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The Challenges and Benefits of Creating a Program Theory Model for an NSF MSP Project: Perspectives from Program Stakeholders and from the External Evaluator

Poster presentation 279: Evaluation 2015 -- We look at the challenges and benefits of creating and using a fully articulated program theory model from the perspective of the PI and program stakeholders and from the external evaluator. We use the term "program theory model" to reflect a model that goes beyond the inputs and outputs of a simple logic model, that incorporates the context (and partners) in which the program operates and where a theory of change model is explicitly embedded. What are some of the challenges in the development of a program theory model? What factors might be needed to help insure that the program theory model is use? How does a program theory model evolve from a requirement at the proposal development stage to become a live document that is useful and used by both program stakeholders and the external evaluator?

CTTI AEA Conference Poster 2015 FINAL.pdf


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Eval13: Panel Session 89 - Using a Program-Theory Model to Create a Curriculum Rubric, Assess Leadership and Inform a Theory of Change

This panel looks at how a program-theory model has been developed and used in an evaluation of an initiative designed to transform schools by assisting high schools in the development of 12th-grade capstone courses in math and science

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Focus Search - Slide 12 Multiple  Stakeholders  with  Multiple  Roles • A  large  partnership,  5  universities;  1  large  public   school  district;  Steering  Committee  (comprised   of  representatives  from  each  entity)   Distinct  Need:  Transformation  Teacher   Institutes • Program  more  than  a  traditional  professional   development  program  (beyond  individual   teacher  improvements)   Slide 13 • Differentiate  Program  Theory  and   Implemented  Program • Align  Program  Model  with  Research   and  Evaluation  Plan Without  a  fully  articulated  program  model,  the  underlying  theory  of  the  program,  how  it  operates  and  how  it  connects  to  program   outcomes  tends  to  become  synonymous  with  the  implemented  program.  


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Eval12 Session 378: Infusing Evaluative Thinking to Build Capacity to Use Evaluation in a Complex Learning Ecology

Internal evaluators in the public sector infusing evaluative thinking through connecting the dots through team relationships and using program theory as a tool for developmental evaluation to utilize evaluation

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Focus Search - s=5&ss=11&_lang=en  Build evaluation capacity to use evaluation  Advocate the use of evaluation http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/policy/os/index.html http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/prospects/section4ptb.html Infusing evaluative thinking into the organizational culture  Becoming an authentic learning organization  Incorporating evaluative questioning into routine decision making  Integrating monitoring and evaluation, and linking both to budget and planning cycles  Incentives and rewards for evaluation use  Building support for evaluation throughout the organization, ongoing capacity development and training in evaluation (Patton 2011) http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/specialneeds.html http://news.ontario.ca/edu/en/2012/10/more-literacy-centres-supporting-ontario-families.html http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/morestudentsuccess/coop.html Step 2 – Logic Modeling for Student Achievement Initiative  Emphasize sense making  Messaging – going divisional  Keep terminologies to a minimum  We know and believe that…  Doing these …  Will get us there…  Evaluation capacity building  Co-construction of logic models  Develop appropriate tools and make it useful  Build coherence – orchestrating opportunity for collaborative inquiry with visible leadership participation Mapping the forks in the road  Identifying level of information useful for the various stakeholders  Supporting development of program instruments & mechanisms that fit the complex system  Supporting the system in- real time, receiving, analyzing, collaboratively interpreting the information that comes in and planning the next steps http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/kindergarten/whatelsedoineedtoknow.html Step 3 - Use of logic modeling as a way we work  Build a culture of evaluative thinking through collaborative inquiry, action and reflective practice that is adaptive, precise and personalized  Serves as an important tool for making explicit the logic involved in reaching every student through our commitment to a learning as we go stance  Models professional accountability for Ontario’s three core priorities for schools and districts in a process that is analogous to School Improvement Planning and Board Improvement Planning  integrate research, monitoring and evaluation across all initiatives 17 http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/morestudentsuccess/coop.html http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/finding.html Logic model as a tool to support Learning as we go/ DE Messaging Make it useful Build capacity to use evaluation Encourage collaborative inquiry Learning as we go to introduce DE Model DE in initiatives, constantly share practice SharePoint 19 http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/morestudentsuccess/transition.html http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/professionals.html Step 4: Learning as we go 20 •Communication is key •Continue Capacity Building Series o How to use LM o LM Basics o Problems of Practice o Use example people are interested in o Share practice and tools Pay attention to language o Quote from the sector that talks to them Make it useful o Model, be available o Attention to opportunities http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/faqs.html http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/prospects/section2.html http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/paying.html Using Program Theory to guide DE 21  Planning & Budgeting  Preparing Communication  Implementation Planning including developing support resources (external and internal)  Monitoring and Developmental Evaluation http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/childcare/concerns.html http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/prospects/stories.html Building Coherence Classrooms Schools Districts/Boards Province Student Voice Schools in the Middle Full Day Kindergarten Specialist High Skills Major Accepting Schools Growing Success For vision-and values-driven social innovators highest form of accountability is internal


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CBD138: Define What Is To Be Evaluated – Simon Hearn

Video Available This webinar, part 2 in an 8-part series on the BetterEvaluation rainbow framework, focuses on tasks to define what is to be evaluated – developing an initial description, developing or refining the program theory/theory of change, and identifying possible unintended results

DEFINE webinar public1.pptx


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Conference PDW #4: Logic Models for Program Evaluation and Planning

Then, we'll examine how to improve logic models using some fundamental principles of "program theory", demonstrate how to use logic models effectively to help frame questions in program evaluation, and show some ways logic models can also inform strategic planning

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Focus Search - CID=281 � Rogers et al. Program Theory in Evaluation


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Eval11 Session 628: Fundamental Issues for Evaluating Implementation: A Decision Framework

Assessing implementation provides important information regarding program feasibility, interpretation of program outcomes, and program theory

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Focus Search - So assessing implementation is important, because implementation, not program or program theory, is what leads to outcomes