evaluation methods paper
Assessments are required for gathering data during the development and implementation of certain programs/ projects. Collected data presents varied perspectives on critical program dynamics that must be considered for the effective project implementation. Therefore, the evaluation process must choose an optimal evaluation model that is assured to obtain the needed results. Decision making processes demand an input of varied data that must be analyzed accordingly. These are critical in making informed conclusions and inferences on critical issues. Therefore, the evaluation of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program requires the use of qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods. These include the formative method, which is a qualitative evaluation method and the summative method that is a quantitative evaluation method.
Formative Evaluation Method vs. Summative Evaluation
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The assessment of the formative evaluation method as far as the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program is concerned places reduced emphasis on measuring the quantitative aspect of a program; therefore, this evaluation method is more interested in program development and implementation processes (Vedung, 2009). Meanwhile, a summative evaluation is a quantitative evaluation method that is conducted after implementing the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Essentially, a summative evaluation method entails the collection of information and data, as well as analysis and summarization of the collected data. Program development and implementation are based on distinct objectives and goals that must be realized for the viability of a program (Vedung, 2009).
Therefore, summative evaluations enable the collection of data that is critical to program decision makers in determining the efficiency and effectiveness of the program. There is a significant distinction between formative and process evaluation; as such, cases of overlapping activities being conducted under formative and process evaluation may be reported. Essentially, formative evaluation has the role of generating information that is relevant for a programs decision makers.
As a result, formative evaluation enables program developers to make critical decisions on a continuous basis since the inception of a program (Vedung, 2009). In light of this, the success of formative evaluation requires close interaction between an assessor and program personnel. The use of formative evaluation method enables the collection of data that can be potentially used to improve the application and utilization of available resources. This is a result of increasingly effective and well-designed programs, including a comprehensive understanding of various factors that impact program outcomes.
Formative evaluation integrates the collection of data, which occurs prior to, during and after a program implementation. This is done with the aim of optimizing programs potential for success, increase awareness and understanding of programs dynamics and the need for the program in addressing the issue (Taras, 2005).
The evaluation process determines whether a program is addressing the problem as expected, reasonableness of costs incurred, duration of program development and implementation. Therefore, it helps to see whether a program is implemented according to planned designs and realization of expected or unexpected outcomes. In contrast to the formative evaluation method, the summative evaluation to be done, objectives and goals of the evaluation process must be pre-determined (Taras, 2005).
In addition, the design or orientation of the evaluation must be determined according to program dynamics and parameters. This is essential in order to carry out an effective evaluation process that is not redundant and costly. Therefore, a summative evaluation entails the selection and design of program evaluation measures, collection, analysis and reporting of program outcomes (Vedung, 2009).
Unlike formative evaluation that can be conducted at the initial stages of the program development, throughout the implementation process or at distinct stages in the program development and implementation process; a summative evaluation method is carried out after the program implementation. Furthermore, a summative evaluation report includes the identification of a needs assessment, the context and audience of the evaluation, including the description of the program being evaluated. It also includes a description of the programs evaluation process, the results of the evaluation and description of the results in accordance with their respective relationship to a program.
The Rationale for the Selected Methods
On the one hand, the use of formative evaluation method is premised on the fact that it saves considerable amount of time since acquired data indicates issues that may impede the program from functioning as expected (Taras, 2005). In addition, the ability to conduct a formative evaluation at any stage during the implementation process enables early detection of a factor that may prevent a program from attaining desired outcomes. As a result, the early identification of problems in the implementation process enables the completion of refining strategies with the aim of solving the issue.
This evaluation method enables program developers and decision makers to perceive the reality of the implementation process; hence, they can make relevant adjustments as the implementation process continues. Meanwhile, formative evaluation is essential in aiding the execution of other evaluation processes; for instance, it improves the chances of acquiring credible results during the conduct of summative evaluation in as far as a programs transferability and effectiveness strategies are concerned (Bernet, Willens, & Bauer, 2013). Significantly, formative evaluation aids in the mitigation of numerous challenges that may impact effective program implementation.
On the other hand, the use of summative evaluation method is supported by the fact that it provides a comprehensive assessment of the program in as far as the identification of an issue, design, planning, implementation and evaluation of the program are concerned (Taras, 2005). A summative evaluation provides quantitative data that describes the need, purpose and objective of a program through evaluation processes that assess the purpose, design, outcomes, implementation strategies, cost effectiveness and unexpected outcomes in the program implementation process.
Furthermore, a summative evaluation identifies and assesses the relationship that exists between the identified issue, the program and assessment results (Bernet, Willens, & Bauer, 2013). Evidently, a summative analysis is essential in determining the effectiveness, viability, cost effectiveness and applicability of the program after it has been implemented.
Each of these evaluation methods has its distinct merits in contributing towards the realization of programs goals and objectives. While each has its distinct merits, the use of both methods is recommended for a comprehensive and complete assessment of a program in as far as its mandate, realization of goals and objectives are concerned.
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