Evaluations That Respond: Prescription, Application, and Implications of Responsive Evaluation Theory for Community College Instructional Support Programs

By Durdella, Nathan R. | Journal of Applied Research in the Community College, Spring 2010 | Go to article overview

Evaluations That Respond: Prescription, Application, and Implications of Responsive Evaluation Theory for Community College Instructional Support Programs


Durdella, Nathan R., Journal of Applied Research in the Community College


This study examines two community college instructional support programs to explore the effectiveness of an evaluation model - responsive evaluation theory - that may ease the tensions between a concern over programs' processes and reporting requirements for program outcomes. The study uses a comparative qualitative case study design and applies responsive evaluation's prescriptive steps to assess the research questions: How effectively does responsive evaluation theory operate as an evaluation model? How does responsive evaluation theory articulate with systematic evaluation theories? Results indicate that responsive evaluation can be an effective model if evaluators consult program faculty and staff, who in turn express an interest in building a collaborative evaluation, and if the purpose of the evaluation is to examine process-oriented issues. Results further indicate that responsive and systematic evaluation models articulate well in that outcomes-oriented issues can be examined within the context of a responsive evaluation. Finally, results demonstrate that the responsive evaluation process can be highly politicized and, consequently, addresses the concerns of stakeholders to varying degrees.

Evaluation Theory for Community College Instructional Support Programs

In the health, education, and social services fields, program evaluation has been dominated by objectives-oriented, outcomes-based evaluation (Rossi & Freeman, 1993; Shaddish et al, 1991). In higher education, evaluation is an outcomes-driven, student-achievement-focused institutional tool often used to build systematic models to assess program effectiveness. In recent years, the reliance on systematic approaches has intensified with the rise of regional accreditation standards and state accountability systems, which support an institutional focus on and resources for the evaluation of academic programs and services and assessment of student learning outcomes. In most sectors of higher education, faculty and staff frequently conduct evaluations collaboratively (Green, 1981). However, competing evaluation approaches have tended to bring tension to the evaluation process. This tension could be related to the observation that faculty tend to have a more "qualitative orientation for the justification of educational programs," in contrast to administrator concerns with meeting internal and external reporting requirements (Perry, 1972). In the public sector, this tension has been exacerbated by a tendency to utilize more systematic approaches that are less resource intensive (Cohen & Brawer, 1996).

This study examines two community college instructional support programs to explore the effectiveness of an evaluation model- responsive evaluation theory- that may ease the tensions between a concern over the programs' processes and reporting requirements for program outcomes. Two primary research questions are asked in the study: How does responsive evaluation theory operate as a model to evaluate instructional support programs? How does responsive evaluation articulate with systematic evaluation theories? The two programs are evaluated using responsive evaluation theory. Data sources include interviews with program staff, faculty, administrators, and participants. Results from the evaluations and a discussion of the results are presented. The study ends by drawing conclusions about responsive evaluation theory's effectiveness and usefulness for community colleges.

Related Literature

Evaluation Research and Program Evaluation

Evaluation research is "the systematic application of social research procedures for assessing the conceptualization, design, implementation, and utility of social intervention programs" (Rossi and Freeman, 1993, p. 5). Thus, evaluation research uses qualitative, quantitative, or mix-methods research designs and methods to examine programs and services. Program evaluations frequently use the principles of evaluation research to support adrninistrative and managerial decisions. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Evaluations That Respond: Prescription, Application, and Implications of Responsive Evaluation Theory for Community College Instructional Support Programs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.