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Conducting and Using Evaluative Site Visits: New Directions for Evaluation, Number 156

Conducting and Using Evaluative Site Visits: New Directions for Evaluation, Number 156

Randi K. Nelson (Editor), Denise L. Roseland (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-119-49501-7

Feb 2018, Jossey-Bass

104 pages



Because site visits are used so extensively in evaluation and because the consequences of poorly planned and conducted site visits are dire for so many evaluation constituents, it is essential to “get it right.” This issue discusses and defines site visits and what it means to get it right in planning, conducting, and using site visits in program evaluation.

Learn about:
  • strategies for a wide range of evaluation constituents who commission, plan, conduct, and use site visits
  • implications of rigor, ethics, and quality of site visits
  • challenges and possible solutions to problems linked to the high cost of commissioning site visits
  • the potentially devastating consequences of poorly designed or implemented site visits.

    This is the 156th issue in the New Directions for Evaluation series from Jossey-Bass. It is an official publication of the American Evaluation Association.
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    Editors’ Notes 7
    Randi K. Nelson, Denise L. Roseland

    1. A Guiding Typology for Site Visits 11
    Melissa Chapman Haynes, Nora F. Murphy, Michael Quinn Patton

    This chapter presents a typology of site visits including examples of site visits that vary across the eight typology categories.

    2. Site Visits: Conversations for Practice 21
    Corey Newhouse, Denise Roseland, Frances Lawrenz

    This chapter discusses three case studies of site visits used in evaluations in the context of the typology presented in Chapter 1 and produces five practical considerations for incorporating site visits into evaluation practice.

    3. Recipe for Conducting Quality Accreditation Site Visits 33
    Stanley Capela, Joseph M. Frisino

    The authors describe the site-visit process as it currently exists for organizations seeking accreditation from the Council on Accreditation and share key ingredients of high-quality accreditation site visits.

    4. Site Visits: Necessary Evil or Garden of Eden? 45
    Donna R. Podems

    By drawing on experiences gathered outside of the United States, the author suggests adding four additional standards to Patton’s 2015 draft standards for site visits, which are humor, honesty, humility, and humanity.

    5. Stakeholder Perspectives on Site-Visit Quality and Use 57
    Randi K. Nelson

    This chapter explores quality and practices in site visits from the perspectives of evaluation practitioners, commissioners, and program staff involved in evaluative and accreditation site visits in U.S. and global contexts.

    6. Training Needs of Site Visitors 75
    Melissa Chapman Haynes, Ashley Johnson

    The authors provide a framework for the training needs of site visitors based on training for accreditation visits, the literature on the psychological development of expertise, and interviews with site visitors.

    7. Revised Site-Visit Standards: A Quality-Assurance Framework 83
    Michael Quinn Patton

    Based on reflection on the chapters in this volume and feedback from others, this chapter presents a revised framework for site-visit standards with the use of a quality-assurance approach.

    INDEX 103