rlf3 - Lecture Four: Identifying Issues and Formulating...

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Lecture Four: Identifying Issues and Formulating Evaluation Questions Required reading: RLF, Chapter 3. Formulating testable evaluation questions is, perhaps, the heart of the RLF model of program evaluation because the evaluation questions provide the focus for the evaluation. The evaluation questions also form the heart of the evaluation plan which is the agreement between the evaluator and the evaluation sponsor about what will be done in the evaluation. Although the evaluation sponsor usually has a list of evaluation questions, this list will generally be incomplete and in need of modification with the help of the evaluator. We will discuss below how to write good evaluation questions, and how to determine what those questions should be. I will provide a some comments and summary of each of the major sections in the RLF chapter: What Makes a Good Evaluation Question? Determining the Specific Questions the Evaluation Should Answer. Collating Evaluation Questions and Setting Priorities. What Makes a Good Evaluation Question? In Exhibit 3-A, RLF remind you what the four steps in the logic of evaluation are (remember, we discussed this in lecture one.)
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Good evaluation questions address dimensions of program performance that can be compared to some evaluative standard or performance criterion in order to make an evaluative judgment. Good evaluation questions include the following characteristics: They are specific. They are measurable. They are answerable. They are realistic and reasonable (they do not state grandiose goals). They are appropriate to the local needs. At a secondary level, they can contribute to knowledge development (beyond the specific program). There are vocal opponents and proponents of setting very specific standards. Determining the evaluative standard or criterion to be used to judge the level of program performance is clearly a tough task, and you may not always be able to establish an explicit, precise, consensual, and defensible performance criterion in advance of data collection. It is still a good idea to try to do this (with the help of program sponsors, administrators, managers, and other key stakeholders) and to put some careful thought into performance criteria. Once the data are collected and analyzed, you, ultimately, will have to come up with performance standards in order to make
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This note was uploaded on 07/26/2011 for the course EDE 4942 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at University of Florida.

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rlf3 - Lecture Four: Identifying Issues and Formulating...

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