Why is High-Quality Evaluation Practice Important?
With careers in computer science on the rise, numerous educational programs have been designed to improve the infrastructure for computer science education, school-based curricular resources, teacher professional development, and student learning outcomes. These innovative education and training programs demand high-quality program evaluations that are accurate, feasible, ethical, and useful.
What is High-Quality Practice?
Prominent evaluation scholar, Carol Weiss (1997), defines evaluation as the “systematic assessment of the operation and/or outcomes of a program, compared to a set of explicit or implicit standards, as a means of contributing to the improvement of the program or policy.” This definition implies that evaluation uses rigorous methods, measures both implementation and outcomes, and is directly used to improve programmatic initiatives.
Thus, high-quality evaluations should assess whether these programs are effective, but also how they work, under what conditions do they work best, and for whom are they most effective.