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ERIC Number: EJ941870
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 66
ISSN: ISSN-1556-8180
The Pragmatist in Context of a National Science Foundation Supported Grant Program Evaluation: Guidelines and Paradigms
Ross, Margaret E.; Narayanan, N. Hari; Hendrix, Theron Dean; Myneni, Lakshman Sundeep
Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, v7 n16 p111-130 Jul 2011
Background: The philosophical underpinnings of evaluation guidelines set forth by a funding agency can sometimes seem inconsistent with that of the intervention. Purpose: Our purpose is to introduce questions pertaining to the contrast between the instructional program's underlying philosophical beliefs and assumptions and those underlying our evaluation approach. Drawing heavily on Scriven, we discuss these from a pragmatist evaluation stance in light of issues defined by Lincoln and Guba (2000). The discussion is couched in the evaluation of an innovative approach to teaching computer science. Setting: Auburn University, Auburn, AL Intervention: The evaluation is designed to investigate the effects of a studio-based teaching approach in computer science education. The evaluation framework employs a rigorous design that seeks to provide evidence to support or refute some assumed truth about the object (or construct) investigated. The program evaluated is steeped in a constructivist framework which assumes that no universal truth or reality exists, but rather, is constructed by the individual. Research Design: Our evaluation design, to a good extent, reflects a post-positivist, quasi-experimental position. We also include a qualitative component using student interviews. Data Collection and Analysis: Evidence of the effectiveness of the instructional approach for learning is assessed quantitatively using pre- and post-test and pre- and post-survey data group comparisons (mixed design ANOVA). Interviews provide the basis for qualitative theme analysis. Findings: Quantitative results were somewhat weak but consistent in support of the studio-based teaching. Interview data suggest that most students did find working in groups enjoyable and a valuable experience. (Contains 6 tables.)
Evaluation Center, Western Michigan University. 1903 West Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5237. Tel: 269-387-5906; Fax: 269-387-5923; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alabama