Publications Writing

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.”