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Camp Fire USA - Camp Fire USA Questionnaire Re-development...

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Camp Fire USA Questionnaire Re-development Regina Aucoin Lynnsey Belsome Emily Capdeville Melissa Crane Paul Dimitri Tyler Temple Research Methods and Technology Section 002 November 21, 2005
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Camp Fire USA is a national program that attempts to “provide, through a program of informal education, opportunities for youth to realize their potential and to function effectively as caring, self-directed individuals responsible to themselves and to others.” As an organization, Camp Fire seeks “to improve those conditions in society which affect youth.” This organization’s goal is to develop the children of today into thoughtful and productive members of society. Their slogan (Today’s kids. Tomorrow’s leaders.) makes his goal even more evident. Specifically, Camp Fire USA has two programs that children are put into to help them develop skills such as relationship-building, anger prevention and management, awareness of others’ behavior, and the ability to deal with peer pressure. These programs are taught to students in a multi-session course. Camp Fire USA is not having a problem teaching the course, however. Their problem is in the pre- and post-tests given to the children. These tests are the ideal way to measure the effectiveness of the program, but because of poor questionnaire development, lack of resources and varying reading and comprehension levels, the tests often are answered incorrectly. Evaluators then have a difficult time ascertaining which questionnaires are valid (in that the responses given by the students are accurate and match the knowledge gained in the program.) This time wasted is costly to the program, and still, the tests are not fulfilling their purpose of providing a measure of the effectiveness of the course. Therefore, after an evaluation of the present questionnaires serving as the pre- and post- tests, and a literature search involving information about questionnaire development, reading levels, and learning environments, a new questionnaire was developed with all of these previous problems in mind.
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Literature Review Much of the research found about questionnaires directly pertains to many of the problems with the Camp Fire tests. Through an examination of the interview, it remains clear that the best way to measure the effectiveness of the program is through a questionnaire. According to Labaw, questionnaires are cheap, and can contain more complex questions. They can also be longer, gaining more information than an interview. Particularly in the situation that Camp Fire is in, they do not have the resources to sit down and interview each child. Questionnaires given on the spot are the best way to gain a lot of information in a short period of time, thereby using Camp Fire’s resources to the maximum.
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