I’ve been reading about models lately; models that have been developed, models that are being used today, models that may be used tomorrow.
Webster (Seventh New Collegiate) Dictionary has almost two inches about models–I think my favorite definition is the fifth one: an example for imitation or emulation. It seems to be most relevant to evaluation. What do evaluators do if not imitate or emulate others?
To that end, I went looking for evaluation models. Jim Popham’s book has a chapter (2, Alternative approaches to educational evaluation) on models. Fitzpatrick, Sanders, and Worthen has numerous chapters on “approaches” (what Popham calls models). (I wonder if this is just semantics?)
Models have appeared in other blogs (not called models, though). In the case of Life in Perpetual Beta (Harold Jarche) provides this view of how organizations have evolved and calls them forms.(The below image is credited to David Ronfeldt.)
(Looks like a model to me. I wonder what evaluators could make of this.)
The reading is interesting because it is flexible. It approaches the “if it works, use it” paradigm; the one I use regularly.
I’ll just list the models Popham uses and discuss them over the next several weeks. (FYI-both Popham and Fitzpatrick, et. al., talk about the overlap of models.) Why is a discussion of models important, you may ask? I’ll quote Stufflebeam: “The study of alternative evaluation approaches is important for professionalizing program evaluation and for its scientific advancement and operation” (2001, p. 9).
Popham lists the following models:
Popham does say that the model classification could have been done a different way. You will see that in the Fitzpatrick, Sanders, and Worthen volume where they talk about the following approaches:
They have a nice table that does a comparative analysis of alternative approaches (Table 10.1, pp. 249-251)
Fitzpatrick, J. L., Sanders, J. R., & Worthen, B. R. (2011). Program evaluation: Alternative approaches and practical guidelines (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.
Popham, W. J. (1993). Educational Evaluation (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Stufflebeam, D. L. (2001). Evaluation models. New Directions for Evaluation (89). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.