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Eval10 Session 782: Mixed Methods Contributions to Evaluation Quality 

11-15-2010 14:09

The mixed methods community enjoys a rich diversity of philosophical, methodological, practical, and ethical views about quality. With diversity come challenges of reconciliation around what constitutes quality work, including explicit and implicit differences in criteria for evaluating the separate qualitative and quantitative strands, nomenclature, the relative importance and the separate versus integrated character of study components, and the necessity of evaluating inquiry consequences. Quality audits offer the potential for a common ground. Such audits focus on mixed methods inquiry as a systemic attempt to answer research and evaluation questions, clearly differentiating four elements of inputs (problems, data), processes (analysis, results), outputs (inferences, recommendations), and consequences/outcomes (impacts, utilization) of inquiry, while recognizing that these might not operate in a linear manner. Quality audits ask specific questions about each component of a mixed methods project, from purpose and questions to final conclusions (inferences). Areas needing further development, especially applicable to evaluation, are the role of the evaluator as a possible stakeholder, desirability/ necessity of engaging the stakeholders, divergence in quality assessors, and the importance of assessing the impact of evaluation, both on the stakeholders and on the organizations/programs.

#EvaluationUse #Mixed-Methods #2010Conference #MixedMethodsEvaluation #ResearchonEvaluation #TeachingofEvaluation #TheoriesofEvaluation

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