Evaluation Methodology Basics

Evaluation Methodology Basics : The Nuts and Bolts of Sound Evaluation

3.6 (25 ratings by Goodreads)
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This book introduces evaluation by focusing on the main kinds of `big picture' questions that evaluations usually need to answer, and how the nature of such questions are linked to evaluation methodology choices. The author: shows how to identify the right criteria for your evaluation; discusses how to objectively figure out which criteria are more important than the others; and, delves into how to combine a mix of qualitative and quantitative data with `relevant values' (such as needs) to draw explicitly evaluative conclusions.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 280 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 14.73mm | 370g
  • Thousand Oaks, United States
  • English
  • 0761929304
  • 9780761929307
  • 121,510

Table of contents

What is Evaluation?
Basic Definitions
A Note About Fitting Evaluation Approach to Purpose
The Steps Involved
The Ingredients of a Good Evaluation
Identifying the Evaluand
Additional Readings
Defining the Purpose of the Evaluation
Evaluations for Determining Overall Quality or Value
Evaluations for Finding Areas for Improvement
Questions About Absolute vs. Relative Quality/Value
Summary and Final Comments
Additional Readings
Identifying Evaluative Criteria
Why Not Just Use Goals?
Identifying Criteria: Basic Concepts and Tools
Conducting a Needs Assessment
Identifying Other Relevant Criteria
Additional Readings
Organizing the Criteria & Identifying Potential Sources of Evidence
The Importance of Choosing Multiple Sources of Quality Evidence
The Process Evaluation Checkpoint
The Outcome Evaluation Checkpoint
The Comparative Cost-Effectiveness Checkpoint
The Exportability Checkpoint
Additional Readings
Dealing With the Causation Issue
Certainty about causation
Inferring causation: Basic principles
Inferring causation: Seven strategies
Choosing a blend of methods to address the causation issue
Additional Readings
"Values" in Evaluation
The Controversy
The Three Types of Subjectivity
The Tensions Between Subjectivism and Common Sense
Where do the "Values" in an Evaluation Come From?
Additional Readings
Determining Importance
Determining Importance: What and Why
Determining Importance: Six Strategies
Additional Readings
The Merit Determination Step
Determining Merit: What and Why
Using Rubrics for Determining "Absolute" Merit
Using Rubrics for Determining "Relative" Merit
Making practical use of merit determination rubrics
Additional Readings
Synthesis Methodology
Synthesis: What and Why
The Role of Costs and Comparisons in Synthesis
Synthesizing for "Grading"
Synthesizing for "Ranking"
Additional Readings
Putting it All Together
The KEC Preliminary Checkpoints
The KEC Foundations Checkpoints
The KEC Subevaluations Checkpoints
The KEC Conclusions Checkpoints
Additional Readings
The five criteria for evaluating evaluations
Key points to remember in meta-evaluation
Other options for conducting a meta-evaluation
Formative meta-evaluation
Should I use meta-evaluation myself?
Additional Readings
Answers to Selected Exercises
Sample Exam Questions
Tips for students answering these exam questions
The questions
A rubric for grading assignment and exam answers
Suggested answers to practice exam questions
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Review Text

"Amidst the wash of methods books available to evaluators, Davidson's book provides powerful techniques for asking and answering the important foundational questions in any program evaluation." Doug Leigh
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Review quote

"I welcome this student-friendly text to complement my favorite checklists. This text develops the core checklist framework to provide evaluation methodology basics for, presumably mainly, introductory courses on program evaluation." -- Colin Sharp "The text is not only a great introduction for novices, but a toolbox with new perspectives for conducting sound evaluation that integrates values with facts into evaluative conclusions. As such Evaluation Methodology Basics should be on every evaluator's shelf." -- Daniela Schroeter "Evaluation Methodology Basics is yet another excellent book from Sage. This would be a good book to use for a graduate-level course in evaluation techniques or as a template for anyone who is new to the techniques of program evaluation." -- Annette M. Matthews "What is evaluation-specific logic and methodology? This book answers that question in a way that is persuasive, accessible, and understandable. It presents a set of principles and procedures to guide the task of blending descriptive data with relevant values to draw explicitly evaluative conclusions. The book makes a significant contribution to positioning evaluation as a unique and special field of inquiry and judgment." -- Michael Quinn Patton "This is a very well written book that offers a unique perspective on long-practiced evaluation techniques and presents several new, potentially very useful, techniques that return "valuation" to the evaluation process." -- Greg Roberts "Amidst the wash of methods books available to evaluators, Davidson's book provides powerful techniques for asking and answering the important foundational questions in any program evaluation." -- Doug Leigh
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About E. Jane Davidson

Jane Davidson is former Associate Director of The Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University, where she launched and directed the world's first fully interdisciplinary Ph.D. in evaluation. She is currently Director of Davidson Consulting Limited (New Zealand). Dr. Davidson received her Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in organizational behavior, with substantial emphasis on evaluation. She has worked in various evaluation, consulting, and quality assurance-related roles in government, business, and education, and she has conducted trainings on coaching skills for managers and supervisors, training needs analysis, and customer service skills. Davidson has published in, or had work accepted for, the Encyclopedia of Evaluation (Sage), the Human Resources Program Evaluation Handbook (Sage), the International Handbook of Educational Evaluation (Kluwer), the Handbook of Organizational Culture and Climate (Sage), the Handbook of Organizational Consulting Psychology (Sage), and Foundations and Evaluation: Contexts and Practices for Effective Philanthropy (Jossey-Bass). She has also published in the journals New Directions for Evaluation and The Psychologist-Manager Journal.
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Rating details

25 ratings
3.6 out of 5 stars
5 20% (5)
4 28% (7)
3 44% (11)
2 8% (2)
1 0% (0)
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