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ERIC Number: ED407984
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-May
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Fourth Generation Evaluation, Program Review and the Institutional Researcher.
Cowin, Bob
Program evaluation can be understood as the process of looking at how all aspects of a program or department have been functioning as the basis for informed planning and decision making. Although the objective dimensions used in evaluations can vary, methodologies can be categorized according to the four category framework (i.e., describing reviews in terms of goal-based, responsive, decision-making, and connoisseurship models) or the external-internal-self study continuum, which categorizes models according to the "distance" of the evaluators from the institution. Emerging approaches to evaluation tend to view evaluation as a process rather than a discrete event and include internal evaluation methods and the controversial fourth generation evaluation. This approach suggests that the first three generations of review (i.e., measurement, description, and judgment) fail to accommodate value pluralism, extend too much power to managers, and are overly dependent on the scientific paradigm of inquiry. Fourth generation review applies a constructivist world view, denying the existence of a scientifically verifiable reality, to a responsive model of evaluation, in which all stakeholders' concerns are taken into consideration. Although the role of the institutional researcher varies with the evaluation methods used, the emerging models call upon researchers to provide knowledge of institutional contexts and decision-making in addition to technical data. Includes a description of a modified fourth generation review undertaken at Douglas College. Seventeen principles related to unit review are appended. (HAA)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A