Archive for June, 2011

The vocabulary assignment helped me to understand the concepts behind research, evaluation, and data collection better.  I always assumed that research and evaluations are carried out in objective manners, but the vocabulary that I defined was obsessive about objectivity and reliability of the data collection.  That is the way it should be, and I guess I would be surprised by how much research is comprised all the time by the lose of objectivity.

I believe that final project is going to be more difficult that I thought.  At first, I thought would be easier to do because I have to do a quasi-evaluation for the grant.  Now that I’m faced with the project, I think it is going to be harder because almost everyone else will go through the steps of doing an evaluation.  I will be doing a lot more research to prove my methods and instruments for evaluation.  I’m not saying that data collection is easier, but I always think it is easier to take on smaller chunks to make the whole, then have one beefed up area to make up for the lack of other areas.  It should be interesting and helpful.  Otherwise, I would scramble during the school year to make instruments to measure the growth of students.

I have been wondering as I have read though the class materials, how do evaluators help to make sure that the “impact” program is still measured in the future.  I assume that most outside evaluators are contracted by the sponsor, so with end of the evaluation the evaluator is no longer connected to the project.  Impact to me is the most important of the three things measured in the evaluation process.  I believe the impact is rarely though of, because we are a society of the right now.  It amazes me that the training can be effective, but the impact of the training can be minimal.

I have a link here the fake new site The Onion which has an article on placebos, which is fun to me after reading research.

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I was interested in EDTech 505 because it is a class on evaluation. I have to come up with an evaluation plan for a grant I received to start an iPad programming/business class this Fall.  I have learned a good deal more about evaluation since the class has started and some of it is more of a refresher of what I learned in research writing class I took for my MA at Iowa State University.  First off, evaluation should not be confused with research.  They have different aims, all though they both collect data and appear to be very similar.  I would say that evaluation it more practical in a school setting than research, and often districts say they are conducting research when they are really conducting an evaluation.

What has struck me the most about the reading on evaluation is the idea of measuring impact.  In my experience of being on the district leadership team and planning professional development, we often taught about the effectiveness of the last PD and some about the cost or efficiency of the PD.  We never really talk about measuring the long-term impact of PD.  Impact is lost somewhere in the shuffle of consummation of the data from the last PD.  We do look at the overall impact of PD at the end of the year, we are already moving down the tract to a different focus and so the impact is never measured.

I’m looking forward to learning more about the nuts-bolts of writing the plan, because it will help me to better understand how to make my grant more efficient, effective, and have impact.  The plan I write will be the foundation to better understanding my program.

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