Applying Theory to Evaluation

Applying Theory to Evaluation

In this assignment, you are going to step into a hypothetical intervention situation. You will walk us through the process of developing an evaluation plan for an intervention being implemented by a “local” community-based organization.

People running in desert at dusk, side view.


You are a public health intervention researcher working at a university. You have been asked by Get Moving!, a local community-based organization, to help them develop an evaluation plan for an intervention they have developed and have been implementing for years.


Get Moving! has developed a twelve-week, multifaceted intervention to encourage high school students to engage in more physical activity. The intervention, called BurnApp, uses a variety of activities to motivate students to increase their daily activity. The core of the intervention involves the use of a mobile application (app). Participants use the app as a kind of “fitness diary,” logging the amount of time that they spend exercising and engaging in regular physical activity (<link is hidden> walking to and from school). At the end of the day, the app totals the number of calories burned that day, compares it to the participant’s goals, and also logs it on a “leaderboard” so that participants can compare their results to others in the intervention. In addition to the app, participants also attend weekly one-hour instructional sessions, and they are paired with a “buddy” in the intervention to provide encouragement to maintain their activity. The intervention is facilitated by local college students. There are 20 students enrolled in the program at this time.

Using the scenario and your experience in the course to date, respond to the following items:

For each of the three main components (mobile app, education sessions, buddy system), identify a construct from a behavioral theory we’ve discussed that relates to that component. Describe the relationship as you see it. How are the construct and the intervention component connected?

Based on the description, discuss what you think the strengths and weaknesses of the intervention are.

Evaluate the overall intervention based on the RE-AIM framework. In other words, how does the intervention “measure up” in terms of reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance?

Besides the participants, what other stakeholders or groups would you want to talk with to evaluate the intervention’s effectiveness? Why would you include them in the evaluation?

This activity should be approximately 1–2 pages in length.


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