Student-Led Course-Embedded Service Learning Projects
A course project utilizing quantitative research designs to answer stakeholder questions.
A course project utilizing quantitative research designs to answer stakeholder questions.
A course project marshalling pre-existing longitudinal database data to target program improvement.
A course project marshalling pre-existing longitudinal survey data to target program improvement.
DU Office of International Education
A course project on assessing racial colorblindess in a study abroad program.
A course project on preparing qualitative protocols for gender-responsive quasi-experimental research study.
... Stay Tuned for Projects from AY18-19 (to be posted after project completion)!
Faculty-Led Collaborations & Research Projects (Ongoing)
The Center for Community Engagement & Service Learning
An ongoing collaboration to develop a system to support student-led projects serving the DU and Denver communities
Campus Compact of the Mountain West
A mixed methods evaluation of a PK-20 civic engagement pipeline throughout Colorado and Wyoming. Collaboration with AmeriCorps
DU Teacher Education Program in the Morgridge College of Education
A quasi-experimental study of teacher preparation training models for future DPS teachers in Title I schools. Collaboration with Denver Public Schools
Faculty-Led Evaluation Research Projects (Archive)
DU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
An evaluability assessment proposal for developing a measure of neuroprotection in the aging population based on a biochemistry gaming intervention
A services proposal for the development of a program impact theory for a financial literacy program for middle schoolers
UNCG Office of Assessment, Accreditation, and Academic Program Planning
A series of reports and analytics for organizational improvement planning and accountability reporting
A mixed methods evaluation of a $7.7M research grant for transforming teaching through technology
The Center for New North Carolinians
An event and evaluation assisting AmeriCorps members transitioning from service to career
UNCG Department of Library & Information Science
A retrospective evaluation of a program supporting New Americans in training for librarianship in rural NC community colleges
A culturally responsive, utlization-focused evaluation of a residential caregiving program for adults living with cognitive impairments
Dissertations as Research on Evaluation
While evaluation projects cannot typically fit within the scope and purpose of the RMS dissertation, evaluation students are encouraged to consider undertaking research on evaluation for their dissertation study.
Topics for RMS dissertations involving evaluation:
Assessing evaluation capacity building within organizations
Factors influencing methodological decisionmaking in evaluation
Evaluation strategies for international development organizations
Research on Evaluation
Acree, J.G., Chouinard, J.A., and Pitts, R.T. (May, 2018). Where is evaluation use in culturally responsive approaches: an exploration of the empirical literature. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Evaluation Society, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Pitts, R.T. and Chouinard, J.A. (2018, March). Experiential learning: How novice evaluators apply their studies in fieldwork. Paper presented at the Working Conference to Chart the Future of Evaluation Education and Training, Minneapolis, MN.
Kauffmann, M., and Pitts, R.T. (2018, March). Essential competencies and pedagogical practices for graduate evaluation training. Paper to be presented the Working Conference to Chart the Future of Evaluation Education and Training, Minneapolis, MN.
Chouinard, J.A., Boyce, A.S., Hicks, J., Jones, J., Long, J., Pitts, R.T. and Stockdale, M. (2017). Navigating theory and practice through evaluation fieldwork: Experiences of novice evaluation practitioners. American Journal of Evaluation, 38(4), 493-506. http://10.1177/1098214016667582
Pitts, R.T., Cavanaugh, S.A., and Sunnassee, E. (2017). Credible and actionable evidence: The foundations for rigorous and influential evaluations, by S. I. Donaldson, C. A. Christie, and M. M. Mark. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 32(2). http://10.3138/cjpe.32.2.293
Pitts, R.T. & Naumenko, O. (2016). The 2014 standards for educational and psychological testing: What teachers Initially need to know. University of North Carolina School of Education Working Papers Journal, 2:1(2016).
Chouinard, J.A., Boyce, A.S., Adetogun, A., Yumsek, M., Zemaitis, J., Pitts, R.T., Avent, C., Cavanaugh, S.A., and Sunnassee, E. (2016, October). Designing a culturally responsive approach to evaluation: Using a case study to explore the experiences of novice evaluators. Panel presentation at the meeting of the American Evaluation Association, Atlanta, GA.
Pitts, R.T. (2016, October). Evaluating Theories of Change: Toward a Systematic Approach. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Evaluation Association, Atlanta, GA.
Pitts, R.T. (2016, October). Evaluating assessment scores for use and consequence. Poster presented at the meeting of the American Evaluation Association, Atlanta, GA.
Pitts, R.T., & Hicks, J. (2016, July). A comparative study of SEM software: LISREL and lavaan. Poster presented at the meeting of the Psychometric Society, Asheville, NC.
Stockdale, M., & Pitts, R.T. (2016, June). Utilizing developmental evaluation methods to implement multi-year assessment. Paper presented at the meeting of the Higher Education Data Sharing Consortium, Asheville, NC.
Chouinard, J.A., Hicks, J., Long, J., & Pitts, R.T. (2015, November). Bridging theory and practice through evaluation fieldwork: Experiences of novice evaluation practitioners. Presented at the meeting of the American Evaluation Association, Chicago, IL.
Long, J., & Pitts, R.T. (2015). Group dynamics of new student evaluators and their clients: Challenges and lessons learned. Poster presented at the meeting of the American Evaluation Association, Chicago, IL.
Thomas, R. (2009). The effects of scientific literacy on student performance. Poster presented at the meeting of the MEdT Cohort 17 and TFA Peer Conference, University of Hawaii Laboratory School, Honolulu, HI.
Thomas, R. (2007, April). Genetic perturbation of proteins implicated in cancerous cell division. Poster presented at the Alabama Honors Research Day, Huntsville, AL.
Thomas, R., Cao, D., Makowsky, C., Clark, A., Caldwell, G.A., & Caldwell, K.A. (2006, December). Strategies for therapeutic intervention for Parkinson’s disease. Poster presented at the meeting of the American Society of Cell Biology, San Diego, CA.
Thomas, R., Caldwell, G.A., & Caldwell, K.A. (2006, July). The role of NUD-1 in centrosome maturation and organization. Paper and poster presented at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute summer research meeting at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.
Phillips, J., Thomas, R., Till, M., Peters, K., Caldwell, G.A., & Caldwell, K.A. (2005, December). Characterization of NUD-1 interactors in C. elegans. Poster presented at the meeting of the American Society of Cell Biology, San Francisco, CA.
Thomas, R., Till, M., Peters, K., Caldwell, G.A. & Caldwell, K.A. (2005, July). The role of NUD-1 in centrosome maturation and organization. Paper and poster presented at the Howard Hughes Medical Internship research presentation at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.
Thomas, R. (2004). The reconciliation of science & religion in light of human genetic engineering innovation. The Journal of Science and Health at the University of Alabama. 2(2004), 10-14.
Pitts, R.T. (2017). Understanding student learning evidence: A case study of evaluation use and evaluation influence for accountability and learning. Directed by Dr. Jill Anne Chouinard. 235 pp.
- Jill Anne Chouinard, Assistant Professor, Evaluation. Ph.D. in Organizational Studies at the University of Ottawa
- Ayesha Boyce, Assistant Professor, Evaluation; Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
- John Willse, Professor, Department Chair, & Director of the Office of Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Services (OAERS); Ph.D. in Assessment & Measurement at James Madison University
- Jodi Pettazzoni, Associate Vice Provost, Director of Assessment & Accreditation, & SACSCOC Liaison; Ph.D. in Educational Research and Administration at the University of Southern Mississippi
Evaluation use is a key construct in evaluation that characterizes the ways in which an evaluation, through its processes and findings, affects people and situations. Through in-depth case study, this research explores the nature of evaluation use, and the related notion of evaluation influence, within the context of assessment in higher education. Despite a historical focus on compliance and accreditation, assessment contemporarily hinges on increasing the use of student learning evidence for decision making across many levels of an educational organization. This shift toward learning has positioned assessment as a context for evaluation theory and practice, one that offers a unique opportunity to study evaluation use and influence relative to various purposes for evaluation (i.e., accountability and learning). The findings suggested three problematics, or dilemmas, that shape the nature of evaluation use and influence in assessment: facilitating sensemaking processes, engaging systemic complexity, and attending to power and information gaps that exist within and between educational program models and their evaluative tools. Findings from this study also suggest that student learning evidence has a profound impact on educational programming, both at the individual student and program levels.
Keywords: evaluation use, evaluation influence, assessment, accountability, learning