we begin with the basic concepts related to assessing a health education program first, before going into examples of more particular ones later on in this lesson.

First, you can conduct surveys or focus groups with teachers. Why do this? Well, these will allow you to figure out what is being taught when and how much time is being devoted to a particular topic. It will allow you to figure out the teaching methods being used and the ways by which students are being assessed in order to monitor their achievements and understand of core topics.

Such groups are surveys will also allow teachers to express what they see on the front lines in the classrooms and thus what concepts and skills they believe need to be emphasized so the needs of their students are met. It's one thing to develop a plan; it's another to see how it actually pans out. This is why surveying teachers is important to ensure that things are panning out as planned and if they're not, what can be done about it.

Example questions that can be asked include:

In what ways has the program been successful?

What challenges have you encountered with this program?

What can be done to improve this program?

Links to Other Programs

The last section was kind of obvious. I mean, it's clear that we need teachers to tell us how things are going and what needs to be changed so the curriculum is being implemented as planned. But there are other subtle nuances that we need to look at that will tell us how and whether a school health education program is effective. This doesn't always have to deal with teacher or student performance directly. Instead, we can assess how the health education program links to other health-related initiatives in the school.

For instance, is the subject-matter taught in the classroom in line with what is being served at the school cafeteria? If our surveys find that the lunch menu is full of fast food but the curriculum emphasizes eating fruits and vegetables, that's a big conflict of interest. Isn't it? It will also make students question the veracity of what it is they are learning.

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