Evaluation Essentials, First Edition: From A to Z

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9781606238981: Evaluation Essentials, First Edition: From A to Z
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Written in a refreshing conversational style, this text thoroughly prepares students, program administrators, and new evaluators to conduct evaluations or to use them in their work. The book's question-driven focus and clear discussions about the importance of fostering evaluation use by building collaborative relationships with stakeholders set it apart from other available texts. In 26 concise sections, Marvin C. Alkin explores how to articulate answerable evaluation questions, collect and analyze data using both quantitative and qualitative methods, and deal with contingencies that might alter the traditional sequence of an evaluation. Student-friendly features include handy bulleted recaps of each section, "Thinking Ahead" and "Next Steps" pointers, cautionary notes, annotated suggestions for further reading, and an in-depth case study that provides the basis for end-of-chapter exercises.

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About the Author:

 

Marvin C. Alkin is Emeritus Professor in the Social Research Methodology Division of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has been a member of the UCLA faculty since 1964 and has, at various times, served as Chair of the Education Department and Associate Dean of the school. Dr. Alkin was one of the founders of the Center for the Study of Evaluation and was its Director for 7 years. The Center, established in 1966 by the U.S. government to engage in research on appropriate methods for conducting evaluation of educational programs, continues to be an integral part of the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. Dr. Alkin is a leading authority in the field of evaluation. He has published important research studies on the use of evaluation information in decision making and on comparative evaluation theory. His publications include five books and more than 150 journal articles, book chapters, monographs, and technical reports. Dr. Alkin is currently Associate Editor of Studies in Educational Evaluation and co-section Editor of the American Journal of Evaluation. He has been a consultant to numerous national governments and has directed program evaluations in 14 different countries.

 

Review:

"A rich resource for both novice and experienced evaluators on the art and craft of evaluation."--Katherine Ryan, PhD, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 
 
 "Alkin has delivered again. This wonderful primer meets a glaring need in the evaluation literature, offering a brilliant introduction to the basics and practical realities of conducting modern evaluations. The engaging and practical approach will guarantee that this volume becomes required reading in many introductory evaluation courses and professional development trainings. Readers of all levels of experience will enjoy and benefit greatly from the wisdom that Alkin has amassed across his 40+ year career conducting evaluations."--Stewart I. Donaldson, PhD, Dean, School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences, Claremont Graduate University "The alphabet represents knowing the basics, using a widely shared framework, following a sequence, and comprehensiveness. This book delivers all those things for evaluation. The style is personal. The examples are easy to understand. And the book’s advice comes from one of the profession’s leading authorities, an experienced evaluation practitioner and award-winning evaluation scholar who integrates theory and practice seamlessly, so that they become one, as well they should. Whether you are new to evaluation or are a professional looking for a refresher on fundamentals, this book offers an alphabet soup sure to please the palate."--Michael Quinn Patton, author of Developmental Evaluation "Years of experience, wisdom, and common sense come through in this highly accessible, readable introduction to the world of program evaluation. Highlights include a strong, clear explication of the concept of the logic model and an insightful discussion of contracts and agreements. The concise chapters allow quick access to a given topic, making the book an excellent resource for individuals thinking about entering the field and program administrators who are intent on being thoughtful and data oriented in their own practice."--William E. Bickel, PhD, Senior Scientist, Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh "Alkin demystifies evaluation work in clear and direct language. For example, learning how to analyze program costs is one of the most difficult topics for my students, but this book reassuringly explains how to conceptualize and approach cost analyses. The book provides an excellent overview of the many decisions evaluators face as they complete their work. Throughout, Alkin emphasizes the fundamental importance of relationships and relationship building."--Gary Galluzzo, PhD, College of Education and Human Development, George Mason University "I like the focus on evaluation use throughout the book as well as the sections that explain program evaluation as a discipline. Alkin provides lots of conceptual and practical information  on the evaluation process as it unfolds, identifying key steps along the way. The book does an excellent job of detailing the professional demeanor and skills that a successful evaluator needs to acquire."--Chris Efthimiou, Director, Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment, Bronx Community College of the City University of New York

“I am recommending Evaluation Essentials as an important addition to the library of anyone interested in evaluation as a domain of inquiry and field of professional practice. I have been using it extensively and regularly in my graduate-level course on ‘program evaluation methods and practice’....Among the most intellectually accessible books in our field....The content ‘fits like a glove’ with my Methods and Practice course because it follows evaluation methodology from start (planning and conceptualizing) to finish (reporting and follow-up). Importantly, it honors professional standards of evaluation practice, lays out practical strategies for managing evaluations, and points the reader toward considerations for ongoing learning....Alkin’s strategy for knowledge consolidation through case-level application is undeniably aligned with sound principles of adult education and solid instructional practice....I repeatedly get compliments from students about the accessible nature of the content in Evaluation Essentials....Getting persons responsible for policy and program development, decision making, or oversight to actually experience successful use of evaluation seems to me to be a principal challenge to our field. I would argue that a significant part of the challenge is demystifying evaluation for such audiences and I can think of no better resource for that purpose than Evaluation Essentials.” (American Journal of Evaluation 2015-09-01)

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