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EVAL 6000: Foundations of Evaluation Dr. Chris L. S. Coryn Kristin A. Hobson Fall 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "EVAL 6000: Foundations of Evaluation Dr. Chris L. S. Coryn Kristin A. Hobson Fall 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 EVAL 6000: Foundations of Evaluation Dr. Chris L. S. Coryn Kristin A. Hobson Fall 2011

2 Agenda Review Activity 2 Lecture – History of evaluation – Basic principles and core concepts – Shadish, Cook, & Leviton’s (1991) five principles of program evaluation theory Questions and discussion Encyclopedia of Evaluation entries

3 1.Establish criteria 2.Construct standards 3.Measure performance and compare to standards 4.Synthesize into a judgment of merit or worth General Logic (Scriven) Problem: Extent of performance Phenomenon: Functional product Question: Is X a good/less good one of its type? Claim: Performance/value Working Logic (Fournier) Review

4 Activity 2 Evaluating chocolate chip cookies using evaluation logic

5 Activity 2 Discussion questions 1.How would you describe your experience in establishing criteria? What were some of the things you discussed with your group? 2.How did you determine what standards to use? Was your group in agreement with the standards? How did you reconcile differences? 3.How comfortable are you with your final judgment about which cookie was the best and which you would recommend?

6 Historical evolution of evaluation

7 God’s archangel came then, asking, “God, how do you know that what you have created is ‘very good’? What are your criteria? On what data do you base your judgment? Just what results were you expecting to attain? And aren’t you a little close to the situation to make a fair and unbiased evaluation?” God thought about these questions and that day and God’s rest was greatly disturbed. On the eighth day God said, “Lucifer go to hell.” Thus was evaluation born a blaze of glory.” — Michael Q. Patton “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, then God stood back, viewed everything made, and proclaimed, “Behold, it is very good.” An the evening and the morning were the sixth day. And on the seventh day God rested from all work.

8 Ancient Practice, New Discipline Arguably, evaluation is the single most important and sophisticated cognitive process in the repertoire of human reasoning and logic It is a natural, evolutionary process without which we would not survive Earliest known examples – Product evaluation – Personnel evaluation

9 Early History in the United States Tyler’s national “Eight Year Study” ( ) – Involved 30 secondary schools and 300 colleges and universities and addressed narrowness and rigidity in high school curricula Mainly educational assessments during the 1950s and early 1960s conducted by social scientists and education researchers

10 Early History in the United States Johnson’s “War on Poverty” and “Great Society” programs of the 1960s – Head Start, Follow Through Evaluation clause in Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) – Evaluation became part of every federal grant

11 Toward Professionalization Two U.S.-based professional evaluation organizations emerged in mid-1970s – Evaluation Network (E-Net) – Evaluation Research Society (ERS) In 1985, the two merged to form what is now the American Evaluation Association (AEA)

12 Growing Concerns for Use Through the 1970s and 1980s, growing concerns were voiced about the utility of evaluation findings, in general, and the use of experimental and quasi-experimental designs, more specifically

13 Decreased Emphasis In the 1980s, huge cuts in social programs resulted from Reagan's emphasis on less government involvement The requirement or evaluation was removed or lessoned from many federal programs during this period During the 1980s, many school districts, universities, private companies, state departments of education, The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the General Accounting Office (GAO) developed internal evaluation units

14 Increased Emphasis In the 1990s, there was an increased emphasis on government program accountability and organizations’ efforts to be lean, efficient, global, and more competitive Evaluation was conducted not only to meet government accountability but also to enhance effectiveness In addition, it was during this period that an increasing number of foundations created internal evaluation units, provided support for evaluation activities, or both

15 Recent Milestones In 2001, the reauthorization of ESEA that resulted in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act is considered the most sweeping reform of education since 1965 – It has redefined the federal role in K-12 education by focusing on closing the achievement gap between disadvantaged and minority students NCLB has had a profound influence on evaluation design and methods by emphasizing the use of randomized controlled trials (RCT) To this day, the RCT debate is one of the most pervasive in evaluation

16 Professionalization By 2010, there were more than 65 national and regional evaluation organizations throughout the world, most in developing countries Although specialized training programs have existed for several decades, graduate degree programs in evaluation have emerged only recently – Australasia – Africa – Canada – Central America – Europe (not every country) – Japan – Malaysia – United Kingdom

17 Definition Evaluation is the act or process of determining the merit, worth, or significance of something or the product of that process – Merit: Intrinsic quality; absent of context and costs – Worth: Synonymous with value; quality under consideration of costs and context – Significance: Synonymous with importance; merit and worth in a specific context

18 Competing Definitions Evaluation is “the use of social science research procedures to systematically investigate the effectiveness of social intervention programs” (Rossi, Freeman, & Lipsey). Proponents of theory-driven evaluation approaches characterize evaluation as explaining “how and why programs work, for whom, and under what conditions.”

19 Competing Definitions Advocates of the empowerment evaluation movement portray evaluation as “the use of evaluation concepts and techniques that foster self-determination.” The Organization for Economic Co- Operation and Development designates evaluation as “the systematic and objective assessment of an on-going or completed project, programme or policy, its design, implementation and results…the aim is to determine the relevance and fulfillment of objectives, development efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability.”

20 Purposes Formative: To improve Summative: To inform decision making Developmental/proformative: To help develop an intervention or program; ongoing formative Accountability: To hold accountable; usually under summative Monitoring: To assess implementation and gauge progress toward a desired end Knowledge generation: To generate knowledge about general patterns of effectiveness Ascriptive: Merely for the sake of knowing

21 Functional Forms Process evaluation – Assessment of everything that occurs prior to true outcomes Outcome evaluation – Assessment of an evaluand’s effects Cost evaluation – Assessment of monetary and non- monetary costs, direct and indirect costs, and actual and opportunity costs

22 The 7 “P”s Program evaluation Policy analysis Personnel evaluation Portfolio evaluation Product evaluation Performance evaluation Proposal evaluation

23 1.Ideal Use Use Non-Use Legitimate Use Misuse 2.Misuse 4.Justified Non-Use3.Unjustified Non-Use Uses and Misuses Mistaken Use (incompetence, uncritical acceptance, unawareness) Mischievous Use (manipulation, coercion) Instrumental Use Conceptual Use Persuasive Use Rational Non-Use Political Non-Use Abuse (inappropriate suppression of findings)

24 Professional Standards Utility Feasibility Propriety Accuracy Evaluation Accountability

25 Shadish, Cook, & Leviton’s Elements of “Good Theory for Social Program Evaluation” 1.Social programming – Ways that social programs and policies develop, improve, and change, especially in regard to social problems 2.Knowledge construction – Ways researchers/evaluators construct knowledge claims about social programs 3.Valuing – Ways values can be attached to programs 4.Knowledge use – Ways social science information is used to modify programs and policies 5.Evaluation practice – Tactics and strategies evaluators follow in their professional work, especially given the constraints they face

26 Encyclopedia Entries Bias Causation Checklists Conceptual Use Consumer Effectiveness Efficiency Epistemology Evaluation Use Experimental Design Experimental Society Impartiality Independence Instrumental Use Intended Uses Judgment Merit Modus Operandi Ontology Outcomes Paradigm Positivism Postpositivism Process use Quantitative Weight and Sum Recommendations Synthesis Transdiscipline Treatments Worth


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