Evaluation Designs - Pretest/Posttest

Common Evaluation Designs

Pretest/Posttest Design

This type of design can be done with one group (no comparison group) or two groups (with a comparison group) of participants. Participants receive a pre-test, then receive the intervention and are tested afterward.


One-Group Pretest/Posttest Design in Practice

The pretest/posttest design may be used for evaluating the impact of a training program on workplace safety in office employees. In this design, employees may be given a survey (pretest) to assess their knowledge of workplace safety. Then, they are asked to take a two-hour training addressing work safety protocols (intervention). Following the training they again receive a survey to assess their knowledge of workplace safety (posttest).

pretest posttest design


Two-Group Pretest/Posttest Designs in Practice

An afterschool program is interested in seeing if participation in their civic engagement curriculum (independent variable) can actually lead to improved efficacy in youth participants. They select two youth groups and assign one group to the civic engagement curriculum while the other group receives no program (comparison group). A pretest is given to both groups. The program participants receive the curriculum for three months, while the comparison group does not. Both groups are then given a posttest and the results are compared.

two group pretest posttest design


Explore Additional Resources