Metrics, Measures and Meanings: Evaluating the CareSearch Website. RePaDD White Paper.

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© Flinders University, 2011
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Evaluation plays a critical role in the design, development, management and improvement of online resources. In addition to enabling developers to assess the success of a given project, the collection and review of data can help to inform decision-making about online products, activities and services. The CareSearch palliative care knowledge network is an online resource consolidating evidence and quality information for palliative care health professionals, patients and their families. This White Paper reports on the development and implementation of an evaluation framework to assess the use and usefulness of the CareSearch website. The evaluation framework comprised four focus areas - Access, Use, Usefulness and Process – and a series of activities and projects were undertaken to assess the effectiveness of the project and resource in each of these areas. Usability testing led to iterative improvements in the graphic design and site architecture, and feedback surveys helped to identify potential users who were unaware of the site and determine levels of satisfaction of existing users. Site metrics established patterns of use and areas of interest, and correspondence analysis and resource requests provided measures of quality and use. Further evaluation studies will be undertaken against this framework to show whether online delivery of information can result in changes to clinical practice. Ultimately, it is hoped that the simple conceptual framework for the evaluation of online resources described in this White Paper will contribute to a much-needed reorientation of focus - from the assessment of the content and structure of online resources to an evaluation of their purpose and utility.
© Flinders University 2011
Death and dying, Palliative care
Tieman, J, Martin, P. Metrics, Measures and Meanings: Evaluating the CareSearch Website. RePaDD White Paper. Adelaide, South Australia: Flinders University Research Centre for Palliative Care, Death and Dying: 2011