This blog entry discusses the benefits and limitations of evaluations:
- Stakeholders will be able to determine how effective each component of their course is, as well as how effective the course as a whole is, by comparing the community’s needs to the products they offer. This would allow them to know if they need to make any changes, omissions, or additions of new materials. Looking at the hard data they have access to would allow them to evaluate the efficiency of the program.
- They would also be able to better understand the roles MCCD and Cashflow play, and how they contribute to the success of the program. In turn, they would be able to determine if any roles need to change.
- They may identify more groups or institutions who would benefit from their product.
- Lastly, they would be able to better predict if their product would be worth marketing to educational institutions, so potentially no unnecessary investments (time, effort, and funds) are wasted.
- The evaluation may determine that the program is ineffective, inefficient, and does not create any impact. If there are many flaws in the product, it is not cost-efficient, and student scores are low, they may need to make serious changes (such as recreate materials, have better marketing strategies, etc.), or even shut down the program
- The evaluation may also expose serious flaws in the operations either MCCD or Cashflow, and determine that one of them may not be the right partner, therefore needs replacing.
- They may also find there are disagreements between various decision makers, which create inefficiency in the way things are run.
- Factors to ensure the evaluation is successful:
- Ensuring everyone understands the reasons and value of the evaluation
- It would be important to bring in someone who is impartial and experienced.
- There has to be complete transparency from all stakeholders
Possible uses of evaluation results:
- They may be able to use the results to make modifications to the content of the training or to the products.
- They may decide to limit, expand or change the audience/costumers (i.e., decide not to market it to educational institutions.
- They may decide to create more products to complement the existing ones.
- They may reconsider the partnership.
The program I chose to evaluate is my school’s report card system.
- The report card system would definitely benefit from a thorough evaluation. Since it has never been evaluated, it continues to change form year to year, and both teachers and administrators have expressed dissatisfaction from its current design.
It would be beneficial to look into how our report card system affects student achievement, teacher time, instruction (we need to assess and report almost a month before reports are sent to parents…), and more. It is important that a report card system has minimal effect on instruction, and at the same time that it provides accurate and concise picture of each child’s progress.
- Potential limitations of this evaluation might be:
- Due to the high turnover of teachers and administrators at my school, there are few people who could provide data as to their direct and perceived impact.
- Due to the fact that the format changes quite frequently, it may be difficult to evaluate its effectiveness as the existing data may prove to be unrelated or inapplicable.
- The evaluator (me…) has no experience with formal evaluations, so there might be issues in how it is conducted (the questions asked, analysis, etc.)
- Some stakeholders may not be cooperative. For example, it is difficult to force parents to respond to surveys.
- The evaluation may help administrators and teachers to understand the benefits and limitations of our current report card system. It may also help articulate why we report, how we should report, and what the necessary ingredients of an effective, efficient, and impactful report card system are. In turn, it would allow the school to create a better system, in which objectives are met, and all stakeholders are satisfied with the process and product.