Ed Psych 570: Introduction to Program Evaluation

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Ed Psych 570: Introduction to Program Evaluation


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Evaluation Agreement

The Evaluation Agreement is a short (no more than four pages) tentative description of the evaluation. Essential elements of this agreement include: (a) a general description of the scope and nature of the evaluation; (b) a statement of policies governing the evaluation; and (c) a list of resources provided to and by evaluators. Reaching agreement on these issues establishes a foundation of trust and cooperation based on common understanding. Without such a foundation, further investment in the project is not likely to be productive.

A. Elements of the Evaluation Agreement

The agreement contains a statement of charge, description of audiences, evaluation questions to be answered, procedures used, relevant policies, delivery schedule of reports, revision clause, and resource commitment.

1. Charge. This section delineates: (a) who is the client and who is the evaluator, (b) what is the nature of the program, (c) what is the purpose of the evaluation, and (d) what type of evaluation is to be done – (i.e., needs assessment, formative, summative, etc.).

2. Stakeholders. This section lists people who are able to help in delineation of the scope of the evaluation and/or who are interested in or affected by the results. Primary stakeholders are those most directly affected while secondary audiences are those less involved or impacted.

3. Tentative Evaluation Questions. This section lists possible evaluation questions which define the nature of the evaluation and scope of the evaluation. Clients will sometimes seek answers to questions that cannot be investigated in a particular setting. For example, they may wish to know whether one program produces better results than another, when it is too soon to make reasonable comparisons. The evaluator’s responsibility at the early stages of negotiation is to clarify the possibilities for the client and jointly to select the most critical questions from among the real options. At the evaluation agreement stage some indication of the types of questions to be addressed is necessary. In the design stage, the specific evaluation questions will be identified.

4. Procedures. This section describes the general types of data collection to be used. Although no detail is required at this stage, the evaluator should indicate the kinds and sequence of procedures (e.g., document review, questionnaires, interviews, observations, etc.).

5. Policies. This section provides an overview of the policies that govern the evaluation. These include guidelines for the following:

a. Report/Editing. Although evaluators should try to maintain control over the content of the report, the clients should have opportunities to verify information. May describe pre-release review of reports and process for revisions or who provides final authority to release reports.

b. Dissemination. Policies on dissemination will vary with circumstances but, as a rule, evaluators should encourage open access to the final reports. This section describes whose responsibility it will be to disseminate the final report (e.g., evaluator may provide one color hard copy and reports in electronic format for client to disseminate)

c. Access to data. The clients’ willingness to cooperate in the data collection process is essential. It is helpful to include a policy statement describing what forms this cooperation might take (e.g., providing strategies for questionnaires mailed to consumers/clients, strategies to invite clients for focus group, space to conduct activities).

d. Confidentiality (and other protection of participants’ interests). Evaluators are responsible for the protection of their data sources and therefore should have a policy providing that raw data will be available to no one else and that the anonymity of all data sources will be preserved during and after the evaluation. Whenever possible, data should be presented only in summarized form. Evaluators must review the UO guidelines for “classroom-initiated projects involving human subjects” that is available from UO Investigator’s Manual on Research with Human Subjects: http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~humansub/manual.html).

e. Other. Apart from these general concerns, individual agreements will contain other policies unique to each situation. Evaluators working in a school setting, for instance, may need to include provisions for no data collection during end-of-year testing or for review of evaluation design by appropriate research and development offices.

6. Delivery Schedule. This section gives the timeframe in which evaluation tasks and deliverables will be completed. This is usually represented in visual/table form.

7. Revision Clause. This section details the conditions under which the report or design may be reviewed, revised, modifications renegotiated.

8. Resources. This section describes services provided by the client and by the evaluator. Resources may be needed in the form of secretarial help, data collections, travel costs, access to telephones, computers, space for meetings, and other equipment.

9. Signatures. The Evaluation Agreement should be signed by both client and evaluator(s).

Evaluation Agreement Scoring Guide

(5 Points total)

Students Name: ______________________________________________ Total Score: _____

The basic requirements need to be met in order to proceed with scoring the Evaluation Agreement (.5 pts):

____ Written in professional manner

____ No longer than four pages in length

The following areas need to be address to receive all points available for this assignment:

_____ Defines Charge of Evaluation (.5 pts)

_____ Description of Stakeholders for the Evaluation (.5 pts)

_____ Evaluation Questions (.5 pts)

_____ Description of Procedures (.5 pts)

_____ Description of the Policies (.5 pts)

_____ Reporting/Editing

_____ Dissemination

_____ Access to data

_____ Confidentiality

_____ Other _________________________________________

_____ Delivery Schedule (.5 pts)

_____ Revision Clause (.5 pts)

_____ Resources (.5 pts)

_____ Signatures (.5 pts)

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