How to focus an evaluation

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Changes in the initial stages of the evaluation process over the last decade are reflected in How to Focus an Evaluation. A new book in the series, this volume replaces the first edition's How to Deal with Goals and Objectives.

The volume recognizes that deciding what to evaluate is a complex negotiation process that involves the methodological predisposition of the evaluator and the client, client needs, the nature of the program and the constraints surrounding the evaluation. It outlines five models that characterize different methodological approaches and considers how each may contribute to the focusing process. The text provides advice on how and what type of information to collect from clients, how to clarify and prioritize evaluation concerns, and how to formulate a plan matching evaluation concerns with data collection procedures within cost constraints.

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Thinking About Client Concerns
How to Gather Information

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About the author (1987)

Dr. Brian Stecher (Ph.D., Education, University of California, Los Angeles) is a senior social scientist in the Education program at RAND. Dr. Stecher's research emphasis is applied educational measurement, including the implementation, quality, and impact of state assessment and accountability systems; the cost, quality, and feasibility of performance-based assessments, and the development and validation of licensing and certification examinations. Dr. Stecher currently directs a multi-state, NSF-funded study of the accountability provisions of the No Child Left Behind act, and he recently completed a four-year evaluation of the California Class Size Reduction initiative. Dr. Stecher is a member of the Technical Design Group, advising the California Department of Education on the development of that state's accountability system. Dr. Stecher has published widely in professional journals, and he is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the Educational Assessment Journal.

Davis has attended more than 100 events in this guide since 1995.

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