EdTech 505: Week 5: Decision Making: Whom to Involve, How, and Why (Chapter 3)

This week we covered how monitoring and evaluation are related and how decisions can be made using evaluation results.   What is very important is to have management and stakeholders all apprised and involved in evaluation from beginning to the end.   Everyone who has a vested interest in a successful program should have a way to take part and contribute their views and insights as their individual aims will be driven by their own interests.

Discuss Table 3.1 – Program Planning Cycle and Evaluation Activities (pp. 62-3). Pros/cons. Something you disagree with? Where does “monitoring” occur? Anything missing? Bring in any prior experience you might have with such a planning cycle. Will this model fit with the program/project you discussed in the chap. 1 and the subsequent assignments? Other aspects of chapter three you’d like to discuss? Other planning cycles you’ve used?

Table 3.1 provides a table format that is easy to follow, though I noticed that looking at the program cycle (figure 3.1) on page 51 of the text it includes philosophy and goals as part of the cycle.  Boulmetis & Dutwin (2005, p.50) note, “If the evaluator looks at the organization’s mission and goals, decisions regarding the appropriateness of programs or program activities can be examined before the program begins”.  Philosophy and Goals is really the foundation to begin from when looking at a program cycle.

Under the “Needs Assessment” discussion on p.51, I had to giggle when I read about “the gut feeling” and how many times I have seen decisions made by gut feeling for needs.  In a needs assessment a specific program, resource / material hasn’t been selected yet, and definitely not driven by gut feeling.  By clarifying goals and identifying needs it will help make that link between the program goals and what it is that you are trying to achieve.

The program cycle is and will fit into my class project:

  • Philosophy & Goals: provides the foundation for the project identifying mission and goals.  My project is to implement a social networking program and communication tool into teacher’s classrooms.  Why?  The school site is not using this form of technology to provide swifter communication to students.  The Edmodo program will provide the bridge to do so along with meeting the school districts 21st century educational technology goals.
  • Needs Assessment: An evaluation would help ensure that the project in consideration would both efficiently and effectively meet the needs of the stakeholders involved: Administration, teachers, and students.
  • Program Planning: This is where a lot happens from identifying and creating material to choosing methods of evaluation for quantitative and qualitative measures.  For my project, there will be a series of three evaluation methods: pre-survey, lesson(s) survey, and post surveys.  Though for my project this may be limited due to the time-frame of this class project.
  • Implementation and Formative Evaluation:  At this stage there will be a website set-up to provide an introduction to the project and lessons to cover all instructional goals.  Surveys are listed as well, and can be accessed right after each learning module.  The staff training will be completed all at one time for all instructors with staff available at all times.
  • Summative Evaluation: This will be based on results from surveys and analysis of all data.  Recommendations will be included in the final report.

This weeks assignment:

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