Although internal, formative evaluation by a district or school cannot fully replace a comprehensive, professional evaluation, education programs can nonetheless benefit from formative feedback generated by those within the system.
The framework provides a step-by-step approach to help non-evaluators plan and implement efficient, well-founded, theoretically sound evaluations of technology projects in education settings by breaking a complex process into manageable pieces:
These pages also provide tested resources, data-collection instruments tailored to technology implementations, and examples to guide the above steps.
It might seem simplistic, but the biggest challenge in developing a formative project evaluation plan might be assuring that everyone involved in the process is speaking the same language. The distinctions among terms can be critical to understanding and to building the consensus necessary to design and implement a feasible, accurate, useful evaluation. It is not necessary that all stakeholders agree on a universal definition of a term like "objective" but it is extremely important that they accept common word usages for the purposes of the evaluation effort.
One possible first step toward shared understanding is the SEIR*TEC Evaluation Term Matching Exercise (in PDF form). Using this exercise, have evaluation planning team members match evaluation terms with Thanksgiving Day metaphors, and then compare responses to the Matching Exercise Answer Key. Resolve differences in understanding by discussing the resulting matches. Finally, record definitions of these key terms, as they will be applied to your evaluation planning effort, and distribute them to all stakeholders.
The process described in this presentation may also be supported by referring to How to Develop an Evaluation Plan (PDF) - a flowchart depicting a complete overview of the logical sequence that applies the materials available in these web pages.
Finally, a more comprehensive review is available in Planning into Practice. This publication is grounded in SEIR*TEC's ongoing work and details the process of creating a strategic technology plan. Chapter 7 examines development of evaluation plans tailored to technology implementations in teaching and learning, describes options for collecting data, and suggests methods that might be applied to analyze results.
The next major step is to precisely define the project that will be evaluated. Again, it is absolutely essential that all stakeholders agree about how the project works, how it will be implemented, and what successful outcomes "look like." Failure to work through this often difficult process will complicate a project evaluation - sometimes to the point of paralysis.
Next > 3. Theory: Explaining How Your Project Works
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This page last updated 6/23/05