Introduction to Evaluation

Subject EDUC90168 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2012.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 30 hours for internal mode students. External mode students can expect a total workload of approximately 240 hours.
Total Time Commitment: For on-campus mode attendance at all classes (tutorial/seminars/practical classes/lectures/labs) is obligatory. Failure to attend 80% of classes will normally result in failure in the subject.
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 Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the HDisability Liaison Unit websiteH: H


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Subject Overview:

This subject provides a conceptual overview of theories, issues and recent practice in evaluation. Topics covered include: conflicting views on the nature and purpose of evaluation; 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; reporting evaluation findings; evaluation ethics and standards; and a critical appraisal of selected Australian evaluation studies.


On completion of this subject students will be able to undertake a study from planning to completion, using knowledge and skills acquired in prior assessment and/or evaluation subjects.


Subject assessment consists of 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 per cent). 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: Owen, J.M. Program Evaluation: Forms and Approaches (3rd Ed.) Allen and Unwin, Crows Nest, 2006
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students will be able 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.
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