Participatory evaluation: 12 useful online resources

May 29, 2013

My students this semester have been interested in participatory evaluation. This sub-set of evaluation isn’t a major topic in our course this semester, but because so many of them are interested, I have pulled together a bit of a reading list for them on the topic so those who are interested can explore it further.

Here’s a list of 12 online articles, e-books and other resources on participatory evaluation:

Bragin, M. (2005). The community participatory evaluation tool for psychosocial programs: A guide to implementation. Intervention Journal, 3(1), 3-24. Retrieved from http://www.interventionjournal.com/downloads/31pdf/03_24%20bragin%20.pdf

Campilan, D. (2000). Participatory evaluation of participatory research. Paper presented at the Forum on Evaluation of International Cooperation Projects: Centering on Development of Human Resources in the Field of Agriculture. Retrieved from http://ir.nul.nagoya-u.ac.jp/jspui/bitstream/2237/8890/1/39-56.pdf

Canadian International Development Agency. (2001). How to perform evaluations: Participatory evaluations. Performance Review Branch Guides, (3). Retrieved from http://www.acdi-cida.gc.ca/INET/IMAGES.NSF/vLUImages/Performancereview4/$file/participatory_Evl.pdf

Checkoway, B., & Richards-Schuster, K.  Facilitator’s guide for participatory evaluation with young people. Available from http://ssw.umich.edu/public/currentprojects/youthAndCommunity/pubs/guidebook.pdf

Checkoway, B., & Richards-Schuster, K. (n.d.). Participatory evaluation with young people. Available from http://ssw.umich.edu/public/currentprojects/youthAndCommunity/pubs/youthbook.pdf

Cousins, J. B., & Earl, L. M. (1995). Participatory evaluation: Enhancing evaluation use and organizational learning capacity. The Evaluation Exchange: A Periodical on Emerging Strategies in Evaluation, 1(3-4). Retrieved from http://www.hfrp.org/evaluation/the-evaluation-exchange/issue-archive/participatory-evaluation/participatory-evaluation-enhancing-evaluation-use-and-organizational-learning-capacity

Guijt, I., & Gaventa, J. (1998). Participatory monitoring and evaluation: Learning from change. IDS Policy Briefing, (12). Retrieved from http://www.ids.ac.uk/files/dmfile/PB12.pdf

Lefevre, P., Kolsteren, P., De Wael, M.-P., Byekwaso, F., & Beghin, I. (2000). Comprehensive participatory planning and evaluation. Available from http://www.ifad.org/pub/bsf/cppe/cppe.pdf

Pant, M.  (n.d.) Participatory evaluation (PE). Available from http://www.unesco.org/education/aladin/paldin/pdf/course01/unit_09.pdf

Pastor, J., & Roberts, R., A. (1995). Participatory evaluation research as a catalyst for reform: An example from an urban middle school. The Evaluation Exchange: A Periodical on Emerging Strategies in Evaluation, 1(3-4). Retrieved from http://www.hfrp.org/evaluation/the-evaluation-exchange/issue-archive/participatory-evaluation/participatory-evaluation-research-as-catalyst-for-reform-an-example-from-an-urban-middle-school

Upshur, C. C., Barretto-Cortez, E., & Gaston Institute, M. (1995). What is participatory evaluation (PE)? What are its roots? The Evaluation Exchange: A Periodical on Emerging Strategies in Evaluation, 1(3-4). Retrieved from http://www.hfrp.org/evaluation/the-evaluation-exchange/issue-archive/participatory-evaluation/what-is-participatory-evaluation-pe-what-are-its-roots

Zukoski, A., & Luluquisen, M. (2002). Participatory evaluation: What is it? Why do it? What are the challenges. Community -Based Public Health Policy and Practice, (5). Retrieved from http://depts.washington.edu/ccph/pdf_files/Evaluation.pdf

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


21st Century Leadership: How Collaboration is Transforming Business Leadership (Webinar)

May 27, 2013

Chinook learning LogoI’m gearing up for a brand new webinar this week that will be offered through Chinook Learning Services.

Although the core principles of leadership are timeless, the skills needed in today’s fast-paced world are different than in decades past. This webinar looks at what it means to be a leader in the 21st century. Reconsider traditional paradigms of leadership and learn why they don’t work today. Find out why collaboration is the hot new trend in leadership and how to use collaboration to mobilize others to take responsibility and take action.

Participant Outcomes

  • Understand emerging trends in 21st century leadership.
  • Understand how collaboration is an effective motivator.
  • Learn key strategies for integrating collaboration into your leadership practice.

Course Content

  1. Trends in 21st century leadership.
  2. Why traditional models of leadership are becoming ineffective.
  3. The role of collaboration in leadership.
  4. Key strategies for collaborative leadership practice.

Find out more about the webinar here.

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


Program and Practice Evaluation

May 24, 2013

I am excited to be teaching a new course this spring semester. It’s a research course for the Master’s of Education program at the University of Calgary.

Course description

The purpose of this course is to provide an understanding of evaluation – as a discipline, as a profession, as a process and a product in a wide range of educational and social contexts. The primary focus of the course is holistic, large-scale program evaluation rather than the assessment of individuals (for example, the measurement of student achievement or personnel review).

This course focuses on developing an understanding of the logic of evaluative thinking, the nature of evaluation as a profession and discipline, the knowledge and skills needed to be expert consumers of program evaluation and novice evaluators in contexts relevant to individual career contexts.

Topics include:

  • the logic of evaluation
  • central concepts in evaluation
  • approaches to evaluation
  • standards in evaluation
  • the social and political nature of evaluation.

Learner outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Describe the logic of evaluation and explain its role in improving practice in teaching and learning
  • Understand, analyze, synthesize and apply the central concepts in evaluation
  • Be aware of and apply appropriate standards in evaluation, including ethical practices for evaluators
  • Understand, discuss, and critique the social and political nature of evaluation
  • Be familiar be with and critically analyze major approaches to evaluation and their designs, then synthesize into an appropriate evaluation plan that fits the needs of the particular evaluation task.

Here’s a copy of the course outline:

View this document on Scribd

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


3 Key Elements of Self-Directed Learning

May 23, 2013

Last week I had the privilege of attending the Collaborating for Learning Conference (May 15 & 16, 2013) at the University of Calgary.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Gary Poole, from the University of British Columbia, gave a talk on a self-directed learning program at UBC.

Dr. Poole highlighted three key elements of self-directed learning that differentiate it from traditional learning:

  1. The learner identifies the goals of their project and their learning process.
  2. The learner designs the means for attaining those goals.
  3. The learner defines the criteria to determine if the goals were met.

In order for learning to be truly self-directed, teachers and advisors must surrender the need to control the learning process, program design and even the assessment. Faculty and program coordinators become guides, helping students find their way if they get lost, helping them to cultivate self-managment and self-monitoring skills and — at all costs — resisting the urge to prescribe how learning should happen.

Self-directed learning teaches students to take control of their own path and then take full responsiblity for their own success or failure, being reflective and aware every step of the way.

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


Why “as cited in” should be avoided in academic writing

May 21, 2013

For my graduate students… and other readers:

When you are referencing others’ work in our course, whether it is on the discussion board, in your presentation or in your final paper, I urge you to find the primary sources for your citations.

I will be upfront about this and say that I am not at all a fan of citing a work that someone else has cited. Please find the original reference yourself and cite that instead.

The reason for this is three-fold:

  1. You want to be sure that the “original” author actually exists. As heinous as it may seem, people have been known to fabricate references.
  2. More common is that a researcher will mis-quote an author or take someone’s work out of context. By going back to the original source, you have the opportunity to verify for yourself what the original author was trying to say.
  3. “As cited in…” can be an indicator of either a lazy or disinterested scholar who does not care enough to find and cite original authors. I do not think this is the case with anyone in our course, but it is not uncommon for other scholars to dismiss the credibility of a researcher who does not take the time to find primary sources.

Earlier this year, I conducted an informal in-class experiment with a Master’s level class at the U of C. I challenged them to find the original version of Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs”. To their surprise, they found that the pyramid that has become an iconic representation of Maslow’s hierarchy is nowhere to be found in his original work. (You can read about it here: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: Is the pyramid a hoax?  http://wp.me/pNAh3-1rU)

I tell my students, “My point to you is this: Please cite only primary sources in our course. Avoid using ‘as cited in…’ or similar strategies. If you can’t find an original source, don’t cite it.”

The only exception to this would be original works of extreme rarity which are almost impossible to source without physically visiting historical archives.

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Update – January 2018 – This blog has had over 1.8 million views thanks to readers like you. If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it or share it on social media. Thanks!

Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.


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