Wikimedia Education Greenhouse/Unit 2 - Module 2

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Logic models

IF - Then Statement[edit | edit source]

Let's start this module with a quick exercise!

You are going to read three incomplete statements expressing cause and effect assumptions. Your task is to choose the cause that best matches the expected effect:

If ____________________________ then people will enjoy dancing at the party.

  • we play upbeat and diverse music
  • we bring delicious food
  • we schedule the party for 11 pm

If ____________________________ more senior citizens will join our course.

  • we set extra admission requirements
  • we simplify the registration process
  • we make all of our content digital

If ____________________________ we will ensure the positive impact of our project.

  • we create dynamic and colorful resources
  • we understand better the needs of our project participants
  • we charge a low fee for our activities

Why did we do this exercise? Making cause and effect connections are the basis of building a logic model. Now let's dig deeper into how we can use this model to improve our project planning process.

Logic models[edit | edit source]

Big picture definitions[edit | edit source]

Let's start with some general definitions of the terms you will encounter in this lesson:

  • Theory of Change - Visual display of environment, strategies, outcomes, and vision (may contain outputs if crucial to the story)
  • Evaluation Plan - Ongoing learning questions, data collection timelines, reflection timelines, and learning products
  • Work Plan - Tasks and timelines
  • Outputs - Direct and measurable products of a program's activities and services, what is generated or what happens
  • Outcomes - Short-term or mid-term results of the program's activities and services, how participants are affected

Logic models, what and why?[edit | edit source]

A logic model is a visual display of connections between impact, outcomes, outputs, and activities. It may contain measurable goals too. It illustrates how (you think) your program will work. It links our actions to intended outcomes/societal change/our mission by logical cause-and-effect relationships. When creating a logic model, you "plan backwards" - much like the exercises we did on Module 3 of Unit 1. You start by drafting your impact and outcomes and these in turn inform your outputs/activities/inputs.

When designing a Wikimedia education initiative we plan and execute our activities to achieve well-defined outcomes. In addition, we have to evaluate if our course of action is likely to achieve the intended outcomes we established. Having a logic model helps us to align our planning process and work with a meaningful mission and thus ensure impact and desired change. At the same time, by having a clear overview of our activities and goals we can frame our project's evaluation plan to monitor its progress. So if you plan properly and identify the logical chain of events, you are more likely to see the intended results!

Guiding questions[edit | edit source]

On "The Logic Model for Program Planning and Evaluation", Paul F. McCawley presents a series of questions that can help us build a logic model:

  1. What is the current situation that we intend to impact?
  2. What will it look like when we achieve the desired situation or outcome?
  3. What behaviors need to change for that outcome to be achieved?
  4. What knowledge or skills do people need before the behavior will change?
  5. What activities need to be performed to cause the necessary learning?
  6. What resources will be required to achieve the desired outcome?

Have you ever followed a similar reflection process for your project planning? Do you think this can be helpful for the initiatives you are developing or intend to develop?

Example - From problem tree to objective tree to logic model[edit | edit source]

In the assignment of Module 1 you created a problem tree as a needs assessment tool for your project. You can use that problem tree to inform your logic model! How?

See below:

Effects turn into Impact Statements
Problems turn into Objectives
Root causes turn into Activities

Let's look at an example:

Students present poor academic performance in school
turns into Impact Statement
Our project will improve the academic performance of students who speak our mother tongue
Education resources in our modern tongue are few, outdated, and inaccessible
turns into Objective
By 2021, there will be a 25% increase in the availability of education resources in our mother tongue in the public school system
Root cause
Government officials don’t see the benefit of mother tongue education
turns into Activity
We will mobilize educators to advocate for the value of education in our mother tongue

These resulting impact statement, objective, and activity can be expressed through a logic model! We will see examples of different logic models in the following sections.

SMART Goals[edit | edit source]

When working on your logic model, make sure you are writing the outcomes/outputs in a SMART way.[1]

Dungdm93 / CC BY-SA

For example, which of the below outcomes looks SMART to you?

  • My project will improve the digital skills of students in my city.
  • By May 2020, the 18 students enrolled in my project will be able to use Wikibooks to create an original book about a topic they're passionate about.
  • My project will help eliminate the digital skills gap between various teenagers and senior citizens by 2021.

For more information about writing SMART program goals, you can check out this Learning Pattern on Meta.

Basic elements of a logic model[edit | edit source]

Building a logic model[2][edit | edit source]

You can find various types of logic models that adapt to the different approaches and needs of a project. In this section we will get to know the basic elements of a logic model, analyze a few examples, and finish with a quick practical activity.

Common Characteristics[edit | edit source]

As mentioned earlier, logic models can take different forms and no two are identical:

However there are common characteristics that make logic models effective:[3]

  • They are short, often only one page.
  • They should be easy to read and explain the goals and practices of an organization, program or project clearly.
  • They are adapted to the scope of activity and the main purpose they are supposed to be used for (overview, detailed planning, evaluation, communication, etc.)

Inputs - Outputs - Outcomes - Impact[edit | edit source]

These are the basic elements of a logic model:

Which of these elements would you identify as "planned work"? Which of these elements would you identify as "intended results"?

Let's look at an example to reflect on these questions:

Jan Ainali/CC BY-SA

As you can see, the "inputs" and "activities" correspond to the program implementation - using the resources we have to conduct actions with our group of stakeholders (planned work). The "direct products" and "outcomes - impact" are the short, medium and long term changes anticipated as a result of our activities (intended results).


The presentation of the logic model helps your audience understand your project by reading first the inputs/activities and the resulting outputs/outcomes/impact. However, when creating your logic model you should plan backwards starting with the impact/outcomes/outputs and they in turn will inform your inputs/activities.

Reflect: Examples of logic models[edit | edit source]

Did you know there is a Logic Models category on Wikimedia Commons? Take some minutes to explore this category and assess the logic models you find using the following criteria:

  • What are the outcomes of the project presented?
  • What are the activities of the project presented?
  • Is it easy to understand?
  • Is it visually attractive?
  • How clearly does it communicate the goals and activities of this project?

Drafting a basic logic model[edit | edit source]

Let's practice creating a logic model! Choose one of the case scenarios below and help our team of fellow Wikimedians with a logic model for their projects

Case A: Wikipedia in the classroom[edit | edit source]

While they work on the Wikidata training program with the initial school, the team is starting to brainstorm about another project they want to develop. They have identified that school administrators and policy makers have very strong feelings against the use of Wikipedia in the classroom. At the same time the national education policy encourages school districts to provide teacher development training on OERs. They believe they can use this opportunity to encourage policy makers to train their teachers on the use of Wikipedia in the classroom. The team has started writing their logic model but they're missing some information:

Inputs Activity/Output Outcome (short term) Impact
Team expertise and passion,
Great podcasts and videos
? ? Policy makers and school administrators in our country
view Wikipedia as a valuable resource in school.

What would you add as: input, activity/output, (short term) outcome, to reach the expected impact?

Case B: Wikidata training for teachers[edit | edit source]

The team has decided to carry with the development of a Wikidata training program for the teachers. They have identified that teachers have a basic understanding of Wikidata but they want to improve their knowledge and skills. Particularly, teachers want to learn how to use Wikidata to create data visualizations they can use as didactic resources in their courses. The team has started writing their logic model but they're missing some information:

Inputs Activity/Output Outcome (short term) Impact
Team expertise,
? ? Teachers improve their education practice by becoming
active contributors and users of Wikidata.

What would you add as: input, activity/output, (short term) outcome, to reach the expected impact?

Course Portfolio Assignment: From problem tree to logic model[edit | edit source]

Let's build a logic model for our education project!

Bring out the Problem Tree you created in the previous module. Follow the instructions in the slides below to create an objective tree for the project proposal you are working on. This is the basis for your logic model. Include your finished objective tree or the logic model you develop based on this in your Course Portfolio!

PS: You don't have to do this process by yourself. If you're working on a Wikimedia education project idea with a team, meet up and work on this together! You can create your problem tree on a big piece of paper, take a picture and upload it to Commons (or another platform) to attach it to your Course Portfolio. Feel free to be creative!

Feel free to share your problem tree in the Discuss page as well for others to learn from it and provide feedback.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "SMART Goals: Definition and Examples |". Retrieved 2020-06-26.
  2. funded by The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living (2014-02-06). "KT Library - Types of Logic Models". Retrieved 2020-06-26.
  3. McCurdy, Dana (2018-04-19), English: Slides of the 'Logic Models, Program Evaluation, and Strategy' session at the Learning Days for Wikimedia Conference 2018 (PDF), retrieved 2020-06-26

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