ERIC Number: ED206681
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Operations Research as a Metaphor for Evaluation. Research on Evaluation Program Paper and Report Series.
Page, Ellis B.
One of a series of research reports examining objective principles successfully used in other fields which can lend integrity and legitimacy to evaluation, this report presents an overview of operations research (OR) as a potential source of evaluation methodology. The nature of the methods common to this discipline are summarized and the possibility of employing these methods in educational evaluation (EE) are investigated. The author points to the idea that OR is the science of evaluation since it directly addresses decision making. In demonstrating that EE is targeted on decision making, feasable alternatives, outcome predictions and probabilities for each alternative, and estimation of costs and benefits are identified as prerequisites of EE. Decision Analysis, a subfield of OR, is then provided as a model wherein all the concerns of EE are made explicit, and an optimal solution located by organizing them into a single algorithmic structure known as a decision tree. Other transportation, network and simulation models are also applied to hypothetical EE problems. After reviewing some of the literature and the current situation in the fields of OR and EE, the author concludes that EE is one of the few fields not to have taken advantage of OR's potential. (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Northwest Regional Educational Lab., Portland, OR.