Some of you may have noticed, and perhaps been confused by, a new option in the Member Type section of the Participant Detail screen. That new option is OPD.
OPD stands for Ongoing (or Outreach) Professional Development.
Why did we create this new category?
When analyzing at past data, we noticed that there were a lot of Participants in the system with 0 hours or with very few hours. Perhaps they came to a training or two, but never really got involved in the program.
Leaving these Participants unclassified means that they're basically lost when it comes to a lot of the reports we run and marking them as CMs would invariably hurt your Collaborative's average CM hours. So we created this new Member Type to cover these participants.
Who should you mark as an OPD Participant?
Basically, anyone you enter into the database, who is not a CM or MTM/STM should be marked as OPD. These kinds of participants might include:
Participants who started the program, but dropped out.
Administrators or others who audit a training or two, but aren't really participating in the program.
Attendees of conference sessions held by the collaborative.
So why should we do this?
Using the OPD classification allows us to show a greater reach, beyond our normal professional development programs. For example, we might reach X amount of CMs and MTM/STMs, which is very good, but being able to show that we're also reaching Y amount of educators beyond that number makes sure that you get more credit for your hard work.
Do we have to use the OPD level?
This year (2008-2009), it's voluntary. We're basically experimenting with new ways to track participants that allow us to demonstrate the true reach of the TRC system of professional development. Of course, any feedback is appreciated.