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Case Study Methods for Evaluators - Materials from SI10 

07-21-2010 11:11

Session Description: Case Study Methods allow evaluators to approach program assessment from a powerful and flexible design palette. While often heavily steeped in the use of qualitative methods, case studies also may include the use of quantitative data. The approach is particularly rich for tinting and shading the effects of programs as well as investigating important program questions in depth.

This interactive, three-hour session will provide participants with an overview and examples of case study research methods as they apply to evaluation settings. Through the development and expansion of sample case studies, by the end of the session, participants will:

  • Comprehend the role of case study methods within the context of other evaluation approaches
  • Be able to describe the elements of case study research and identify the major strengths and weaknesses of case study methods;
  • Understand the sequential, operational guidelines for implementing case study research
  • Review techniques for establishing the validity and reliability of case study data
  • Strengthen data gathering and analysis skills through use of techniques common to case study research

Rita O’Sullivan is Associate Professor of Evaluation and Assessment at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she teaches graduate courses in Educational Program Evaluation, Case Study Methods, Research Design, Measurement, and Statistics. She is also Executive Director of Evaluation, Assessment, and Policy Connections (EvAP), a unit she founded within the UNC School of Education that conducts local, state, and national evaluations. Dr. O’Sullivan has specialized in developing collaborative evaluation techniques that enhance evaluation capacity and utilization among educators and public service providers. She is senior author of Programs for At-Risk Student: A Guide to Evaluation (Corwin Press, 1993) and wrote Practicing Evaluation: A Collaborative Approach (Sage) in 2004.

#methods #2010Institute #case #study

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