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HGI Project and Evaluation

Highest Good Institute eLearning Center


Personal Project and Evaluation
Highest Good Publications recently launched a new website Highest Good Institute
eLearning Center http://highestgoodinstitute.org. Cheryl Katherine Wash created Highest Good
Publications. Located in Illinois, Highest Good focuses on publishing self-improvement and
inspirational titles.
The founder is excited about a formal evaluation of the Highest Good Institute eLearning
center to determine how efficient and effective the business is that she believes she has made
a tremendous impact by launching the distance learning program based on feedback from clients.
However, Wash has not had any formal evaluation performed to date and understands that
funding will not be secured based on gut feelings and perceptions.
According to Boulmetis and Dutwin (2005) People do not always agree on
one definition of evaluation. Following are two different definitions:

Evaluation is the systematic process of collecting and analyzing data in order to


determine whether and to what degree objectives have been or are being achieved.

Evaluation is the systematic process of collecting and analyzing data in order to make a
decision.
Wash believes what many experts agree that an evaluation should not only assess

program results but also identify ways to improve the program evaluated (Boulmetis &
Dutin, 2005). However, if Wash is only to select one definition she would go with the first.

HGI Project and Evaluation

Wash is working with several goals and objectives and knowing she has multiple projects to
cover the first definition states to what degree objectives have been or are being achieved.
In 1999, on behalf of the organization, Wash launched the companys first website.
Because technology has inspired distance learning, Wash decided to collaborate her publishing
with adult education and training. Wash has launched Highest Good Institute online eLearning
center for facilitators and adult learners. Implementing a distance learning program will allow
authors and educators an opportunity to create instruction based on his or her books and turn his
or her passion into powerbusiness entrepreneurs.
In order for Wash to move her company into the digital age, integrating publishing with
adult education will allows users to create and publish free digital books. The site helps
teachers/instructors interested in making original textbooks and other classroom reading
materials.
Funding is imperative to launch successfully a robust e-learning center. Equally
important will be to hire a professional IT staff to develop and maintain the e-learning setting
and its supporting applications will be necessary. Technological changes will occur within
Highest Good and will serve business and societal needs moving forward.
Wash would wants to evaluate Highest Good Institute eLearning business model for
fiscal purposes to secure future funding for the distance learning center. Wash believe that
showing how much she accomplished with the funds she had on hand the impact she believes she
has made to society will help in securing additional funding. Wash believes that the following

HGI Project and Evaluation

questions should be addressed in a formally mandated evaluation: When did do


begin the program or project? How much did it cost? How long did it take? Questions of
effectiveness might be: What did you do? How well did you do it? What were the outcomes?
Questions of impact might be: Did the program influence lives? Did the program add value?
(Boulmetis & Dutwin, 2005),
The company currently being with a small team of employees who each had a
special niche in helping manage the technologies used; for example there was a computer expert,

a marketing expert, a sales associate, and the founder who is the visionary of the company,
Cheryl Katherine Wash. Each team member helped to manage the different technologies used to
keep the company moving forward. Because of economic setbacks, Wash is running and
managing the entire company, which can be overwhelming.
Wash is doing her best to keep up with the software such as Microsoft Windows,
Adobe Photoshop, Google Docs, Word Press, and Caf Press. She also manages and relies on
Apple products, such as the Mac computer and iTunes. Wash also uses websites like
Amazon.com and EBay.com to distribute publications on the Kindle e-reader, and she continues
to try to keep Highest Good Publications updated on social media networks such as Facebook.
This has been a very challenging and trying time for Wash as she is doing her best to manage all
of the technologies herself to keep the company up to date. She has partnered recently with
DePaul University and Columbia College service learning departments to get help from students

HGI Project and Evaluation

with creating events and marketing.


To stay current with the trend of technology, Highest Good Publications uses the
following tools to conduct business: software such as Microsoft Windows, Adobe Photoshop,
Google Docs, Word Press, and Caf Press. In addition to the software, Highest Good
Publications relies on Apple products, such as the Mac computer and iTunes. Another
application used for business is Skype. Skype in the classroom is a free platform for connecting
educators, students, and experts to learners everywhere. Television host Oprah Winfrey and
owner of the OWN network uses Skype weekly to connect millions of facilitators, learners, and
viewers from around the world during her live self-help classes.
To ensure Highest Good Publications is accessible and available to all, Highest Good
Publications uses the websites Amazon.com and EBay.com to distribute publications on the
Kindle e-reader. Highest Good Publications also can be found on social media networks such as
Twitter, Facebook, and Ning.
Highest Good Publications (HGP) is an independent publisher that gives voice to new
and established authors with positive voices. HGP publishes at least 20 new
titles yearly under the following four imprints: Highest Good Publications, Pocket Books for
Your Soul, EbonyEnergy Publishing, EbonyEnergy Books, and GEM Literary Foundation. HGP
publishes inspirational and motivational fiction and nonfiction titles as well as a line of novels,
art, and childrens books.
Publications and titles are distributed through Amazon.com, Kindle, and

HGI Project and Evaluation

Baker & Taylor. Published books can be ordered through any online book
seller or store. If the book is not in stock, it can be purchased by asking the
store manager or librarian to order by title and International Standard Book Number (ISBN).
Wash is currently learning the features of Google Docs because this tool provides
collaboration and communication on projects between students and instructors and even
instructor to instructor. Because Wash has budget constraints Google Docs is a free accessible
tool that requires no installation and is comparable to Office Suites.
This is a perfect platform for Wash to work with student interns and service
learning students because it is perfect for an instructors use of spreadsheets and word
processing. Google Docs can share documents with multiple people, and even allow others to
edit documents if necessary. Another example why the evaluation is key would be
of a goal is to is to request new equipment to upgrade technology to prepare for the expansion
of the company. The new equipment wills support volunteers and grant writers. Each
item to be purchased with the funds will be a huge benefit to program and the entire online
eLearning center.
Wash believes that an evaluation will help better promote the program and recruit
students to HGI. Interns and volunteers will have better equipment, training, and preparation in
areas of the organization. Highest Good Institute eLearning center to launch successfully and
provide a (CMS) course management system and podcasts. HGP will have to consider the
following recommendations: How does the organization address concerns, such as the type and

HGI Project and Evaluation

size of bandwidth and the capability of implementing Web 2.0 tools? The challenge with
estimating the bandwidth is estimating the amount of traffic and use of the site.
To provide such estimate it is necessary to have a figure of the average page size, multiply this
by an average of number of visitors per month and multiply it by the average number of page
views per visitor.
It is always important to leave room for growth. As pages are added the number of page
views increases. Moreover, as the site becomes more known it will increase the traffic growth.
Bandwidth correlates to browsing habits: connection speeds and loading times. For, down
streaming it is necessary to have three to four Mbps, this will be enough to do video chat,
streaming video, high quality photos, file sharing, and obsessive Facebook use. For up streaming
around two Mbps are necessary. This is enough to do: Skype with more than two people, remote
backup, and host a small site web server. As mentioned above the site is fairly comfortable using
Microsoft Windows, Adobe Photoshop, Google Docs, Word Press, and Caf Press. In addition
with its apt use of social media such as Facebook and Skype. To provide better technology
integration for learning opportunities for HGI interns and volunteers.
Ultimately Highest Good Publications will need to hire a full-time IT professional to expand
its network and manage its website. It will also be necessary to stay on top of ever changing
technology and be sure to launch books through new applications or websites created to serve
literary purposes.
Wash believes the transaction model developed by R. E. Stake in 1975 (Madaus,
Scriven, and Stufflebeam, 1983) affords a concentration of activity between you, as both

HGI Project and Evaluation

evaluator and participant, and the project staff. The main beneficiaries of an evaluation using this
model are the clients and practitioners.
According to Boulmetis, J., & Dutwin, P. (2005), This model combines monitoring with
process evaluation through a continuous back-and-forth between evaluator and staff. The
evaluator is an active participant, giving constant feedback. In effect, the evaluator is or acts as
one of the project staff members.
The evaluator uses a variety of observational and interview techniques to obtain
information from the program staff and clients. This model may have a goal-free or a goal-based
orientation. Instead of trying to achieve objectivity as in the previous models, the evaluator uses
subjectivity in the transaction model.
To conclude, Wash believes the evaluation using transactional will help with program
understanding participation, data collection, analysis, and interpretation. The transactional will
also determine what does the program look like from different vantage points and the cost to
manage successfully the HGI eLearning Center program and provide the equipment needs and
cost to help interns prepare distance learning students, authors, writers, educators, and, others
interested in the publishing industry for further education, careers, and recreation.

HGI Project and Evaluation

References
Boulmetis, J., & Dutwin, P. (2005). The ABCs of evaluation: Timeless techniques for program
and project managers (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Suskie, L. (2009). Assessing student learning: A common sense guide (2nd ed.). San Francisco,
CA: Jossey-Bass.