Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Policy Studies

First Advisor

Janice B. Fournillier, PhD

Second Advisor

Sheryl G. Gowen, PhD

Third Advisor

WIlliam Curlette, PhD

Fourth Advisor

C. Kevin Fortner, PhD

Abstract

Evaluations benefit immensely from technological innovations. Yet there is a lack of clear models and examples of how to apply and use technology to enable evaluation. This thwarts evaluators’ ability to use, build capacity, and engage intended users and stakeholders. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of technology in utilization-focused participatory evaluation practice. To examine a multi-year evaluation that incorporated various types of technologies in order to increase participation, build evaluation capacity, and facilitate use among stakeholders, I analyzed a purposeful sample of administrative records, archived documents, and surveys data. The data were obtained from a multi-year process and outcome evaluation of a statewide afterschool program conducted to assess the effectiveness of remediation and extramural programming on academic achievement. Unobtrusive analytic techniques were conducted sequentially over three separate phases. The first phase involved content analysis of archival documents. The second phase involved an examination of co-occurring codes applied to the archival documents. Findings from phases 1 and 2 were used to describe relevant factors and the relationships between key factors related to the implementation of a data management technology and evaluation participation, capacity, and use. In the third phase, the reliability of common and related factors were examined using secondary survey data. Findings showed moderate positive relationships among indicators of data management system implementation and evaluation capacity building, evaluation use, and evaluation participation among stakeholders. This work illustrates that evaluator practice should more closely attend to the role that technology plays in evaluation. In addition, it allows for the expansion of commonly understood applications in evaluation (i.e. data collection) and how they incorporate technology for the purpose of making evaluation more useful and engaging for stakeholders.

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