Category Archives: Writing

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Policy Evaluation: The SAGE Encyclopedia of Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation

Suggested Citation: Lam, C. Y. (2018). Policy evaluation. In The SAGE Encyclopedia of Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation (pp. 1258-1261)Thousand Oaks, SAGE.

“Policy evaluation refers to the systematic investigation and determination of value of a policy— and can take place in various sectors, including education. Policy evaluators apply evaluation methodologies and employ social scientific research methodologies to answer evaluation questions in support of policy making, policy development, and policy decision making. Policy evaluation is rarely undertaken for its own sake but mostly conducted in connection to the policy cycle. Because of the inherent political nature of policies, policy evaluation is increasingly undertaken by policy actors—both governmental and nongovernmental parties— with interests in shaping the political agenda. Hence, awareness into both the technical and political dimensions of policy evaluation is important to its understanding and execution.”

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Consumer-Oriented Evaluation Approach: The SAGE Encyclopedia of Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation

Suggested Citation: Lam, C. Y. (2018). Consumer-Oriented Evaluation Approach. In The SAGE Encyclopedia of Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation (pp. 390-392). Thousand Oaks, SAGE. 

“The consumer-oriented approach to evaluation is the evaluation orientation advocated by evaluation expert and philosopher Michael Scriven. The approach stems from the belief that evaluation ought to serve the consumer, that is, the ultimate end user of the particular object under evaluation, the evaluand—be it a program, a curriculum, a policy, a product, or a service. This entry first discusses the history and the key aspects of the consumer-oriented evaluation approach, including the centrality of the consumer, the goal of the evaluation, and the role of the evaluation and the evaluator. It then looks at the techniques used in consumer- oriented evaluation, the checklist developed by Scriven for this evaluation approach, and the advantages and challenges of the approach.

The consumer-oriented evaluation approach arose in the 1960s in reaction to the then- prevailing stances that saw evaluation as an exercise in value-free measurement of whether program goals were achieved. The consumer-oriented evaluation approach reminds evaluators, and those who commission and use evaluation, that an evaluation ought to produce a determination about the merit, worth, and/or significance of the evaluand and that the basis of evaluation ought to be referenced to the needs of consumers.”

Inputs: The SAGE Encyclopedia of Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation

Suggested Citation: Lam, C. Y. (2018). Inputs. In The SAGE Encyclopedia of Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation (p. 824). Thousand Oaks, SAGE. 

“The term inputs refers to the resources made available to a program, policy, or curriculum to enable its operation. More precisely, inputs provide the antecedent conditions from which some programmatic activities are to occur and, as a consequence, achieve some predetermined objectives. Put simply, inputs are what get invested to do the work.

Inputs are important to make explicit because they play a limiting function in the implementation program, policy, or curriculum. For instance, the reach of a program is dependent on its inputs, such as the funding allocated to the program, the size of the venue in which the program is delivered, or the availability of program staff with expertise in the area.Without sufficient input, the efficacy and/or the effectiveness of a program may suffer. Yet, the opposite is not necessarily true. Overinvesting in a program, policy, or curriculum does not necessarily yield greater or better outcomes, if processes are unable to take advantage of abundant inputs. Hence an accurate accounting of inputs is important to understanding the effects of a program, policy, or curriculum.”