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ERIC Number: EJ792195
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-1097-6736
Local Evaluation in Multisite STEM Programs: Relating Evaluation Use and Program Results
Gullickson, Arlen R.; Hanssen, Carl E.
New Directions for Evaluation, n109 p87-103 Spr 2006
This article uses a program-level evaluation to assess the characteristics of smaller-scale project evaluations and their use for project improvement and accountability purposes. The authors used available information from the annual Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program evaluation surveys to describe the characteristics of evaluation practices conducted under the auspices of ATE projects, and their perceived usefulness. They probed value by using reported evaluation practices to predict project directors' satisfaction. They also probed causality issues by predicting project productivity on the basis of use of various evaluation practices. Their aim in these endeavors to develop a taxonomy of evaluation research was twofold: (1) to add to the profession's understanding of actual evaluation practice, which likely differs from advocated practice; and (2) to furnish exploratory evidence of linkage between evaluation practice and programmatic (local project) outcomes. Their findings indicate that nearly all projects engaged in an evaluative effort, hired external evaluators to conduct the evaluations, allocated a very modest 5 percent of the budget for evaluation, and perceived these evaluations to be valuable. The responses did not lend much insight as to whether the evaluation practices themselves were sound. The data do indicate that evaluations focused more often on formative than summative matters. The implication of these findings, from the authors' perspective, is that the value of evaluations might be enhanced by increasing both the depth and the scope of evaluation questions and attendant data collection efforts. This in turn has strong implications for increasing the amount of time and money spent. The findings also confirmed the expectation that project directors value their evaluation findings more when they are built on a strong data foundation. They further suggest that other variables (for example, percentage of budget allocated to evaluation) also play a role in determining a director's valuing of findings. (Contains 4 tables and 1 note.)
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A