Your Top Tip/Resource for Teaching Evaluation


I’ll be teaching an evaluation course in the fall, and I’d love to get everyone’s perspective on what their top tip or resource is for teaching evaluation (whether you’re a teacher, professional in the field, or student).

The course introduces evaluation to students, goes over evaluation theory through the evaluation theory tree, and has students design an evaluation proposal, which they implement in the spring semester.

Some of the current resources I’ll be assigning to read are:

  • Fitzpatrick, textbook
  • Evaluation Roots book, along with other resources to supplement talking about various theories/theorists
  • AEA Competencies, Guiding Principles, Cultural Competency statement
  • APA Ethics and JCSEE Program Evaluation Standards
  • CDC Framework
  • Various journal articles and white papers (limited)

Some of the activities and assignments I have planned (beyond designing an evaluation with a client):

  • Evaluation cookie exercise at the beginning, plus others from Preskill & Russ-Eft’s book
  • How to create a logic model, budget, timeline, etc.
  • Theorist/theory series: (a) respond to an “RFP” as that theorist or with that theory in mind, (b) create a handout for fellow students on that theorist/theory, © compare/contrast activity in class to see where the theorist/theory stands on a variety of topics in evaluation

I’d love others’ perspectives on what you have liked in the past or would recommend!


Something I liked doing with our students was simply reading RFPs for what they’re seeking (and how clear it is), what’s the budget, does this sound like something I might want to help with, etc. Sort of an RFP 101. We pulled a bunch of real rfps from different internet sources. It was kind of fun and eye opening for the students [edited to further explain activity]


Never taught Evaluation, but as a student in Program Evaluation 101 it was Carol Weiss’s book that got me to fall in love with the field. Something that I fall back on all the time is my ability to read quantitative research articles quickly and to understand their level of rigor. That ability is due to an exercise I had in a class called ‘Estimating Impacts’, where we were asked to summarize a certain number of quant research articles.


This sounds a very good approach. I have attended n evaluation course that was on a period of three minths. What i like about it was that we were asked to go and do a real evaluation. It was so helpful and we applied all what we learned on a real project.
Understanding the evaluation stages from design to closure is also important.
We went in a nice excercise on six hats were everyone eas given a scenario to read and we went into a real debate on importnce of evaluation.
Evaluation matrix and writing evaluation questions is important. Differences between findings and conclusions were also very helpful to know.


Thanks everyone, these tips and resources and greatly appreciated! I also love Weiss’ book, @suzanne.


Can you tell us the name of this book @danawanzer and @suzanne


This is the book:

It’s unfortunately been out of print for quite some time, but it still seems to be able to buy. I’m not sure how much longer that will last though.


Thanks @danawanzer. Will keep an eye on Amazon