Multimethods of program evaluation: A reflection on evaluation of the counselling referral program

Year: 1994

Author: Hu, Yuehluen, Hsieh, Wen-ying

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The purpose of this study was to apply multiple methodologies to evaluate the referral program which integrates social systems to help children have a normal and healthy development. There were three types of tasks in the referral program, including management-oriented tasks, activity-oriented tasks, and information-oriented tasks. To evaluate the above-mentioned tasks, this study developed three types of methodologies: (1) the CIPP (context, input, process and product) evaluation scale; (2) the survey, including the activity scale and the task scale; and (3) the document review such as the telephone consultation record.

The findings showed that: (1) The CIPP evaluation scale was highly structured, concise and complete. The strength of this scale was that it was able to get valuable qualitative data about the referral program through on-site evaluations. However, the weakness of this scale was that the data from ongoing events of the referral program, such as participants' feelings about each activity, could not be collected and analysed. (2) The strengths of the activity scale and the task scale were that quantitative data were able to be collected in a short time, and that the reliabilities of both scales were also good. However, due to evaluation pressure, the validities of both scales were poor. (3) The telephone consultation record served as the important indicator in the development of the referral program, especially on the tasks of forwarding information.

The significance of this study was twofold. First, this study showed how to develop a multimethod evaluation according to the needs of a program development. Second, it provided understandings of the strengths and weaknesses of the CIPP evaluation scale, the survey and the document review in an empirical study.