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Using ORID’s as an evaluation tool

ORID is the acronym for:

  • Objective
  • Reflective
  • Interpretive
  • Decisional

The ORID process provides valuable qualitative information of the strengths and weaknesses of a workshop, or issue, based on the viewpoint of the participants.

ORID’s can be used at any small group situation, when you are seeking feedback and group reflection on participants’ experiences.

The ORID process was designed as a progression of questions that enable a group to reflect on their experiences of an event.
The strength of the ORID process is in its structure. The structured conversation allows observations to be teased out into what their meaning and implications are for an event or project. This allows participants to collectively make decisions on what works, what doesn’t and how things can be changed. However, the structured way of thinking does not come easily and can be awkward for all involved. Having the facilitator explain the process up front and provide a prompt reminding participants about the structure may assist in keeping people on track (Coutts, 2014).

ORID Process

  • Start with a question that is quite focused.
  • Divide a sheet of paper into four squares (figure below)
  • Starting with ‘Objective’ get the group to complete each ‘square’ in the following order:
    • Objective – spend 15% of allocated time focusing on this
    • Reflective – spend 15% of allocated time focusing on this
    • Interpretive – spend 30% of allocated time focusing on this
    • Decisional – spend 30% of allocated time focusing on this
    • The remaining 10% of allocated time should be divided evenly between discussing the question you want address and reflecting on the outcomes of the exercise.

​How to use the ORID process


Examples of questions to ask
Getting the facts
- What did we do today?
- How did we do it?
- What do you remember from today?
- What did you hear or see?
- How many people were there?
- Who was involved, what was said?
Emotions, feelings,   associations
- How did you feel?
- What was your first response?
- What other feelings did you experience?
- Did you like this or not?
- Where do you remember the whole group reacting?
- How did your apprehension change or your confidence grow?
Value, meaning, purpose, learning
-  What would you say were the main points?
- What did this mean?
- What were the main messages?
- What did you learn?
- Which of these actions should be first priority?
Future steps
- In what ways can you apply what you saw today?
- How might the things you observed today change what you do?
- What can you or will you use or follow up from today?
- What would you say about this event to someone who was not there?


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