"How To" Guides

Helpful information on topics of interest to the UW community and beyond is presented in concise, non-technical terms in this series of papers written by OQI staff.


Facilitator Tool Kit: A Guide for Helping Groups Get Results (pdf) Easy-to-use tools, methods and techniques for assisting groups with planning and improvement projects and interactive meetings. Clear, simple explanations and directions lead the reader through the selection and application of practical tools that have been tested with university groups.


Survey Fundamentals: A Guide to Designing and Implementing Surveys (pdf) Describes underlying principles and provides clear, simple guidance for making methodology and logistics decisions, writing effective questions, and drawing conclusions from the results. The guide also provides tips for maximizing the response rate as well as an overview of human subject rules.


Accelerated Improvement: An Approach to Improving Campus Work Processes (pdf) Describes a proven approach that compresses the overall time spent on planning and designing changes, which meets the need in higher education to realize high impact results with minimal resources.


Administering a Department: A Guide for identifying and improving support processes in an academic department (pdf) This model guides an academic department in rethinking and improving its administrative structures and operations. It offers a series of steps/questions designed to move a department’s work from a static set of “we’ve always done it this way” routines to well-defined, need-satisfying processes. It also features a tool for defining roles and responsibilities. © 1997, 39 pages


Process Flowcharting: A Powerful Tool for Continuous Improvement (pdf) Provides definitions, explanations and examples showing how flowcharts can be used to document and improve teaching, research and outreach processes.


Focus Groups: A Guide to Learning the Needs of Those We Serve (pdf) Discusses focus group characteristics as well as strengths and limitations in order to help you determine whether the focus group methodology will be useful for your purposes. Includes step-by-step instructions for designing and conducting a focus group, as well as points to consider when analyzing and using the results.


Project Prioritization: A Structured Approach to Working on What Matters Most (pdf) This guide describes a proven approach to setting priorities when the amount of work that needs to be done surpasses the resources available to accomplish the work. You will find step-by-step instructions for creating and using a simple prioritization matrix to make tough decisions.