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Qualitative Inquiry in Evaluation: From Theory to Practice

Leslie Goodyear (Editor), Eric Barela (Editor), Jennifer Jewiss (Editor), Janet Usinger (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-470-44767-3
336 pages
October 2014, Jossey-Bass
Qualitative Inquiry in Evaluation: From Theory to Practice (0470447672) cover image

Description

Integrate qualitative inquiry approaches and methods into the practice of evaluation

Qualitative inquiry can have a major effect on evaluation practice, and provides evaluators a means to explore and examine various settings and contexts in need of rich description and deeper understanding. Qualitative Inquiry in Evaluation: From Theory to Practice explores the most important considerations for both students and evaluation professionals. Using various evaluation theories and approaches as a springboard for real-world practice, this reference serves as an accessible text for beginning students and seasoned professionals alike. Readers are given an in-depth view of the key qualities and benefits of qualitative inquiry, which also serves as a crucial counterpart to quantitative analysis.

Chapters in part one focus on the foundations, core concepts, and intersection of evaluation theory and qualitative inquiry.

Part two contains contributions from leading evaluators whose design, implementation, and reporting strategies for qualitative inquiry are centered on common, real-world settings. These case-based chapters point to the strengths and challenges of implementing qualitative evaluations. Key competencies for conducting effective qualitative evaluations are also discussed.

  • Explores the role of qualitative inquiry in many prominent approaches to evaluation
  • Discusses the method's history and delves into key concepts in qualitative inquiry and evaluation
  • Helps readers understand which qualities are necessary to be an effective qualitative evaluator
  • Presents the viewpoints and experiences of expert editors and contributing authors with high levels of understanding on the topic

Qualitative Inquiry in Evaluation: From Theory to Practice is a vital tool for evaluators and students alike who are looking to deepen their understanding of the theoretical perspectives and practice considerations of qualitative evaluation.

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Table of Contents

Figures and Tables xi

Introduction xiii

About the Editors xxi

About the Contributors xxv

Acknowledgments xxxi

PART ONE: The Intersection of Qualitative Inquiry and Evaluation Approaches 1

CHAPTER ONE: THE ORIGINS, MEANING, AND SIGNIFICANCE OF QUALITATIVE INQUIRY IN EVALUATION 3
Thomas A. Schwandt and Timothy J. Cash

The Genesis of Qualitative Evaluation 4

What Is Qualitative Evaluation? 7

Enduring Contributions 11

Conclusion 18

Key Concepts 19

Discussion Questions 19

References 20

CHAPTER TWO: QUALITATIVE INQUIRY IN UTILIZATION-FOCUSED EVALUATION 25
Michael Quinn Patton

The Focus on Evaluation Use as the Primary Evaluation Outcome 27

Basic Definitions 28

Involving Intended Users in Making Evaluation Decisions 28

Qualitative Inquiry into Evaluation Use: Emergence of the Personal Factor 30

Considerations for Incorporating Qualitative Inquiry into Utilization-Focused Evaluations 35

Particularly Appropriate Uses of Qualitative Evaluations 37

Value of Incorporating Qualitative Approaches 46

Challenges Associated with Qualitative Inquiry in Utilization-Focused Evaluations 49

Conclusion 52

Key Concepts 53

Discussion Questions 53

References 54

CHAPTER THREE: QUALITATIVE INQUIRY FOR POLICY MAKERS 55
George F. Grob

Who Are the Policy Makers and How Do They Operate? 57

Why Qualitative Analysis Is Important to Policy Makers 59

Principles for Influencing Policy Makers 60

Conclusion 73

Key Concepts 74

Discussion Questions 74

References 75

CHAPTER FOUR: QUALITATIVE INQUIRY WITHIN THEORY-DRIVEN EVALUATION: PERSPECTIVES AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS 77
Katrina L. Bledsoe

Theory-driven Evaluation: A Brief History 81

Key Elements in Theory-driven Evaluation 83

Qualitative Inquiry: An Imperative to Theory-driven Evaluation 89

Conclusion 92

Key Concepts 94

Discussion Questions 95

References 95

CHAPTER FIVE: CONCEPTUAL AND PRACTICAL INTERSECTIONS BETWEEN PARTICIPATORY EVALUATION AND QUALITATIVE INQUIRY 99
Jill Anne Chouinard and J. Bradley Cousins

Participatory Evaluation: Concepts and Principles of Practice 103

Qualitative Inquiry: A Brief Overview of Key Characteristics 107

Locating Participatory Evaluation and Qualitative Inquiry: Conceptual Intersections 109

Epistemological Intersections 110

Methodological Linkages 117

Methods 118

Practical Intersections 119

Key Benefits 128

Potential Challenges 129

Conclusion 130

Key Concepts 131

Discussion Questions 131

References 132

PART TWO: Tales from the Field of Qualitative Evaluation 139

CHAPTER SIX: WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE AN EFFECTIVE QUALITATIVE EVALUATOR? ESSENTIAL COMPETENCIES 141
Laurie Stevahn and Jean A. King

Competencies for Professional Practice 143

Toward Competencies for Evaluators 144

Evaluator Competency Taxonomies 145

Competencies for Qualitative Evaluators 151

Core Competency Domains 151

Commitment to the Qualitative Paradigm 154

Technical Expertise 156

The Qualitative Sixth Sense 160

Conclusion 162

Key Concepts 162

Discussion Questions 163

References 164

CHAPTER SEVEN: DEALING WITH ASYMMETRIC RELATIONS BETWEEN STAKEHOLDERS: FACILITATING DIALOGUE AND MUTUAL LEARNING THROUGH QUALITATIVE INQUIRY 167
Vivianne E. Baur and Tineke A. Abma

Evaluators’ Outlook and Identity 168

The Project 171

Evaluators’ Methodological Choices and Actions 175

Conclusion 183

Key Concepts 184

Discussion Questions 185

References 185

CHAPTER EIGHT: BALANCING INSIDER–OUTSIDER ROLES AS A NEW EXTERNAL EVALUATOR 189
Norma Mart´ýnez-Rubin and Stuart Hanson

Responding to the Sponsoring Organization’s Request for Proposals 191

The Use of Qualitative Inquiry 197

Personal Influences on Evaluation Design 198

Trends in Health Education 199

Delving into the Formality of Evaluation Design 200

Data Collection, Analysis, and Reporting 201

Reflections on Evaluator Background 206

Reflections on Our Evaluation Process 207

Reflections on Our Use of Qualitative Inquiry 209

Conclusion 210

Key Concepts 210

Discussion Questions 211

References 211

CHAPTER NINE: WHOSE STORY IS THIS, ANYWAY? NAVIGATING AN ETHICAL CONUNDRUM 213
Sharon F. Rallis

The Context: Who’s Doing What? 215

The Moral Lens on Qualitative Inquiry: Principles and Ethical Theories 217

Challenges: Ethical and Logistic 221

Conclusion 242

Acknowledgments 246

Key Concepts 247

Discussion Questions 247

Notes 248

References 248

CHAPTER TEN: ELEMENTS OF QUALITY IN QUALITATIVE EVALUATION 251
Leslie Goodyear, Jennifer Jewiss, Janet Usinger, and Eric Barela

Understanding and Acknowledging Personal Identity 255

Building Trusting Relationships 258

Reflecting on and Managing Relationships 260

Employing Sound and Explicit Methodology, and Being Transparent about It 265

Staying True to the Data 268

Fostering Learning 272

Key Concepts 275

Notes 276

References 276

Index 277

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Author Information

LESLIE GOODYEAR, PHD is a principal research scientist at EDC, with nearly twenty years in the evaluation profession. She is a long-term, active member of the American Evaluation Association, associate editor of the American Journal of Evaluation, and co-chair of the AEA Qualitative Methods Topical Interest Group.

JENNIFER JEWISS, EdD is a research assistant professor in the Department of Leadership and Developmental Sciences at the University of Vermont and co-chair of the AEA Qualitative Methods Topical Interest Group. Her work has appeared in the American Journal of Evaluation and Practical Assessment Research & Evaluation.

JANET USINGER, PHD is associate professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at the University of Nevada, Reno, and program co-chair of the AEA Qualitative Methods Topical Interest Group.

ERIC BARELA, PHD is chief knowledge and impact officer at Partners in School Innovation, and program co-chair of the AEA Qualitative Methods Topical Interest Group.

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