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The ABCs of Evaluation

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The ABCs of Evaluation

Timeless Techniques for Program and Project Managers


15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Evaluation does not equal negative criticism. In the right hands, it can actually improve your programs.

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You can't avoid evaluations. Whether you're in education, business or nonprofit management, your supervisor will eventually order an evaluation to determine the viability of your program. Many people find evaluations unpleasant and intimidating, but, as John Boulmetis and Phyllis Dutwin show, they don't have to be. The authors demystify the process by carefully explaining its principles, philosophy and techniques. End-of-chapter exercises and numerous examples make evaluation and analysis accessible to any business reader. Appendices provide a tutorial on data analysis, and samples of a final report and an evaluation contract. getAbstract recommends this book to professionals who have little experience with evaluation, although even seasoned veterans will find the material useful.


Evaluation Basics

You may not find evaluation glamorous or exciting, but it is the only way to assess the effectiveness of a program accurately. Thus, it is a valuable tool for managers, administrators, consultants and analysts in almost any field.

CEOs are always interested in the return on investment (ROI), whether it’s an investment in their company’s new products or its factory equipment. If they spend money on a training program to upgrade employees’ knowledge or team-building skills, they want to know whether the expenditure helped the company. Thus, if you fail to deliver a comprehensive evaluation, you may have to say goodbye to future funding – or even to your job. Evaluations can prove your program’s worth. Yet, for many managers and employees, evaluation has a negative connotation. Managers may view the process as cumbersome, time-consuming and overwhelming, while employees fear evaluations presage downsizing or reassignment. Learning about evaluation can help allay your fears and give you an opportunity to benefit your organization or program.

What Evaluation Measures

Scientific research involves controlled experiments that look at a single...

About the Authors

John Boulmetis is a professor in the University of Rhode Island's School of Education and coordinator of the graduate program in adult education. Phyllis Dutwin is the president of a training and development firm.

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