Our evaluation methodology curriculum is under development...
The official coursework for a doctoral concentration in evaluation within the Research Methods & Statistics (RMS) program is undergoing revision and university approval. These new courses and coursework plans should be in place for academic year 2020-2021. Doctoral students entering the program at this time may declare a concentration in evaluation. Students who entered RMS prior to Fall 2020 will have the option of shifting over to the new course of study as desired.
MA - Master-level students in the RMS program take 3 courses in evaluation, including one introductory course and an applied sequence. The MA student will take additional coursework in research methods, quantitative and qualitative approaches, and cognate courses according to her/his interests. The MA student will also complete an evaluation practicum, and either conduct a thesis study or take comprehensive exams. To learn more about the MA coursework plan and evaluation practice, please visit the RMS portfolio page and handbook.
PhD - Doctoral-level students in the RMS program take 3 courses in evaluation, including one introductory course and an applied sequence. The PhD student will take additional coursework in research methods, quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches, and cognate courses according to his/her interests. The PhD student will also complete a research practicum; within the evaluation concentration, the research practicum will be on a topic advancing evaluation methodology and will serve as the starting point for the dissertation study. Design for the dissertation study will commence after the student has advanced to candidacy by passing comprehensive exams. Dissertation hours will be conducted with structured support and guidance with the study typically taking between 1-2 years to complete (from initial literature review, through proposal defense, conducting the study, defending the dissertation, and submitting the dissertation manuscript to the university for publication).
To learn more about RMS courses, please visit the RMS Course Information website page.
Evaluation Service Learning Core: Introductory Course & Applied Sequence
Introduction to Evaluation (3 credit hours)
This course is designed to introduce you to evaluation theory and facilitate your ability to compare and contrast research and evaluation methodology. Furthermore, in collaboration with DU’s Center for Community Engagement & Service Learning, this course will be conducted as a service learning course. I will connect you with potential community partner organizations. With your peers, you will develop a professional-quality evaluation proposal and plan for the community partner. The course assumes familiarity with quantitative and qualitative research methods and analyses. It is expected that you are already familiar with these concepts since we will not have time to cover them in great detail within the scope of this course. If you have not taken a basic course in research design and inquiry, you can expect to spend more time working to learn the course content.
Applied Evaluation I (3 credit hours)
This course is designed to introduce you to the practical craft of professional evaluation. As a competency-based course sequence, this apprenticeship-style class will structure your experience of designing (I) and implementing (II) your first evaluation plan using evaluation theory. In part I of this sequence, you will design an evaluation plan and conduct data collection. You will also explore the ways in which your selected evaluation approach(es) manifest within the process and findings of the evaluation while considering how other approaches might have influenced the findings from your evaluation research.
Prerequisites: "Introduction to Evaluation"
Students taking this course in the winter quarter are required to take "Applied Evaluation II" in the spring quarter immediately following this winter course.
Applied Evaluation II (3 credit hours)
This course is a continuation of Applied Evaluation I. As a competency-based course sequence, this apprenticeship-style class will structure your experience of designing (I) and implementing (II) your first evaluation plan using evaluation theory. In part II of this sequence, your study will focus on concluding the evaluation through data analysis, making sense of findings, and ongoing/final reporting.
Pre-requisites: "Introduction to Evaluation" AND "Applied Evaluation I"
Students take this course in the spring quarter are required to take "Applied Evaluation I" in the winter quarter immeidately preceding this spring course.
Master-Level Practicum in Evaluation Research
Practicum in Evaluation Research (3 hours)
From the RMS Handbook: All MA students complete an evaluation practicum with a community partner after taking sufficient preparatory courses in the program. The goal of the practicum is to provide a field experience in aspects of designing, conducting, and presenting an evaluation. The student will present their findings to RMS faculty and their community partner. On occasions, the student will submit the paper written from the practicum for presentation at a regional or national conference. In the quarter prior to beginning their practicum the student meets with their advisor to determine a project to pursue and select a setting/partner for their practicum. Then the student registers for RMS 4980, Practicum in Research. The evaluation practicum typically takes between 25-100 hours to complete over a six-month period. Once the project has begun, students meet with their advisor at least monthly to discuss their progress. At the end of the project, the community partner completes the Practicum Supervisor Feedback Form. Students have undertaken their evaluation practicums with the following partners: Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Open World Learning, the Denver Zoo, Hudson Gardens, Colorado School of Public Health, and the Aurora Research Institute.
Doctoral-Level Evaluation Courses
Advanced Evaluation Theory (Independent Study, 1-3 credit hour increments)
In this class, you will critically analyze evaluation approaches relative to a project (evaluand) of your choosing (e.g., an RFP, a program/project with which you are familiar). In the first part of the course, you will analyze literature on the evaluation approach(es) you choose. At the end of the course, you will write an academic paper in which you: (1) discuss, compare, and describe how to apply each of the approaches; (2) briefly summarize how to operationalize each approach throughout each phase of the evaluation process; and (3) apply your discuss of these similarities and differences to a case (e.g., program, project, RFP) of your choice. Reading and thinking about the implications of operationalizing various evaluation approaches will be of great benefit for your current and future evaluation work. This is an evaluation design class: you will be expected to justify how approaches privilege particular perspectives, purposes, and values for the approaches you choose. Since all of your work will be submitted in APA format, a subsidiary purpose is to familiarize you with APA. As a result of taking the course, you will design research proposals of your own in order to give you the beginning experience of designing a research project from the initial stages.
Prerequistes: the Evaluation Service Learning Core AND Instructor Approval
Practicum in Research on Evaluation (3 hours)
From the RMS Handbook: All PhD students complete a research practicum after taking sufficient preparatory courses in the program. The goal of the practicum is to provide field experience in designing, conducting, and presenting research. The student will submit the paper written from the practicum for presentation at a regional, national, or international conference and/or publication in a peerreviewed journal. In the quarter prior to their practicum, the student meets with their advisor to determine a project to pursue and a setting/partner for their practicum. The research practicum typically takes between 25-100 hours to complete over a six-month period. Once the project has begun, students meet with their advisor at least monthly to discuss their progress. At the end of the project, the community partner completes the Practicum Supervisor Feedback Form.
Prerequisites: the Evaluation Service Learning Core AND Advanced Evaluation Theory (3 credits) AND Instructor Approval
Dissertation Credit Hours (1-3 credit hour increments)
Completion of a project of original research leading to the dissertation is a major requirement of the doctoral program. Students must register for at least 1 credit each quarter (i.e., fall, winter, and spring), beginning after most coursework is completed until graduation. Doctoral students are required to take a minimum of 10 dissertation credit hours. While students must pass their comprehensive exam prior to defending their dissertation proposal, they make take up to half of their dissertation hours pre-comps. As such, students must be enrolled for at least one credit post-comps. The Morgridge College of Education (MCE) determines the amount of credit allowed for research and work on the dissertation. Specific guidelines and instructions for the dissertation can be found here under "Graduation and Oral Defense Information," where you will find step-by-step instructions on how to submit the thesis/dissertation.
Evaluation doctoral students are supported through dissertation credits following a structured series of syllabi that target (1) undertaking the initial literature review to support the rationale for the study (3 credits); (2) designing and defending the dissertation proposal (2-3 credits); (3) conducting the dissertation study (2-3 credits); and (4) composing and defending the dissertation study (1-3 credits). It is suggested that these hours be graduated over the course of 1-2 academic years (i.e., 3-6 quarters).