Evaluation (EVAL)

EVAL 501  Introduction to Program Evaluation 3 Credits


This course examines different evaluation techniques and applications widely employed to appraise the implementation and effectiveness of intervention programs in education, human services and public health. Through the application of research design and methodology, students are introduced to the benefits of logic models, implementation evaluation, impact analysis, and performance measurements, among other evaluation techniques. Emphasizing theory and practice, students critically examine ethical and political dimensions of program evaluation and consider how these influence current practices and future directions. Previous course EVAL 510 effective through Fall 2014. 3 hours lecture.

EVAL 505  Applied Data Collection Techniques and Analysis 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): EVAL 501 may be taken as prerequisite or corequisite. In this course students survey the different techniques through which applied researchers and program evaluators in education, human services and public health collect, manage, and analyze primary and secondary data. Students evaluate the different forms that primary and secondary data can take and the strengths and limitations of both forms. Students critically examine a range of strategies to collect these data, including administrative record data, public-use micro data, surveys, focus groups, interviews, observations, among others. Students learn how to transform and manage these data prior to analysis. An array of different analytic techniques including basic descriptive statistics, coding, and content. 3 hours lecture.

EVAL 515  Data Collection for Program Evaluation 3 Credits


Graduate Program Coordinator permission required. In this course, students will survey the different techniques through which program evaluators in education, health and human services collect quantitative and qualitative data to answer identified evaluation questions. Students will learn how to develop data collection instruments (e.g., surveys and questionnaires, interview and focus group protocols, observation templates), when to use different instruments, and how to administer these instruments to collect primary data. Students also will critically examine a range of strategies for collecting secondary data (e.g., administrative data, public use microdata). By the end of the course, students will be able to develop appropriate data collection instruments and protocols in alignment with evaluation questions, and be able to administer those instruments using ethical and rigorous methods in applied situations.

EVAL 520  Advanced Approaches to Evaluation 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): EVAL 505 and EVAL 501. This course provides students with cutting-edge knowledge and tools associated with the framework of theory-driven evaluation and other advanced approaches to assess and improve intervention programs in areas of education, human services and public health. Students apply program theory and other pertinent research methods and approaches to design an implementation and/or outcome evaluation. In addition, students propose an evaluation that considers stakeholders' perspectives, formulate an evaluation design, collect and analyze data, and draft reports that explain how to use the results of the evaluation to drive program improvement. 3 hours lecture.

EVAL 525  Data Analysis for Program Evaluation 3 Credits


In this course, students will critically review the methods through which program evaluators in education, health and human services manage, analyze and summarize quantitative and qualitative data to answer identified evaluation questions. Students will learn about a range of different quantitative and qualitative analytic techniques including basic descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, coding and content analysis, and explore these through hand-on activities. Students also will have hands-on practice with various computer programs for data analysis (e.g., SPSS). By the end of the course, students will be able to select and conduct appropriate data analysis methods and analyze and interpret findings to answer identified evaluation questions.

EVAL 530  Applied Field Experience in Program Evaluation 3 Credits


Prerequisite(s): EVAL 501 and EVAL 505 and EVAL 520. In this course students apply the principles and methods of program evaluation through a variety of applied activities that relate to pertinent topical areas in the educational, human services and public health fields. Through group and individual activities, students practice and refine skills in: identifying program goals and objectives; creating measurements for these goals, designing appropriate data collection instruments; analyzing and interpreting data; and using data to modify and improve programs. Students explore issues of program implementation and fidelity, working within local contexts and cultures, evaluation ethics, and managing competing expectations. 3 hours lecture.