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Interactive Evaluation Practice

Interactive Evaluation Practice
Mastering the Interpersonal Dynamics of Program Evaluation

April 2012 | 456 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

You're about to start your first evaluation project. Where do you begin? Or you're a practicing evaluator faced with a challenging situation. How do you proceed? How do you handle the interactive components and processes inherent in evaluation practice?

Use Interactive Evaluation Practice to bridge the gap between the theory of evaluation and its practice. Taking an applied approach, this book provides readers with specific interactive skills needed in different evaluation settings and contexts. The authors illustrate multiple options for developing skills and choosing strategies, systematically highlighting the evaluator's three roles as decision maker, actor, and reflective practitioner. Case studies and interactive examples stimulate thinking about how to apply interactive skills across a variety of evaluation situations.

"From beginning to end, this book is an indispensable resource for those responsible for the evaluation process. In essence, here's a chance to learn from masters about acquiring mastery. What could be more useful?" Michael Quinn Patton, Author of Utilization-Focused Evaluation


"At long last, a book that explicitly addresses the importance of interpersonal dynamics in evaluation practice!" Hallie Preskill, Executive Director, Strategic Learning and Evaluation Center, FSG


"As an evaluator who frequently interacts with a variety of stakeholders and who provides graduate-level evaluation training, I find Interactive Evaluation Practice to be an exceptional addition to the evaluation literature and a useful guide to interacting with various stakeholder groups." Chris L. S. Coryn, Western Michigan University

About the Authors
Part I. An Introduction to Interactive Evaluation Practice
1. Introducing Interactive Evaluation Practice
2. Framing Interactive Evaluation Practice
3. Theoretical Foundations for Interactive Evaluation Practice
Part II. Skills and Strategies for Interactive Evaluation Practice
4. The Nuts and Bolts of Evaluation Conversations
5. An Evaluator's Dozen of Interactive Strategies
6. Managing Conflict Constructively in Evaluation Settings
7. Creating a Viable Interactive Evaluation Process
8. Dealing With the Unexpected in Program Evaluation: When Bad Things Happen to Good Evaluators
Part III. Teaching Cases for Bringing Interactive Evaluation Practice to Life
9. The Evaluator Is in Charge: Evaluating a Controversial Shelter Project
10. We're in This Together: Evaluating a Remedial Math Program
11. Serving as an Evaluation Coach: Engaging Staff and Participants in Evaluating a Healthy Nutrition Program
Epilogue: The End--and a Beginning
Appendix A. The Program Evaluation Standards: A Guide for Evaluators and Evaluation Users (3rd Edition)
Appendix B. American Evaluation Association Guiding Principles for Evaluators
Appendix C. Essential Competencies for Program Evaluators
Appendix D. Interactive Evaluation Practice Principles Chapter Crosswalk
Appendix E. Generic Exercises for Reflecting on Interactive Evaluation Practice Case Studies
Author Index
Subject Index

“How refreshing! An easy-to-read, scholarly book that is rich in both theory and practical advice, and intensely focused on the interpersonal aspect of evaluation practice...It provides a plethora of best practice examples, templates, and frameworks that show how evaluators can enhance their evaluation practice by paying particular attention to interpersonal dynamics...Throughout the book, King and Stevahn use delightful images and analogies that make it fun to read. Whoever thought of an evaluation being an emergent piece of art?”


Melanie Hwalek, SPEC Associates, Detroit, MI, USA
American Journal of Evaluation

Excellent, hands on activities for use both with and by my students in their own practice!

Cheryl Poth
Educational Psychology , Univ of Alberta
June 28, 2012
Key features

Key Features

  • Outlines an analytic-reflective approach to evaluation, giving readers the skills and strategies for both conducting the evaluation and for reflection afterwards
  • Includes multiple exhibits and templates that guide evaluators in making applications across diverse situations and settings
  • Shows how evaluation is context-specific, helping readers determine which approach is appropriate for their context
  • Offers examples from actual evaluations in the five skill-building chapters, showing how the different approaches worked in specific contexts
  • Concludes with three chapter-length teaching cases (drawn from a city agency, a public school, and a nonprofit organization) and accompanying exercises of four types (think, interact, practice, situate) to apply the skills discussed in earlier chapters
  • Presents strategies for managing conflict constructively and practical ideas for dealing with unexpected turmoil in evaluations and in the workplace
  • Offers detailed "how to" descriptions for facilitating 13 strategies useful in conducting evaluation studies

Sample Materials & Chapters




For instructors

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ISBN: 9781483313733

ISBN: 9780761926733

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