I don’t know what to write today for this week’s post. I turn to my book shelf and randomly choose a book. Alas, I get distracted and don’t remember what I’m about.  Mama said there would be days like this…I’ve got writer’s block (fortunately, it is not contagious).writers-block (Thank you, Calvin). There is also an interesting (to me at least because I learned a new word–thrisis: a crisis of the thirties) blog on this very topic (here).

So this is what I decided rather than trying to refocus. In the past 48 hours I’ve had the following discussions that relate to evaluation and evaluative thinking.

  1. In a faculty meeting yesterday, there was the discussion of student needs which occur during the students’ matriculation in a program of study. Perhaps it should include assets in addition to needs as students often don’t know what they don’t know and cannot identify needs.
  2. A faculty member wanted to validate and establish the reliability for a survey being constructed. Do I review the survey, provide the reference for survey development, OR give a reference for validity and reliability (a measurement text)? Or all of the above.
  3. There appears to be two virtual focus group transcripts for a qualitative evaluation that have gone missing. How much affect will those missing focus groups have on the evaluation? Will notes taken during the sessions be sufficient?
  4. A candidate came to campus for an assistant professor position who presented a research presentation on the right hand (as opposed to the left hand) [Euphemisms for the talk content to protect confidentiality.] Why even study the right hand when the left hand is what is the assessment?
  5. Reading over a professional development proposal dealing with what is, what could be, and what should be. Are the questions being asked really addressing the question of gaps?

I’m sure there are others. These jump to my mind. So I’ll give the references that relate to the above situations by number. Some of them I’ve given before; seems appropriate to do so again.

  1. Altschuld, J. W. (2014). Bridging the gap between asses/capacity building and needs assessment. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Bridging the Gap-altschuld
  2. Dillman, D. A., Smyth, J. D., Christian, L. M. (2014). Internet, phone, mail, and mixed-mode surveys: The tailored design method. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Dillman 4th ed.

2a. Salkind, N. J. (2005). Tests & measurement for people who (think they) hate tests and measurements.Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Salkind tests and measurement 1st (I show an image of the first edition; there is a second edition available.)

2b. Salkind, N. J. (2011). Statistics for people who (think they) hate statistics. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. salkind statistics 4th ed(I include the statistics book by the same author because statistics is related.)

3. Carey, M. A. & Asbury, J-E. (2012). Focus group research. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press, Inc. Carey book cover

4. Walvoord, B. E. (2004). Assessment clear and simple: A practical guide for institutions, departments, and general education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Walvoord-assessment

4a. Schraw, G. & Robinson, D. R. (2011). Assessment of higher order thinking skills. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc. Schraw & Robinson Assessment

5. (See number 1).

Where have you found evaluation/evaluative thinking in your day?

Let me know.

my two cents.


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