ERIC Number: ED492864
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Feb
A Multi-Method and Multi-Source Approach for Studying Fidelity of Implementation. CSE Report 677
Ruiz-Primo, Maria Araceli
National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST)
Even the best program in education will fail to have the intended impact if its essential elements are not implemented properly. Degree of implementation is, then, critical to draw valid conclusions on program outcomes (e.g., Scheirer & Rezmovic, 1983). Especially important is the information on the fidelity with which a program is implemented. "Fidelity of Implementation" (FOI) has been defined as the determination of how close the program is implemented according to its original design or as intended (e.g., Dobson & Shaw, 1988; Dusenbury, Brannigan, Falco, & Hanse, 2003; Witt & Elliot, 1985). Unfortunately, empirical evidence on the effect of FOI on program success is limited. Many evaluation studies do not collect data on FOI and even fewer examine its impact on program outcomes (Dane & Schenider, 1998; Dusenbury et al., 2003; Lillehoj, Griffin, Spoth, 2004). Furthermore, studies on FOI differ considerably on their approaches (Dane & Schenider, 1998; Dusenbury et al., 2003; Huntley, 2004; Lillehoj, Griffin, Spoth, 2004); there is no set of methods and procedures that is universally known and used as standard procedure in the study of FOI. Whereas the characteristics of each program determine what has to be measured during implementation, there are some commonalities across types of programs and, therefore, some general strategies that can be developed. This paper addresses FOI at three levels: general, conceptual, and applied. The first section provides a short review of literature on the main issues of FOI. The second section proposes a conceptual approach for studying FOI in the context of inquiry-based science curricula. The third section describes a series of studies, currently in progress, in which this conceptual approach is being used. The following are appended: (1) Information about the Participant Teachers and Their Classes; (2) FAST Components at a Global and Intermediate Level of Description; and (3) Example of a Vignette. (Contains 8 figures, 6 tables, and 20 footnotes.)
Descriptors: Program Effectiveness, Program Implementation, Inquiry, Science Curriculum, Program Evaluation, Middle Schools, Secondary School Science, Evaluation Methods
National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST). 300 Charles E Young Drive N, GSE&IS Building 3rd Floor, Mailbox 951522, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1522. Tel: 310-206-1532; Fax: 310-825-3883; Web site: http://www.cresst.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Grade 6; Grade 7
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, Los Angeles, CA.