Click 'Additional Materials' for downloadable samples

"I welcome this student-friendly text to complement my favorite checklists. This text develops the core checklist framework to provide evaluation methodology basics for, presumably mainly, introductory courses on program evaluation."
Colin Sharp, Evaluation Journal of Australasia

"What is evaluation-specific logic and methodology? This book answers that question in a way that is persuasive, accessible, and understandable. It presents a set of principles and procedures to guide the task of blending descriptive data with relevant values to draw explicitly evaluative conclusions. The book makes a significant contribution to positioning evaluation as a unique and special field of inquiry and judgment."

—Michael Quinn Patton, Union Institute and University

"Amidst the wash of methods books available to evaluators, Davidson's book provides powerful techniques for asking and answering the important foundational questions in any program evaluation."
—Doug Leigh, Pepperdine University

"This is a very well written book that offers a unique perspective on long-practiced evaluation techniques and presents several new, potentially very useful, techniques that return "valuation" to the evaluation process."
—Greg Roberts, University of Texas, Austin

Evaluation theorists for years have advised evaluators to "take into account" all relevant values as part of an evaluation. But especially for the relatively new evaluator (even one who is knowledgeable and experienced in research methodology), there is not a lot of guidance about how this is done. Evaluation Methodology Basics: The Nuts and Bolts of Sound Evaluation provides a step-by-step guide for doing a real evaluation. It focuses on the main kinds of "big picture" questions that evaluators usually need to answer, and how the nature of such questions is linked to evaluation methodology choices. Jane Davidson explains how to combine a mix of qualitative and quantitative data with "relevant values" (such as needs) to draw explicitly evaluative conclusions.

Many students and evaluators find it difficult to visualize what evaluation logic and methodology "look like" in practice. To address this, Davidson presents readers with useful rubrics and flowcharts that may be used during each stage of the evaluation. Many of the concepts presented in the chapters are illustrated with specific examples from a range of disciplines. Exercises and "pop quiz" questions help reinforce the key points covered in each chapter, provide homework assignments for those teaching an evaluation course, and allow learners to develop slices of an evaluation plan as they work their way through the text.

Evaluation Methodology Basics is an ideal text for students of evaluation and students in programs that have evaluation course requirements, such as education, health, sociology, psychology, and many others throughout the social sciences. It will also be essential reading for practitioners who find themselves thrown into evaluation roles without the benefit of specialized evaluation training.

What is Evaluation?
Basic Definitions  
A Note About Fitting Evaluation Approach to Purpose  
The Steps Involved  
The Ingredients of a Good Evaluation  
Identifying the Evaluand  
Additional Readings  
Exercises  
Defining the Purpose of the Evaluation
Evaluations for Determining Overall Quality or Value  
Evaluations for Finding Areas for Improvement  
Questions About Absolute vs. Relative Quality/Value  
Summary and Final Comments  
Additional Readings  
Exercises  
Identifying Evaluative Criteria
Why Not Just Use Goals?  
Identifying Criteria: Basic Concepts and Tools  
Conducting a Needs Assessment  
Identifying Other Relevant Criteria  
Additional Readings  
Exercises  
Organizing the Criteria & Identifying Potential Sources of Evidence
The Importance of Choosing Multiple Sources of Quality Evidence  
The Process Evaluation Checkpoint  
The Outcome Evaluation Checkpoint  
The Comparative Cost-Effectiveness Checkpoint  
The Exportability Checkpoint  
Additional Readings  
Exercises  
Dealing With the Causation Issue
Certainty about causation  
Inferring causation: Basic principles  
Inferring causation: Seven strategies  
Choosing a blend of methods to address the causation issue  
Additional Readings  
Exercises  
"Values" in Evaluation
The Controversy  
The Three Types of Subjectivity  
The Tensions Between Subjectivism and Common Sense  
Where do the "Values" in an Evaluation Come From?  
Additional Readings  
Exercises  
Determining Importance
Determining Importance: What and Why  
Determining Importance: Six Strategies  
Additional Readings  
Exercises  
The Merit Determination Step
Determining Merit: What and Why  
Using Rubrics for Determining "Absolute" Merit  
Using Rubrics for Determining "Relative" Merit  
Making practical use of merit determination rubrics  
Additional Readings  
Exercises  
Synthesis Methodology
Synthesis: What and Why  
The Role of Costs and Comparisons in Synthesis  
Synthesizing for "Grading"  
Synthesizing for "Ranking"  
Additional Readings  
Exercises  
Putting it All Together
The KEC Preliminary Checkpoints  
The KEC Foundations Checkpoints  
The KEC Subevaluations Checkpoints  
The KEC Conclusions Checkpoints  
Additional Readings  
Meta-Evaluation
The five criteria for evaluating evaluations  
Key points to remember in meta-evaluation  
Other options for conducting a meta-evaluation  
Formative meta-evaluation  
Should I use meta-evaluation myself?  
Additional Readings  
Exercises  
Answers to Selected Exercises
Sample Exam Questions
Tips for students answering these exam questions  
The questions  
A rubric for grading assignment and exam answers  
Suggested answers to practice exam questions  
Glossary
References

“Amidst the wash of methods books available to evaluators, Davidson’s book provides powerful techniques for asking and answering the important foundational questions in any program evaluation.”

Doug Leigh
Pepperdine University

“This is a very well written book that offers a unique perspective on long-practiced evaluation techniques and presents several new, potentially very useful, techniques that return “valuation” to the evaluation process.”

Greg Roberts
University of Texas, Austin

"What is evaluation-specific logic and methodology?  This book answers that question in a way that is persuasive, accessible, and understandable.  It presents a set of principles and procedures to guide the task of blending descriptive data with relevant values to draw explicitly evaluative conclusions. The book makes a significant contribution to positioning evaluation as a unique and special field of inquiry and judgment."

Michael Quinn Patton
Union Institute and University

"Evaluation Methodology Basics is yet another excellent book from Sage. This would be a good book to use for a graduate-level course in evaluation techniques or as a template for anyone who is new to the techniques of program evaluation."

Annette M. Matthews
Psychiatric Services, Volume 57, Issues 10

"The text is not only a great introduction for novices, but a toolbox with new perspectives for conducting sound evaluation that integrates values with facts into evaluative conclusions. As such Evaluation Methodology Basics should be on every evaluator's shelf."

Daniela Schroeter
Canadian Journal of Evaluation
Key features
  • This book gives a very brief introduction to evaluation, focusing on the main kinds of "big picture" questions that evaluations usually need to answer, and how the nature of such questions are linked to evaluation methodology choices.
  • The text covers how to identify the right criteria for your evaluation (i.e.: the aspects that distinguish a good, valuable, effective program from a weak or poor one).  Evaluation-specific methods covered include multi-level needs assessment and ethical analysis.
  • The work discusses how to objectively figure out which criteria are more important than the others (in a way that goes beyond simply asking other people what is important).
  • The book delves into how to combine a mix of qualitative and quantitative data with "relevant values" (such as needs) to draw explicitly evaluative conclusions.
  • Davidson discusses how to systematically and transparently pull together all of the strengths and weaknesses that one uncovers to answer the fundamental evaluation question(s) for the client and other right-to-know audiences.
  • The book includes tips for packaging and presenting evaluative information for different audiences.

 

 

 


For instructors

Please select a format:

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9780761929307
63.95 CAD
£40.99
64.00 INR
$64.00
ISBN: 9780761929291
115.95 CAD
£76.00
118.00 INR
$118.00

SAGE Research Methods is a research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. SAGE Research Methods links over 175,000 pages of SAGE’s renowned book, journal and reference content with truly advanced search and discovery tools. Researchers can explore methods concepts to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct their research, and write up their findings. Since SAGE Research Methods focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it can be used across the social sciences, health sciences, and more.

With SAGE Research Methods, researchers can explore their chosen method across the depth and breadth of content, expanding or refining their search as needed; read online, print, or email full-text content; utilize suggested related methods and links to related authors from SAGE Research Methods' robust library and unique features; and even share their own collections of content through Methods Lists. SAGE Research Methods contains content from over 720 books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks, the entire “Little Green Book,” and "Little Blue Book” series, two Major Works collating a selection of journal articles, and specially commissioned videos.