Evaluating educational innovations
Galloway, Chad Anthony
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The purpose of this study was to investigate and describe how recipients of a university-funded grant program for technology integration perceived and carried out the evaluation process regarding their funded projects. This study used a qualitative methodology. Interviews and document analysis were used to collect data, which were analyzed using the constant comparative method. Participants believed that evaluation is important to the teaching and learning process. They considered evaluation as a means of providing feedback, making improvements, and gauging effectiveness. They also tended to use informal methods of evaluation and to rely heavily on end-of-course classroom evaluations to determine the efficacy of their classroom innovations. Constraints faced by participants included lack of time, lack of knowledge in statistics and evaluation methodologies, and feelings of insufficient return on their investment. Some participants perceived formal evaluation as being unnecessary, while others participants' behaviors were affected by a perceived lack of accountability. The author offers Galloway's Model for Improving Education Funding Programs as a means of improving granting programs such as the one investigated in this research study. The model's three components suggest the development of a support structure for recipients, a procedure to improve recipient accountability, and a plan for continuous self-evaluation and improvement of the granting program.