ERIC Number: ED275747
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985
Reference Count: 0
Evaluation Design: Selecting Methods. Guide Number 14. Evaluation Guides Series.
St. John, Mark
The choice of methods is part of the overall evaluation design process. The process consists of the following steps: (1) analyzing the problem context; (2) asking a few general questions; (3) selecting the methods (strategies) to use; and (4) selecting the specific techniques (tactics) to use. To operate successfully the evaluator needs to know many different kinds of methods, understand their purposes, appreciate their limitations, and use courage and imagination. While method reflects the strategies of the evaluator, techniques reflect the tactics. Techniques are specific and can be viewed as tools. They are used for gathering and analyzing data. The following conclusions are made about the planning and implementation of an evaluation: (1) the evaluation problem is undefined (there is no one unique solution); (2) successful evaluation design cannot be prescribed (at best, a few heuristics may prove useful); (3) the power and flexibility of the evaluator is increased as his or her repertoire of methods and skills increases. Various selecting methods, methods to help in the evaluation design, tools for gathering and analyzing information, and tools for communicating findings are presented in tables following the article. (JAZ)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Northwest Regional Educational Lab., Portland, OR. Research on Evaluation Program.
Note: For other guides in this series, see ED 253 952-954, ED 256 637-638, ED 257 629, and TM 860 663-666. Printed on colored paper.