ERIC Number: ED199271
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Evaluation Utilization: A Literature Review and Research Agenda.
Thompson, Bruce; King, Jean A.
The literature on program evaluation contains numerous suggestions that evaluative information is frequently underutilized or inappropriately utilized by administrators. This paper reviews the literature on utilization with a view toward identifying workable strategies for optimizing appropriate use. Specific recommendations to evaluators include the following: (1) concentrate evaluation efforts on the highest priority information needs of specific administrators, even if these needs require work beyond that mandated by external funding agencies; (2) identify some evaluation issues on the basis of emphatic and proactive anticipation of administrators' future information needs; (3) tailor information studies to meet the different needs of various evaluation audiences; (4) acknowledge the subjective elements in evaluation work; (5) understand the politics of agencies and attempt to meet the political needs of involved persons; (6) emphasize both formative process evaluation data and summative product evaluation data; and (7) demonstrate a concern about the needs of program staff and the program's clients to project personnel and administrators. An effort is made to synthesize previous thought and empirical research on utilization. Weaknesses in previous naturalistic and simulation use studies are discussed. A research agenda for the future is presented. (Author/RL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Evaluation Research; Policy Analysis
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (65th, Los Angeles, CA, April 13-17, 1981).