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.

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

Task 2: Determine Evaluation Purpose


Guideline: Establishing the evaluation's purpose or intent gives direction to the evaluation team as to how the evaluation should be conducted. Having a specific purpose alleviates pre-mature decision making which might push the evaluation off target.

Critical Questions

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook includes a list of five questions the foundation suggests are critical for all evaluation plans to consider over the life cycle of a project.

Goals, Objectives, and Activities

This document summarizes the key elements of well-written goals, objectives, and activities. The document includes a link to the Performance Objectives Worksheet, which is a guide on writing objectives.


Program Evaluation Standards

This link is to program evaluation standards published by the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation.

Defining the Evaluation's Purpose

This program evaluation guidance from the Centers for Disease Control suggests four general purposes for conducting evaluations. Though intended for the public health environment the content may be of interest to educators.

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