A Primer on Evaluation

Greg Welch, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor, MAP Academy
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2010-2011 Methodology Applications Series

Presentation 4

Evaluation is a tool utilized in a variety of settings for a variety of purposes. In educational settings, evaluations are typically conducted to determine the impact of a particular program (e.g., after-school programming). The purpose of this talk is to introduce the concept of evaluation, including a discussion of the characteristics that distinguish an evaluation study from a research study. Different approaches and perspectives on evaluation will be presented along with the common issues often encountered in conducting evaluations in educational settings. Special attention will be placed upon the Utilization-Focused Evaluation approach put forth by Patton (2004).

Greg Welch received his PhD in Research Methodology in Education from the University of Pittsburgh in 2007. He is now a Research Assistant Professor for the CYFS Statistics and Research Methodology Unit. His research interests include structural equation modeling, latent curve analysis and educational policy.