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EVAL 6000: Foundations of Evaluation. Dr. Chris L. S. Coryn Kristin A. Hobson Fall 2011. Agenda. Stage One theories Donald T. Campbell Questions and discussion Encyclopedia of Evaluation entries.

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eval 6000 foundations of evaluation

EVAL 6000: Foundations of Evaluation

Dr. Chris L. S. Coryn

Kristin A. Hobson

Fall 2011

  • Stage One theories
    • Donald T. Campbell
  • Questions and discussion
  • Encyclopedia of Evaluation entries

“We would improve program evaluation if we were alert to opportunities to move closer to the experimental model”

— Donald T. Campbell

biographical sketch
Biographical Sketch
  • Born in 1917, died in 1996
  • Ph.D. in Psychology, University of California, Berkeley
  • Author or more than 235 publications
  • Recipient of numerous honorary degrees, awards, and prizes
  • Intellectual work included psychological theory, methods, sociology of science, and epistemology
campbell s view of evaluation
Campbell’s View of Evaluation
  • Evaluation should be a part of a rational society in which decisions depend on the results of rigorous tests of bold attempts to improve social problems
  • Evaluators should play a servant-methodologist role rather than an advisory role commensurate with democratic values
campbell s influence
Campbell’s Influence
  • Lionized as the father of scientific evaluation
  • Developed and legitimated scientific methods of evaluation
  • The utopian view of an ‘experimenting society’
campbell s major contributions
Campbell’s Major Contributions
  • Evolutionary epistemology
  • Validity theory and threats to validity
  • Experimental and quasi-experimental methods
  • Open, mutually reinforcing but critical commentary on knowledge claims (a disputatious community of truth seekers)
campbell s theory of social programming
Campbell’s Theory of Social Programming
  • Three worlds
    • The current world: Client needs are not the driving force behind political and administrative behavior
    • The current world as it can be marginally modified: Improvement through demonstrations
    • The utopian world: Critical reality checks and the experimenting society
campbell s theory of knowledge construction
Campbell’s Theory of Knowledge Construction
  • Grounded in epistemological relativism (knowledge is impossible without active knowers)
  • Never knowing what is true and imperfectly knowing what is false
  • Evolutionary theory of knowledge growth
  • Not all methods yield equally strong inferences
campbell s theory of valuing
Campbell’s Theory of Valuing
  • Valuing should be left to the political process, not researchers (descriptive valuing)
  • Evaluators are not the arrogant guardians of truth
  • Multidimensional measurement that is inclusive of democratic values
campbell s theory of knowledge use
Campbell’s Theory of Knowledge Use
  • Use is the concern of the political process, not evaluators
  • Evaluations are only worth using if they have withstood the most rigorous tests
  • Most concerned with misuse
    • Methodological biases
    • Control of content or dissemination
campbell s theory of evaluation practice
Campbell’s Theory of Evaluation Practice
  • Application of experimental design to answer summative questions
  • Priority given to internal validity
  • Theoretical explanation is best left to basic researchers
  • Evaluation resources should be focused on pilot and demonstration projects
encyclopedia entries
Encyclopedia Entries
  • Bias
  • Causation
  • Checklists
  • Chelimsky, Eleanor
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Countenance Model of Evaluation
  • Critical Theory Evaluation
  • Effectiveness
  • Efficiency
  • Empiricism
  • Independence
  • Evaluability Assessment
  • Evaluation Use
  • Fournier, Deborah
  • Positivism
  • Relativism
  • Responsive evaluation
  • Stake, Robert
  • Thick Description
  • Utilization of Evaluation
  • Weiss, Carol
  • Wholey, Joseph