A logic model is a graphical representation that outlines the relationships between the resources, activities, outcomes, and intended impact of your professional learning program. An effective logic model aligns the programming to the programming’s goals—which makes it the perfect outline for evaluation.
But what does “alignment” actually mean in this context? Two key factors:
- Assessing the assumptions, rationales, and logic behind the program, and whether they are likely to impact the specific final outcome
- Determining the leading indicators and short-term outcomes that will show whether a program is working as intended, and what (if any) adjustments will help that outcome
Creating a Logic Model
Logic models bring planning, foresight and action together into a visual model of your program’s operations. They’re typically constructed before a program begins, providing an overview of the available resources, planned activities, predicted outcomes, and ultimate impact.
The William K. Kellogg Foundation says that a logic model “provides a road map of your program, highlighting how it is expected to work, what activities need to come before others, and how desired outcomes are achieved.” (See more at the WKKF Program Evaluation Handbook.)
Logic model components can vary by organization, but usually break down into:
The process elements under your control.
- Inputs: Starting resources or investments.
- Activities: Program strategies or events.
- Outputs: Material products of the activities.
Intended effects of your program
- Outcomes: The short- and medium-term effects of your actions
- Impact: The long-term effects of your outcomes that represent the ultimate goal of any program
A logic model, then, becomes the perfect backbone for identifying precisely what practices are being changed and what data would indicate that change. So in the context of the literacy programming above, the model may look something like: