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ERIC Number: EJ824995
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1097-6736
An Evaluator's Balancing Act: Making Decisions about Methodological Rigor
Braverman, Marc T.; Arnold, Mary E.
New Directions for Evaluation, n120 p71-86 Win 2008
Methodological rigor consists of a series of elements that, in combination, determine the confidence with which conclusions can be drawn from the evaluation results. These elements include evaluation design, conceptualization of constructs, measurement strategies, time frames, program integrity, and others. The authors examine the factors that influence rigor-related evaluation planning decisions and the relationship of rigor to evaluation use by the sponsoring organization. Rather than following generalized predetermined standards, decisions about rigor should be based on the specific organizational context, information needs for the evaluation, and anticipated benefits and costs of available methodological alternatives. Extension offers a rich organizational context for discussion because of the diversity and complexity of its funding, stakeholders, programs, and evaluations. Several roles are proposed through which evaluators can promote organizational learning with regard to the contribution of methodological rigor to sound evaluation practice. Two Extension evaluations are presented as examples; though they reflect differing levels of rigor, both were thoughtfully planned and resulted in strong use of findings. (Contains 1 table.)
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: Adult Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A