Program Evaluation and Methodology Discussion

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Assignment Overview

Now that you have completed the literature review and have a solid theoretical grounding for your problem statement, you will be determining the methodology for your program evaluation. The purpose of this assignment is for you to learn how to use scientific methods to conduct a program evaluation using an appropriate methodology based on the provided case study and data.

By successfully completing this assignment, you demonstrate your proficiency in the following competency and specialized behaviors:

  • Competency 4: Engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.
    • C4.SP.A: Apply leadership skills, decision making, and the use of technology to inform evidence-based research practice to develop, implement, evaluate, and communicate interventions across the specialization of advanced generalist practice settings.
      • Related Assignment Criteria: 
        • 4: Describe the sample and the sampling method or methods.
        • 5: Identify how data will be collected and the process for data collection.
        • 7: Develop an informed consent form that is appropriate to the case study.
    • C4.SP.B: Apply leadership skills, decision making, and the use of technology to inform program evaluation to develop, implement, evaluate, and communicate interventions across the specialization of advanced generalist practice settings.
      • Related Assignment Criteria: 
        • 1: Describe the program or service.
        • 2: Develop a guiding research question or hypothesis for the chosen program evaluation methods.
        • 3: Analyze different methods of program evaluation types and methodology to select the best method for the specific case study.
        • 6: Discuss ethical issues pertaining to the selected method of program evaluation.

Assignment Description

In this assignment, you will describe how to evaluate the program you identified in Unit 3. You will also determine the methodology for this program evaluation and indicate other details such as associated research questions, definitions of variables, sampling and data collection procedures, applicable instruments, and discussion of ethical issues pertaining to human subjects.

Assignment Instructions

Using the program you identified in the Unit 3 assignment, Research Literature Review, design a program evaluation plan. Use the following outline:

  • Introduction: State the topics that will be covered in this section.
  • Organization description: Describe the program or service (program focus, resources, population, clients served, and the theory of change). Include a description of the stakeholders and evaluation purpose.
  • Research questions and hypotheses: Revisit research questions and hypotheses established in the Unit 3 assignment, Research Literature Review.
  • Definition of variables and terms in the study: Define your major variables in a clear and concise manner, and distinguish between independent and dependent variables. Every variable that is identified in the research questions should be defined clearly in this section in terms of what it is and how it will be measured.
  • Description of the methodology (study design). 
    • Explain whether your study is qualitative, quantitative, or both and whether it is cross-sectional (single point in time) or longitudinal (more than one measure from the same people).
    • Explain how you are going to determine the efficacy of your program (for example, pre-tests and post-tests, comparison to a similar group of people not receiving program services).
    • Explain if you are comparing the group getting the intervention to any other group on the outcomes of interest (a control or comparison group).
    • Explain if you are using more than one source of data to triangulate measures of your outcome of interest (for example, rates of participation, qualitative interviews, and a satisfaction survey).
    • Explain why this method of program evaluation and methodology is best practice (as compared to other possible models).
  • Sampling procedures.
  • Distinguish between the population and your sample.
  • Provide some basic demographic information that you would anticipate.
  • State how many people are taking part in the study and how you will go about sampling them.
  • Explain how the control/comparison group will be selected or how people are assigned to that group, if you are using a control/comparison group.
  • Instrumentation: Do you plan to use a standardized instrument or will you design your own? Why? Every variable that is addressed in your research questions and operational definitions should also be addressed in this section. Describe the validity and reliability of your instruments. Note that you must include at least one quantitative measure. Include your instruments, including any qualitative interview protocols, in an appendix.
  • Data collection and procedures: Describe exactly what you plan to do and when. Explain how and when you will collect each measure, and how and when you will begin the intervention and for how long
  • Human protection: Discuss ethical issues pertaining to the method of program evaluation you selected. Discuss how you will address and minimize these issues. Include a sample informed consent (and minor assent, if necessary) as an appendix.
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