Naturalistic Inquiry for Library Science: Methods and Applications for Research, Evaluation, and Teaching

By Constance Ann Mellon | Go to book overview

7
Naturalistic Inquiry for Evaluation in Library Science

This chapter focuses on the application of naturalistic methods to evaluation research. Evaluation research is inquiry for a specific purpose-- to assess how well a process, program, or service is working. Naturalistic evaluation shares this purpose; however, its emphasis is on judging a situation as its participants judge it. Evaluation research may be conducted internally or externally, depending upon its purpose and audience. Internal evaluation studies are conducted by staff employed in a library, while external evaluation is done by an independent researcher with no connection to the library. The information in this chapter is limited to studies done as part of regular library employment. Most often this will be internal evaluation. External evaluation is usually conducted by individuals or agencies to whom evaluation is a profession. A discussion of evaluation as a business is outside the scope of this book. 1


THE BASIC COMPONENTS OF EVALUATION RESEARCH

During the late 1960s, universities began a systematic examination of the teaching-learning process. Growing out of the student unrest of that period was the demand that universities attend to the needs of learners as individuals. The resulting instructional development movement gave rise to centers whose charge was instructional improvement and to a body of literature based on this work.

During this time, the evaluation of educational products and programs received strong attention. "Outside" evaluators, employed at high fees, were an accepted part of grant proposals to design new products or programs or to redesign existing ones. Projects and institutes were es-

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Naturalistic Inquiry for Library Science: Methods and Applications for Research, Evaluation, and Teaching
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Librarianship and Information Science ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Copyrightt Acknowledgments v
  • Contents ix
  • Figures xi
  • Foreword xiii
  • Preface xv
  • 1 - The Theory Underlying Naturalistic Inquiry 1
  • Notes 20
  • 2 - Selecting, Defining, and Limiting Your Study 23
  • Notes 37
  • 3 - Collecting and Analyzing Naturalistic Data: An Integrated Activity 39
  • Notes 67
  • 4 - Intensive Analysis for Theory Generation 69
  • Notes 94
  • 5 - Presenting Your Findings 97
  • Prologue: Guidelines for Naturalistic Reporting 100
  • References 123
  • Epilogue: Contrasting the Two Reports 124
  • EPILOGUE: CONTRASTING THE TWO REPORTS 128
  • 6 - Naturalistic Inquiry for Research in Library Science 131
  • Notes 144
  • 7 - Naturalistic Inquiry for Evaluation in Library Science 147
  • Notes 166
  • 8 - Naturalistic Inquiry as a Teaching Method in Library Science 169
  • Selected Bibliography 191
  • Index 199
  • About the Author 203
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