Making the Most of What We Already Know

At a minimum, this critique should address the following questions or issues. If, in your opinion, your article does not address one or more of them, then you should say so and defend or justify why you believe that to be the case. In all cases, defend or justify your answers with specific references to words, phrases, or passages in the article and corresponding references to the assigned readings for the course. In other words, while your critique should be written in your own words (third person only), you do need to make references to specific words, phrases, and relevant passages in the text of your article, as well as corresponding references to the assigned readings for the course. Each of the following items in BOLD must be listed as a heading on your critique. Do not use bullet points. Discuss in your critique the questions/issues under each bolded item. If a question/issue does not apply, please explain why.

    Summary (1-2 pages)
o    Summarize the contents of your article.
o    Who wanted the policy or program evaluated? In other words, why did the author(s) conduct the evaluation?

    Evaluation Goal(s) (1 page)
o    What were the goals or desired outcomes of the policy or program under examination?
o    How did the author(s) propose to evaluate the policy or program in terms of its goals or outcomes?

    Theoretical Perspective (2-3 paragraphs)
o    What theory connects the policy or program to the goals or outcomes?
o    What rival or plausible explanations or theories were ruled out?
o    How did the theory guide the author(s) in their conduct of the evaluation?

    Research Methods (2-3 paragraphs)
o    What principal research method(s) did the author(s) use in the conduct of the evaluation?
o    Did any unintended or unanticipated consequences arise? If so, what were they?
o    How and why did they arise?

    Conclusion (1 page)
o    What did the author(s) conclude? On what basis?
o    Did the policy or program achieve its intended goals or outcomes in whole, in part, or not at all? If so, why or why not?
o    To what uses were the results of the evaluation to be put?
o    Based on the results of the evaluation, what principal recommendations did the author(s) make?

    Evaluation Concepts (1-2 pages)
o    After you have written your summary, identify which of the following apply to the article. Be sure to define the concept and explain how each of your selections applies to your article.

Read chapters 11 – 14 from Joseph S. Wholey, Harry P. Hatry, and Kathryn E. Newcomer, editors, Handbook of Practical Program Evaluation

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