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.
Guideline: Data requirements relate to the questions the evaluation is addressing. When identifying data requirements be sure to address both qualitative and quantitative perspectives. Quantitative elements will be those which can be counted and measured. Qualitative elements will be those describing how people feel about the program and its worth. In assessing the value of each data element give consideration to its importance within the overall evaluation and answering the questions being addressed.
This program evaluation guidance from the Centers for Disease Control suggests aspects of evidence gathering that typically affect perceptions of credibility. Being aware of these factors is important as the data requirements are defined. Though intended for the public health environment the content may be of interest to educators.
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.
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.