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107 11¥¥ Example Evaluation Plan TODD H. McKAY WITH SO MANY MOVING parts in a program evaluation project, it is possible to lose sight of how everything fits together.A challenge for the evaluation team is ensuring that the various components of the evaluation project work together in a coherent way, data collection and analysis are carried out in a timely fashion,regular input and feedback are solicited from end-users and other program stakeholders,sufficient resources are allocated to sustain evaluation work, commitment to using findings is cultivated,and areas for ongoing and subsequent evaluation work are recorded. One way to capture the complexity of the evaluation process—and also to continue fostering engagement with the evaluation and use of findings—is to create an “evaluation plan.”In this final chapter,we describe a prototypical evaluation plan and provide an example plan for the community college language lab scenario. What is an Evaluation Plan? An evaluation plan, as the name suggests, is a blueprint of the entire evaluation process. However, its function is more than simply providing written documentation of the evaluation work to be done. On the one hand, the evaluation plan is an organizational tool for the evaluator or project team, providing a summary of what is being evaluated, when actions are carried out, how implementation of the evaluation will proceed, and who will be directly or indirectly involved. On the other hand, the evaluation plan can also be used to foster evaluation use. That is, the evaluation plan should be a strategic tool to engage users in better understanding the evaluation, cultivating commitment to the evaluation, and promoting transparent evaluation practices. We have noted repeatedly that user and stakeholder involvement during evaluation planning is crucially important for evaluation usefulness. An evaluation plan should be the product of multiple negotiations and meetings with relevant decision-makers and a record of the various planning decisions that stakeholders, users, and the evaluator or evaluation team have made together. In addition, the final evaluation plan report must be submitted to evaluation users for their approval 108 Todd H. McKay and circulated among stakeholders so that they are aware of what the project aims to accomplish and how it has been designed with their interests in mind. At the end of the evaluation, when the final report is submitted, there should be no methodological surprises . The evaluation plan, then, is an opportunity to ensure that everyone approves the next steps. Furthermore, the evaluation team might consider creative ways of communicating the plan to users and stakeholders. In addition to simply emailing the report to relevant individuals,a user meeting or public presentation are possible options.The important point is that the creation and circulation of the evaluation plan is an opportunity to generate user buy-in and modify any aspects of the project that users dislike that may thereby hinder evaluation usefulness. Structure of an Evaluation Plan An evaluation plan conventionally consists of some combination of the following components: 1. Introduction and program description 2. List of stakeholders and stakeholder engagement plan 3. Users and uses 4. Evaluation or project questions 5. Indicators and information sources 6. Analysis and interpretation 7. Plan for disseminating and using evaluation findings 8. Timeline While many of these components have been discussed individually in previous chapters , some are newly introduced here, such as the stakeholder engagement plan, steps for analysis and interpretation, and the plan for disseminating and using findings. The example evaluation plan below illustrates one way in which evaluation project components can be brought together to guide evaluation work. How the evaluation plan takes shape and is carried out, of course, depends on evaluation users, the questions being asked, and the context in which the evaluation unfolds. The following is a template that can (and should) be modified and adapted to readers’ educational contexts. Maguire Community College Language Media Lab: Evaluation Plan In recent years, there has been a rapid expansion and proliferation of educational technologies for language-learning purposes, with implications for how language students and teachers use language centers at colleges and universities.In light of these trends,instructors at the Maguire Community College (MCC) Language Media Lab (LML), with the support of the chair of the Department of Humanities, are conducting an evaluation of the LML over the spring and summer 2018 semesters to investigate the usefulness of the lab for various stakeholders. Evaluation Purpose The evaluation aims to better understand the relevance of the LML in light of local...


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