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Program Evaluation: Alternative Approaches and Practical Guidelines (4th Edition) Hardcover – October 7, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0205579358 ISBN-10: 0205579353 Edition: 4th

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson; 4 edition (October 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0205579353
  • ISBN-13: 978-0205579358
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a landmark text and it remains the definitive classic for training new evaluators. The authors have truly made an important contribution to the field...Nothing comes close to this text in terms of coverage, balance of theory and practicality, and usefulness in the field of evaluation." - Gary J. Skolits, University of Tennessee

 

"This is a great textbook. It is simply the most readable, most comprehensive introduction to program evaluation." - Ted Miller, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

 

 

From the Back Cover

Designed for students and professionals, the Fourth Edition of Program Evaluation: Alternative Approaches and Practical Guidelines provides instruction for conducting evaluations, from identifying the questions that the evaluation should address, to determining how to collect and analyze evaluative information, to ascertaining how to provide evaluative information to others. Making extensive use of checklists, examples, and other study aides, Program Evaluation teaches students how to effectively determine the central purpose of their evaluation, thus making their evaluation more valid, more useful, and more efficient.

 

The revised edition of the text includes new approaches to program evaluation, an expanded discussion of logic models, added information on mixed models, and, as always, updated coverage of the most current trends and controversial issues in evaluation.

 

New to this Edition:

 

  • New approaches to evaluation including theory-based evaluation, logic models, organizational learning, and building evaluation capacity allow students to explore even more ways to find solutions and best practices. 
  • An expanded discussion of how to use logic models and other methods to identify the purposes of an evaluation further aides students in understanding and conducting effective evaluations.
  • More examples, references to examples, and additional suggested readings give students more opportunities to explore and practice what they are learning.
  • Updated content throughout the text includes new findings and current events related to the field, keeping readers up-to-date on the latest developments in program evaluation.

"This is a landmark text and it remains the definitive classic for training new evaluators. The authors have truly made an important contribution to the field...Nothing comes close to this text in terms of coverage, balance of theory and practicality, and usefulness in the field of evaluation." - Gary J. Skolits, University of Tennessee

 

"This is a great textbook. It is simply the most readable, most comprehensive introduction to program evaluation." - Ted Miller, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga

 

Customer Reviews

This book provides information about how to evaluate programs.
Sandy Gorman
Certain questions require you to dig through the material to find the answer; the problem being that there is only one sentence about the topic in the entire book.
A. Starr
The book is clear, easy to understand, thorough and a good "primer" on evaluation.
Denise Wunderlich

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 38 people found the following review helpful By John J Couture on February 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've been using this book as a resource for evaluating programs at our college and for my doctoral research. The book is well organized and contains several examples and paradigms with which to evaluate programs in both govermental and corporate settings. Expensive book but one that you'll keep handy!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By jw on February 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
This text surveys evaluation theory and practice in a manner that is easy to understand and teach. It's appropriate for undergraduate or graduate work in performance evaluation. The authors do an excellent job of reviewing the history and key literature. They also briefly explain popular methodologies and discuss different approaches, such as objective and holistic. The book includes case study material that highlights processes, advantages, drawbacks, and potential problems of evaluation efforts. The authors avoid consulting hype and focus on building the evaluation body of knowledge. An update with Fitzpatrick listed as the first author is now available and also is excellent.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Richard Connelly on September 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This text was pretty exhaustive but they should have included several examples of evaluations, executive reports, etc. It would have been interesting to study the types of evaluations and read some mock or real evaluation reports or mock journal entries listing information gathering processes, focus group meetings, etc. in each style.
They used a few limited journal entry examples but something that really lays out the whole process would have been better. The book is quite technical, perhaps at the expense of overlooking the energy and passion that evaluators need for themselves and to bring out in their stakeholders. Our professor actually had to use an additional book (Action Research by Stringer) to add that component. At the price we paid this text should have also covered more of that perspective. This book is ridiculously expensive. Surely they could lower the prices a bit and still make a great profit. I think that students being hit with huge tuition costs are getting tired of these outrageous book prices. The authors really know their stuff and I learned a lot from the book.
I don't begrudge them for making a profit for such a scholarly work but I'd love to know how they (the publishers)can justify such a cost for a book.
All in all a good text especially covering the component parts of evaluations, types of evaluations, evolution of the science, and the ethical issues that evaluators face.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. Starr on February 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Redundant text with a worthless index section that doesn't contain many of the major concepts discussed in chapters. The questions barely match the reading. Certain questions require you to dig through the material to find the answer; the problem being that there is only one sentence about the topic in the entire book. If it is important enough to have a question about it then why is there not more information about it? If you over looked it or just didn't pay attention to it, then you won't be able to find the answers without reading through the chapter a second time. (Don't bother with the index, we already established that it is worthless)

The authors substitute several different terms for the same meaning without indicating that they are doing so. This leaves you searching for question answers or assuming that one term means the same thing as another term. It is a very boring and difficult to read text book. You need to highlight and underline in this book because otherwise you would never be able to find important information again.

It also heavily focuses on education programs, which is unfortunate if you are trying to learn about evaluating programs in general.

That being said, some of the charts are very helpful. Had they made a practical field guide using these charts and text explaining them, then it would have been a great text book. However, the rest of the text gets in the way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richo on May 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If you're new to the field then Program Evaluation provides a framework which makes sense of the various approaches. The authors have an easy style, sparing the reader from unnecessary jargon where they can. The introductory chapters provide a brief philosophical and ideological background to alternative approaches to evaluation. I came across this text during an introductory course in Instructional Design so it helped to place evaluation with what I had already covered on learning theory.
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Format: Hardcover
The book offers very practical and comprehensive insight to program evaluation. The book progresses from the evolution of evaluation, identifying key issues and trends in the field, and how to plan an evaluation. Apart from typical evaluation books, this text provides an eclectic approach to implementing evaluations. The real gem in this book is the examples, case studies, and checklists, representing both private and public sector organizations. In addition, the long standing debate regarding the use of qualitative and quantitative methods has been resolved, at least in this book. That is, the book has adopted a mixed-methods model that advocates for an integrated qualitative and quantitative methods approach in the evaluation plan (a plan that includes design, sampling, and data collection).

There are some gaps in the content. For instance, there are few details about best practices in handling qualitative data (e.g., documents) or how to incorporate less traditional data collection methods (e.g., storybooking, visual medium, art) – but then, one book should not be responsible for covering all possibilities – a handbook it was not intended to be. On the upside, the inclusion of technology (i.e., web-based surveys to qualitative data analysis) has increased the utility of this as a course textbook

From an academic perspective I can recommend this text and think it would make an excellent course textbook. However, I consider it to be very expensive for students.
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Program Evaluation: Alternative Approaches and Practical Guidelines (4th Edition)
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