Conduct the pre-test
Your DIY evaluation is progressing nicely; you have now framed your question, chosen your assessment measures and your evaluation design. The planning stages are complete. The next stage is to establish your baseline through a pre-test and deliver the intervention.
A pre-test helps us establish where pupils start from and enables us to create a good comparison group. Pupils in your intervention and comparison groups should be starting from the same point. You should conduct your pre-test:
- Before you start implementing the approach you are testing;
- At the same time (or time of year if you are using a prior year as a comparison) for both the comparison and treatment group;
- At a time when as many of the pupils as possible will be there to ensure you have the largest possible sample for the analysis; and,
- Before you randomly allocate or decide groups, if you are going to use random allocation (this reduces the chance of bias influencing your baseline results).
You could also collect additional information on pupils that might have an effect on outcome, such as sex, free school meal status, as it will be interesting to look at this in the analysis.