Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Evaluation research originally emerged in the education and human services arenas as a means for improving social programs, but it now focuses more on determining the overall effectiveness of programs. Both approaches are valuable in that they yield evi-denced-based research to secure funding or develop and implement effective programs. One type of evaluation research, formative evaluation , deals with influencing the beginning stages of program development. The evaluation researcher collects and interprets data about how a program operates in its early stages and then translates this information into concrete suggestions for improvement to be shared with program staff. For example, if a local school board requests a formative analysis of a new Holocaust Education program, the researcher would carefully review the program's goals, objectives, curriculum, and instructional materials as well as collect data from students, teachers, and administration about how the program functions. After analyzing and interpreting the data, the ...