The volume begins by reviewing evaluation issues that cases can be used to surface and provides guidance for using the case method. Three in–depth cases are then presented for quite different evaluation situations. Each has been taught, field–tested, and refined in line with participant feedback. Each case ends with teaching questions and key evaluation points those questions are aimed at elucidating. Following the case chapters, a professional evaluator reflects on his experiences with the cases and offers lessons learned about evaluation teaching and training, including exercises for extrapolating lessons, illuminating ethical dilemmas, understanding and applying alternative evaluation models, and conducting metaevaluations, among other uses.
This is the 105th issue of the quarterly report series New Directions for Evaluation.
1. Case Teaching and Evaluation (Michael Quinn Patton, Patricia Patrizi).
Using the case method for evaluation training offers special opportunities for professional development but requires particular facilitation skills to be effective.
2. Evaluation of the Fighting Back Initiative (Kay E. Sherwood).
This case is a controversial evaluation of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s multisite initiative that employed community–generated strategies aimed at reducing the use and abuse of alcohol and illegal drugs.
3. Evaluation of the Central Valley Partnership of the James Irvine Foundation (Martha S. Campbell, Michael Quinn Patton, Patricia Patrizi).
This is a documentary account of changing evaluator roles and the potential tensions between the accountability, learning, and capacity–building purposes of evaluation.
4. Evaluating Home Visitation: A Case Study of Evaluation at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation (Kay E. Sherwood).
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation devoted substantial resources to evaluation of home visitation as a child development service model. The results have had a substantial impact on the field and have sparked considerable methodological debate.
5. Evaluation Case Teaching from a Participant Perspective (John Bare).
A participant in evaluation case teaching sessions provides reflections.
6. Diverse and Creative Uses of Cases for Teaching (Michael Quinn Patton).
This chapter looks at other teaching uses for the cases.