Evaluation 2015: Exemplary Evaluations in a Multicultural World

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Evaluation Policy and Evaluation Practice—Taking Inventory of the What and Why of Program Evaluation

Session Number: EP1
Track: Evaluation Policy
Session Type: Multipaper
Session Chair: Cheryl J Oros [Oros Consulting]
Presenter 1: Lisa Dillman [Education Northwest]
Presenter 2: Charles Secolsky [Alternative Assessment Strategies]
Time: Nov 14, 2015 (10:45 AM - 11:30 AM)
Room: Michigan C

Abstract 1 Title: Evaluation Policies in the Field—Lessons Learned from a Foundation Investigation
Presentation Abstract 1: Evaluation policy is an important matter facing the field of evaluation today (Trochim, 2009). It encompasses all other aspects of evaluation practice---topics of debate among practitioners and scholars including methods, stakeholders, use, dissemination, etc. Moreover, evaluation policies have direct impact on what social programs are funded, and their perceived value (Datta, 2009).
This study presents the lessons learned from an investigation of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's evaluation policies. Findings from the study suggest that evaluation policies should be further examined across a variety of levels: individual, organizational, and systemic. This multi-leveled consideration offers insight into the specific ways evaluation policies bear on practice. Program evaluation plays a significant role in aiding our understanding of the effectiveness of interventions. Evaluations operate under the auspices of evaluation policies, which shape all aspects of evaluation design. This study provides insight can help all evaluation stakeholders undertake more thoughtful, careful work.
Abstract 2 Title: Our Overindulgence in Best Practice Programs—Implications for Evaluation
Presentation Abstract 2: Best practices programs are generally accepted as evaluated, ironically by best practices, and funded for achieving a level of success usually in terms of student learning outcomes. Such programs are often followed by constituencies in other locales. Recent trends in state legislation are towards funding intervention programs that, at a minimum, are steeped in best practices, although sometimes with an eye towards increasing the body of research-based evidence or evidence-based standards, which include use of multiple site, random controlled trials, suggesting success of the intervention program in different contexts. In this paper, the efficacy of popularly held beliefs regarding best practice programs for use in other jurisdictions is scrutinized. Additionally, it is asserted that relying on short-term evaluation results of best practices can stifle other programs truly deserving of replication and/or sustainment simply because of their local and process of origin.
Audience Level: None

Session Abstract: 

Evaluation Policy and Evaluation Practice—Taking Inventory of the What and Why of Program Evaluation

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