Evaluation 2015: Exemplary Evaluations in a Multicultural World

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Where and How Do Experiments Fit in the Context of the Evaluation Field?

Session Number: 2114
Track: Quantitative Methods: Theory and Design
Session Type: Think Tank
Tags: experimental analysis, experimental design, experimental evaluation
Session Facilitator: Laura Peck [Principal Scientist - Abt Associates]
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Christina Ann Christie [Professor - University of California, Los Angeles]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: M.H. Clark [Professor - University of Central Florida]
Third Author or Discussion Group Leader: Melvin M Mark [Professor - Penn State]
Fourth Author or Discussion Group Leader: Kathryn Newcomer [Professor - George Washington University]
Time: Nov 11, 2015 (06:15 PM - 07:00 PM)
Room: Stetson BC

Other Authors: Other possible discussants include (availability tentative): Tom Schwandt, University of Illinois; Stewart Donaldson, Claremont Graduate University; Chris L. S. Coryn, Western Michigan University.

Audience Level: Advanced, All Audiences

Session Abstract: 

Evaluations that use an experimental design (with randomization of units to treatment and control status) are distinctive and involve their own methods, practices and analyses that are not otherwise covered in existing AEA TIGs, an observation that was the impetus for establishing a new TIG on the Design and Analysis of Experiments.  The random assignment process itself (lottery/coin toss) is possibly the easiest part of carrying out an experimentally-designed evaluation.  Embedding that process into existing programs and policies, maintaining the integrity of experimental groups, minimizing the threat of experimental mortality (differential attrition), and analyzing data are the more complicated aspects of these evaluations.  A burgeoning line of scholarly inquiry considers the relationship between selected quasi-experimental evaluation findings and those generates from experiments.  The proposed Think Tank will create a forum for those interested in experimental evaluation to discuss how experiments fit within the context of the evaluation field.  It will fuel discussion on advancing scholarship, through AEA, on issues concerning experimental evaluation research.



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