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Lect2 - Lecture Two Evaluation Models You learned the...

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Lecture Two: Evaluation Models You learned the basics of evaluation last week. This week we are going to learn about some of the different evaluation “approaches” or “models” or “metaphors” that different groups of evaluators tend to endorse. I generally use the terms approaches, models, and metaphors as synonyms. The reading is titled Chapter 4: Evaluation Models , which is from a book by my (Burke Johnson’s) major professor at the University of Georgia. Here is the reference: Payne, D.A. (1994). Designing educational project and program evaluations: A practical overview based on research and experience. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers. The whole book is actually quite good, but we are only using one chapter for our course. In this chapter, Payne discusses four types of models: 1. Management Models 2. Judicial Models 3. Anthropological Models 4. Consumer Models You might remember these four types using this mnemonic: MJAC. Here is how Scriven defines “models”: A term loosely used to refer to a conception or approach or sometimes even a method (e.g., naturalistic, goal-free) of doing evaluation….Models are to paradigms as hypotheses are to theories, which means less general but with some overlap.
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Payne notes (p.58) that his four metaphors may be helpful in leading to your theory of evaluation. In fact, this is something I want you to think about this semester: what is YOUR theory of evaluation. Note: Marvin Alkin’s (1969) definition of program theory on p.58 of Payne’s chapter and compare it with Will Shadish’s definition of program theory on page 33 in RFL. I suggest that you memorize Shadish’s definition of program theory. I am a strong advocate of evaluators being aware of their evaluation theory. In short, you may wish to pick one model as being of most importance in your theory of evaluation. On the other hand, I my theory of evaluation is a needs based or contingency theory of evaluation. (By the way, I am probably most strongly influenced by Will Shadish’s evaluation writings.) In short, I like to select the model that best fits the specific needs or situational characteristics of the program evaluation I am conducting. Payne makes some similar points in the last section of the chapter in the section titled “Metaphor Selection: In Praise of Eclecticism.” Now I will make some comments about each of the four approaches to evaluation discussed by David Payne. I will also add some thoughts not included by Payne. 1. Management Models The basic idea of the management approach is that the evaluator’s job is to provide information to management to help them in making decisions about programs, products, etc. The evaluator’s job is to serve managers (or whoever the key decision makers are). One very popular management model used today is Michael Patton’s Utilization Focused Evaluation . (Note that Patton’s model is not discussed in Payne’s chapter. You may want to examine the appendix of RFL for pages where Patton’s model is briefly
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discussed.) Basically, Patton wants evaluators to provide
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