The Program Evaluation KnowledgeBase

The Program Evaluation KnowledgeBase is an online resource aiding education professionals in understanding the basics of project evaluation in order to properly assess projects and programs. It is organized around three elements to assist educators with their program evaluation.

Task 3: Types of Research Design


Guideline: Being familiar with the types of research design enables the project leader to be a "knowledgeable consumer" when planning an evaluation project. Having such knowledge enables the project leader to participate fully in the evaluation process whether an outside evaluator is hired or in-house staff members and resources are utilized.

Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Research

This document is one of eighteen lectures based on the book Educational Research Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Approaches. The lectures were written by the author as a supplement to the text. This lecture discusses the three types of research design describing the characteristics of each.


Types of Research Design

This document describes the two primary types of research designs, quantitative and qualitative, and gives examples of each.

Element 1: Plan the Evaluation

Purpose: Planning how to conduct a program evaluation is the essessential the first step. The preparatory thinking involves understanding the program being evaluated, organizing an evaluation team, and determining how to conduct the evaluation. Element 1 outlines the pre-planning tasks.

Activity 1: Understand Evaluation

Activity 2: Organize Evaluation Team

Activity 3: Establish Evaluation Focus

Element 2: Implement the Evaluation

Purpose: Conducting the evaluation involves designing data collection so the analysis and interpretation will answer the questions the evaluation sets out to resolve. When developing and implementing the evaluation design be flexible to collect and analyze data from many perspectives. The collected data should be attentive to the evaluation questions. Element 2 outlines the tasks associated with implementing the evaluation.

Activity 1: Data Collection

Activity 2: Understanding the Data

Activity 3: Report the Results

Element 3: Use the Results

Purpose: The evaluation's findings and recommendation have limited value unless they are shared with the stakeholders and utilized to improve the evaluated program. Using the results to improve the evaluated program and communicating with constituencies are activities that occur in parallel. Element 3 outlines the tasks associated with using the results.

Activity 1: Communicate with Constituencies

Activity 2: Use Results to Improve