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Title:Considerations and implications for building an impact evaluation model for research and development centers funded by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education
Author(s):Parker, Stephanie Ann
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Ory, John C.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Education, Educational Psychology
Abstract:This study's purpose was to illuminate the important considerations for developing an impact evaluation model for U.S. Department of Education OERI-funded R&D centers. Three research questions guided this inquiry: (a) Do OERI-funded R&D centers have impact as a goal? If so, what are the impacts? (b) What efforts do centers make to achieve their impacts? (c) What evaluation efforts do centers make to assess their successful impact?
Twenty centers were examined using a survey/interview research method and one center using a case study method. Data were collected by means of surveys, semistructured interviews, document reviews and case study methodology.
Findings from the survey/interviews indicated that impact is a context-bound phenomenon with multiple meanings and an array of forces perceived as facilitating and impeding it. Intentionality to have impact was ill-defined among participants. There was little evidence that centers conduct evaluations of any kind.
Findings from the case study revealed yet another meaning of impact and a complex array of issues and factors that shaped impact and efforts to achieve and evaluate it, including: (1) the U.S. DOE's policies and actions and (2) the Centers responses to them; (3) intra-Center forces; (4) the nature of the Center's relationship with its parent unit; and (5) the massive social science paradigm shift of the 1960s and 1970s.
Implications for the development of an impact evaluation include: (1) The phenomenon impact is unique to each center, defined by each center's context. (2) Intentionality to have impact is often ill-defined but an important consideration for a model. (3) The incentive structures which may direct centers' impact efforts toward education researchers, practitioners, policy makers and other groups require examination. (4) The model should guide the evaluation process to identify and examine the forces that facilitate and impede impact. A model that relies on (5) multiple data collection methods and both (6) quantitative and qualitative data will contribute to a better understanding of impact.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 Parker, Stephanie Ann
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9215865
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9215865

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