Participant-oriented Evaluation Approaches: Stake’s Countenance Emily Howard Program Evaluation and Policy Analysis
Responsive Evaluation Grew out of dislike for mechanical and preordinate evaluation methods in the late 1960s. Characteristics include : 1. Depends on inductive reasoning 2. Uses a multiplicity of data 3. Does not follow a standard plan 4. Records multiple rather than single realities Fitzpatrick, Sanders, Worthen 2004
Transaction: Successive engagements or dynamic encounters constituting the process of instruction. (Activities, processes, etc.) Example: Behavioral interactions. Quick Vocabulary Lesson Outcomes: The effects of the instructional experience. (Including observations and unintentional outcomes.) Example: Teacher performance. Antecedent: A condition existing prior to instruction that may relate to outcomes. (Inputs, resources, etc.) Example: Teacher background.
The two basic acts of evaluation are description and judgment. Insert Matrix Here Stake and his Countenance
The ultimate test of an evaluation’s validity is the extent to which it increases the audience’s understanding of the entity that was evaluated. Responsive evaluators in continuous communication with stakeholders. Stresses importance of being responsive to realities in program and concerns of participants rather than relying on preconceptions. Disinterested in formal objectives and formal data collection. What Does it Do? Affords the evaluator information needed to analyze the levels of congruency.
clock image here Events in Stake’s Countenance
Attempts to reflect the complexity of the program as realistically as possible. Has great potential for gaining new insights and theories about the field and program it evaluates. Advantages Evaluators look at the needs for those whom the program serves.
Approach accused of being too subjective. Possibly over-minimizes the importance of data collection instruments and quantitative evaluation. Disadvantages Can be cost prohibitive and labor intensive.
Case Study: Evaluating an Environmental Education Professional Development Course Purpose: “Evaluate an environmental education professional development course using Stake’s Countenance Model as the organizational framework.”
Course designed to educate teachers about research and instructional strategies used to investigate community environmental issues. Case Background Course included laboratory procedures, data collection trips, and data analysis. Evaluation of a Chesapeake Watershed Ecology course.
Unexpected Outcomes: Enhanced professional confidence Not enough time to study and reflect Administrative barriers to implementing what they learned Antecedents: Teacher background Appropriate curriculum Resource availability Transactions: Component participation Behavioral interactions Course choreography Data Collection Instruments: 1. Pretest 2. Posttest 3. Teacher opinion survey 4. Expert opinion questionnaire 5. Attendance records 6. Background information 7. Teacher journals 8. Instructor journal Evaluation Methodology Outcomes: Improved performance Teacher attitudes Intent to use Criterion levels were established to judge discrepancies between what was intended and what was observed to occur.
Countenance Matrix The table shows the outstanding characteristics of the course. The table compares intents to observations and describes the judgment standards and the judgment of the evaluator.
Benefit of using Stake’s Countenance: • Facilitated in-depth understanding of the course. • Revealed unanticipated consequences as well as reasons and consequences for the effects. Results of Evaluation: 1. Teachers were familiar with basic concepts but not advanced techniques. 2. Established importance of ties between perceived resource ability, class participation, and curricular choices. 3. Linked knowledge gains and improved professional confidence expressed by the teachers. Evaluation Results & Summary
Questions Observations Case study did not tackle a complex issue, hard to judge the technique. Tool seemed well-suited to case; in education evaluation should be participant-oriented. Would other techniques have been more or less helpful? Is the technique more than the matrix, and is an evaluator necessary? Did not see voice of the evaluator. Judgments largely a result of participant experience and rating. Quality of the Case Study Does the evaluator do more than facilitate? Does the evaluator make “big picture” observations? Some of the judgments could have possibly been culled from survey results as well. Would different techniques have yielded different results?
Graphic Questions? Emily Howard Participant-oriented Evaluation: Stake’s Countenance