Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

A comparison of linear and systems thinking approaches for program evaluation illustrated using the Indiana Interdisciplinary GK-12

Contents:

Author Info

  • Dyehouse, Melissa
  • Bennett, Deborah
  • Harbor, Jon
  • Childress, Amy
  • Dark, Melissa
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Logic models are based on linear relationships between program resources, activities, and outcomes, and have been used widely to support both program development and evaluation. While useful in describing some programs, the linear nature of the logic model makes it difficult to capture the complex relationships within larger, multifaceted programs. Causal loop diagrams based on a systems thinking approach can better capture a multidimensional, layered program model while providing a more complete understanding of the relationship between program elements, which enables evaluators to examine influences and dependencies between and within program components. Few studies describe how to conceptualize and apply systems models for educational program evaluation. The goal of this paper is to use our NSF-funded, Interdisciplinary GK-12 project: Bringing Authentic Problem Solving in STEM to Rural Middle Schools to illustrate a systems thinking approach to model a complex educational program to aid in evaluation. GK-12 pairs eight teachers with eight STEM doctoral fellows per program year to implement curricula in middle schools. We demonstrate how systems thinking provides added value by modeling the participant groups, instruments, outcomes, and other factors in ways that enhance the interpretation of quantitative and qualitative data. Limitations of the model include added complexity. Implications include better understanding of interactions and outcomes and analyses reflecting interacting or conflicting variables.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V7V-4VXMPPM-1/2/edfc1d7c29e7cb2ed2ce63ed7491d25e
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Evaluation and Program Planning.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (August)
    Pages: 187-196

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:epplan:v:32:y:2009:i:3:p:187-196

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/evalprogplan

    Related research

    Keywords: GK-12 Program evaluation Systems thinking Logic model Causal loop diagrams Influence diagrams;

    References

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Cabrera, Derek & Colosi, Laura & Lobdell, Claire, 2008. "Systems thinking," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 299-310, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Guerra-López, Ingrid & Toker, Sacip, 2012. "An application of the Impact Evaluation Process for designing a performance measurement and evaluation framework in K-12 environments," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 222-235.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:epplan:v:32:y:2009:i:3:p:187-196. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.