Program Evaluation: Forms & Approaches

Subject 481-809 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 25.00
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Parkville campus and online delivery mode

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours for internal mode students. External mode students can expect a total workload of approximately 240 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Pamela Kathryn St Leger
Subject Overview:

A conceptual overview of theories, issues and recent practice in evaluation. An inductive/case study approach will be used in which recent evaluation practice will be analysed using frameworks developed by the lecturers. Topics covered include: conflicting views on its nature and purposes; alternative purposes (summative, formative, illuminative); forms and approaches adopted by external and internal evaluators; evaluation and performance auditing; responsive evaluation; links between evaluation, decision-making and action; planning evaluations; an introduction to various qualitative and quantitative evaluation techniques in data management; reporting evaluation findings; evaluation ethics and standards; and a critical appraisal of selected Australian evaluation studies.


Two tasks (8,000 words) with the first due mid semester and the final task due towards the end of semester. The first task is an in depth investigation of an evaluation approach including its: main features, typical applications, benefits and limitations (25 percent). The second task involves either the development of a rigorous and theoretically justified evaluation plan or individually negotiated project (75 per cent).

NOTE: Assessment for online students will be 25 per cent (Task 1), 65 per cent (Task 2) plus 10 per cent for forum participation.

Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts: Owen, J. M. with Rogers, P. Program Evaluation: Forms and Approaches (2nd Ed). Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1999.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: This subject is designed to enable students to:
  • understand key evaluation concepts related to negotiating the terms of an evaluation, managing relevant data, and providing findings to stakeholders;
  • plan a small scale evaluation;
  • acquire knowledge about recent developments in evaluative enquiry;
  • identify the limits of evaluation in decision making; and
  • undertake a critical review of an evaluation project.

Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject we expect that students should be able to:

  • apply evaluation logic and frameworks to inform decision-making about program provision; and
  • negotiate and communicate effectively with stakeholders.
Links to further information:

Candidates intending to take this unit must obtain written permission from the co-ordinator before being allowed to enrol.

Related Course(s): Doctor Of Education
Doctor of Education
Master of Assessment and Evaluation (Stream 100A) Coursework and ThesisA
Master of Assessment and Evaluation (Stream 100B) Coursework
Master of Assessment and Evaluation (Stream 150A) Coursework & Thesis A
Master of Assessment and Evaluation (Stream 150B) Coursework
Master of Assessment and Evaluation(Stream 150)Coursework & Major Thesis
Master of Development Studies(CWT)
Master of Education (Stream 100A) Coursework and Thesis A
Master of Education (Stream 100B)Coursework
Master of Education (Stream 150) Major Thesis
Master of Education (Stream 150A) Coursework and Thesis A
Master of Education (Stream 150B) Coursework
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Development Studies
Development Studies
Development Studies

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