The Program Evaluation KnowledgeBase

Element 1: Plan the Evaluation

Purpose: Planning how to conduct a program evaluation is the essessential the first step. The preparatory thinking involves understanding the program being evaluated, organizing an evaluation team, and determining how to conduct the evaluation. Element 1 outlines the pre-planning tasks.

Activity 1: Understand Evaluation

Activity 2: Organize Evaluation Team

Activity 3: Establish Evaluation Focus

Element 2: Implement the Evaluation

Purpose: Conducting the evaluation involves designing data collection so the analysis and interpretation will answer the questions the evaluation sets out to resolve. When developing and implementing the evaluation design be flexible to collect and analyze data from many perspectives. The collected data should be attentive to the evaluation questions. Element 2 outlines the tasks associated with implementing the evaluation.

Activity 1: Data Collection

Activity 2: Understanding the Data

Activity 3: Report the Results

Element 3: Use the Results

Purpose: The evaluation's findings and recommendation have limited value unless they are shared with the stakeholders and utilized to improve the evaluated program. Using the results to improve the evaluated program and communicating with constituencies are activities that occur in parallel. Element 3 outlines the tasks associated with using the results.

Activity 1: Communicate with Constituencies

Activity 2: Use Results to Improve

Task 2: Use Data to Make Adjustments

Guideline: The implementation of the evaluation recommendations is a cyclical process involving Planning - Doing - Checking - Acting. Acting on the results is the critical element in achieving improvement. Data based decision making is a tool to utilize in determining what adjustments to the methods and strategies are necessary. Instead of "firing before aiming" using data in their decision making enables school leaders to "aim before they fire."

Balanced Scorecard

The Balanced Scorecard is a useful tool to monitor implementation of the school improvement plan. Developed for business enterprises in the early 90s, the concept can be adapted for schools. Principals will find the concept helpful in overseeing many activities when limited time to do so. The document includes a suggested balanced scorecard planning template.

Stop-Start-Continue Worksheet

This activity adapted from "A How To Guide For School Business Partnerships" is designed to help decision makers define what is and is not working within a project and what changes should be made to the plan.