Make space for new evaluation structure and practices through the backbone of program theory

Session Number: 2607
Track: Program Theory and Theory-Driven Evaluation
Session Type: Roundtable
Tags: Program theory
Session Facilitator: Ellen Iverson [Evaluation Director - Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College]
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Ellen Iverson [Evaluation Director - Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Kristin O'Connell [Evaluation and Education Specialist - Science Education Resource Center]
Time: Nov 15, 2019 (11:30 AM - 12:15 PM)
Room: CC 200 J

Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Studies of program theory in evaluation have centered on its use and the principles and shortcomings behind such evaluations. Less discussed is how program theory can promote the nuts and bolts of structuring evaluation work, allowing for greater inclusion of voices, and making space for new ways of thinking. This roundtable will use two case studies to promote a discussion of promising practices that program theory affords us. SAGE 2YC and FOCUS are very different types of programs- the first is a large, national-scale faculty professional development program, while the second is a student cohort program at liberal arts college with a constrained budget. Through these cases we will share the value of program theory in accommodating internal and external collaborative structures and the ensuing benefits. This discussion will be of interest to evaluators looking to expand their perspective on the use of program theory and its practical benefits.