Discussion 1: Program Evaluation, What Is “It”? Program evaluation: What is “it”

Discussion 1: Program Evaluation, What Is “It”?
Program evaluation: What is “it” and how do I know if “it” is working?
These questions cross the mind of almost every person involved in the evaluation process. Whether it is a family filling out a survey or a teacher logging assessment results, the questions of “what am I doing?” and “why?” are very common. In fact, the Early childhood program evaluations: A decision-maker’s guide (presented in this module’s Learning Resources), places the question, “Does ‘it’ work?” at the root of all program evaluations. Their research indicates that no matter the evaluation form, the focus of “what” is to be evaluated and whether the program is succeeding at “it” will prove to be at the forefront of all evaluation discussions, decisions, and stakeholder communications.
In this Discussion, you explore the many forms of and approaches for evaluating a program. You also consider how evaluation provides early childhood programs with meaningful information on program quality.
To prepare
Review the Early childhood program evaluations: A decision-maker’s guide, reflecting on the question, “Does ‘it’ work?” Then, explore the measurement tools overview provided by the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement to identify the many forms of and approaches for effectively evaluating program quality.
By Day 3 of Week 1
Post the following: Describe one form of program evaluation, including its purpose and the major components or steps involved. Then, explain how a program would use the information gathered from this evaluation to identify whether “it” is working. Incorporate appropriate resources. Give specific examples of what “it” might be, as well as how a program might decide if results are successful (“working”) or unsuccessful (“not working”).
Read selections of your colleagues’ postings.  
By Day 7 of Week 1
Respond to two or more of your colleagues’ postings in the following way:
Explain how results from each colleague’s selected evaluation can be used to gather information on program quality. Provide evidence of personal learning as a result of collegial interactions. Support your writing with in-text citations and cite appropriate references following APA format to substantiate your thinking.
Note: Throughout the Module (Weeks 1 and 2), continue the professional dialogue in Discussion 1 by responding to questions and insights your colleagues have posted.
Submission and Grading Information