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A Comparative Analysis of Approaches

Fitzpatrick, J.L., Sanders, J.R., & Worthen, B.R. (2011). Program Evaluation: Alternative Approaches and Practical Guidelines (4th Ed.) Pearson. Allyn & Bacon.
by

Reynaldo Lopez

on 14 October 2012

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Transcript of A Comparative Analysis of Approaches

Chapter 10 A Comparative Analysis of Approaches Cautions about the
Alternative Evaluation Approaches Quick Review Major schools of thought about how to plan and conduct program evaluations Approaches Approach to judge overall quality Approach oriented to
Characteristics of the program Decision oriented approach Participant oriented approach Evaluation approaches
are distinct
but may be mixed
in practice: One explanation for the decreased divergence and lessened rhetoric around evaluation approaches, models or theories is the development and increased dissemination of two important documents to guide evaluation practice: 1- The Joint Committee on Educational Evaluation’s Program Evaluation Standard that established the criteria for good evaluation studies. Criteria for good evaluation studies: utility, feasibility, propriety, accuracy, and accountability. 2- The American Evaluation Association’s Guiding Principles that articulates expected ethical behaviors for evaluators in the categories of systematic inquiry, competence, integrity/honesty, respect for people, and responsibilities for general and public welfare. (p. 244) These documents brought greater consensus to the field regarding the roles of evaluations... ...evaluators, stakeholders, and other users, and the public interest. Calls to abandon pluralism
and consolidate evaluation
approaches into one generic
model are still unwise. Concerns 1-“Skip the academics and just tell me how to do program evaluation”. Failing to learn more about the program than just its objectives/standards. Not listening
to
stakeholders. Not considering whether and how to involve their results in an evaluation that is of little or no use to anyone. 2- Creating approach that is a
synthesis of existing approaches. Key aspects of some approaches are directly incompatible with the central concern of others. 3-Taking our ideas and forcing them into a unified evaluation approach. 4-Huge diversity of context... countries, political system, funders, citizens, parent, client, student expectation... in which evaluation is conducted. The danger is not in working with models, but in working with too few, and those too much alike and above all, in belittling any efforts to work with anything else (Kaplan, 1964, p. 293). Discipleship to a particular evaluation approach is danger. The danger lies in unthinking disciples following an evaluation approach without verifying if it fits the situation or if it will provide the desired results of the campaign. To avoid this danger an evaluation practitioner must see the approaches as heuristic tools that they can select. Practitioner selects the approach that fits the context and needs of the primary decision maker. The choice of evaluation approach is not empirically based. It is not empirically based. How will one know which approach is best for a given situation? The choice is made based on the knowledge of the available approaches and thinking about which approach best fits the evaluation being done. The evaluator must make time to explore the environment and consider which approaches fit best. Contributions of
Alternative Evaluation Approaches Mix it up! “The value of the alternative approach lies in their capacity to help us think, to present and provoke new ideas and techniques and to serve as mental checklists of things we ought to consider, remember, or worry about” (p.248) Comparative Analysis of Characteristics of Alternative Evaluation Approaches Important aspects for each approach: Proponents Individuals who have written about the approach Purpose of Evaluation Focus of the evaluation. Distinguishing characteristics Key factors associated with each approach. Benefits Strengths What it can do for you. Limitations Risk: What it can do
to you Refer to table 10.1 in the textbook for more details. Eclectic Uses
of the Alternative
Evaluation Approaches Combining alternatives approaches
or selectively combining the methods
and techniques inherent within those approaches (p.253) Choose and combine concepts
from the evaluation approaches to fit
the particular situation,
using pieces of various evaluation approaches
as they seem appropriate (p.252). We can ensure a better fit by snipping and sewing together bits and pieces of the more traditional ready-made approaches and even weaving a bit of homespun, if necessary, rather than by pulling any existing approach off the shelf (p.253) Just as a skilled carpenter
will not use only a hammer
to build a house, so a skilled evaluator
will not depend solely on
one approach to plan and conduct
a highly-quality evaluation. Discussion
Questions 1-Should we attempt to synthesize the different evaluation approaches into one? What would be the advantages and disadvantages of doing so? 2-Adams Elementary School has started a volunteer program in which parents are encouraged to help out in the classroom. The goal of the program is not only to provide the teacher with assistance, but also to get parents more involved in the school and their children’s education. The principal
hopes to boost the learning of the students who are achieving below grade level by getting their parents more involved in their children’s education through volunteer efforts in the classroom. Contrast using a program-oriented, decision-oriented, and participant-oriented approach. Done by Reynaldo Lopez and Carolina Sanchez The end. Thanks!
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