Are you familiar with the Program Evaluation Standards by the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation? The five standards include utility, feasibility, propriety, accuracy, and accountability.
- Utility: The utility standards “are intended to increase the extent to which program stakeholders find evaluation processes and products valuable in meeting their needs.” For example, these standards remind us that evaluations should involve Timely and Appropriate Communicating and Reporting and Meaningful Processes and Products.
- Feasibility: The feasibility standards “are intended to increase evaluation effectiveness and efficiency.” For example, “evaluation procedures should be practical and responsive to the way the program operates” (Practical Procedures) and “evaluations should use resources effectively and efficiently” (Resource Use).
- Propriety: The propriety standards “support what is proper, fair, legal, right and just in evaluations.” For example, “Evaluations should be designed and conducted to protect human and legal rights and maintain the dignity of participants and other stakeholders” (Human Rights and Respect) and “Evaluations should be responsive to stakeholders and their communities” (Responsive and Inclusive Orientation).
- Accuracy: The accuracy standards “are intended to increase the dependability and truthfulness of evaluation representations, propositions, and findings, especially those that support interpretations and judgments about quality.” For example, evaluations should yield Valid and Reliable Information and should employ Sound Designs and Analyses.
- Accountability: The accountability standards “encourage adequate documentation of evaluations and a metaevaluative perspective focused on improvement and accountability for evaluation processes and products.” For example, “Evaluations should fully document their negotiated purposes and implemented designs, procedures, data, and outcomes” (Evaluation Documentation) and “Evaluators should use these and other applicable standards to examine the accountability of the evaluation design, procedures employed, information collected, and outcomes” (Internal Metaevaluation).
Which standard is most essential, relevant, and central to your everyday work as an evaluator? Is there a standard that guides your decision making during evaluation projects more than others? Please share your votes and comments below.
Polling has ended.
P.S. One of the most exciting things about the internet is that our various communication channels (Twitter, email, LinkedIn, etc.) can often blend together seamlessly. Thanks to everyone who’s sharing their reactions! Here are a few of the responses:
In my work (fed contracts) the WWC Standards are much more relevant than the ones from the Joint Committee. I think this may be one of the example of the many differences between fed evaluators and everyone else.
Jen, Interesting point. Are you referring to these What Works Clearinghouse standards (http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/pdf/reference_resources/wwc_procedures_v2_1_standards_handbook.pdf)?
In my just-for-fun quiz, I’m guessing that you identify most with the Accuracy standard?
Hey Ann, I’m all for the Accuracy vote, too. I wonder why it isn’t #1 on that list.