The evaluation design is selected depending on the type of research question, set hypotheses, and on expected evaluative outcomes. Measurements used to gather data become determined by the chosen evaluation design. Referring to the research question, the procedures of the evaluation design, the possible access to data, and the available time, it is important to choose a pre-experimental research design to conduct the evaluation of the concrete program.
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Examining Qualitative and Quantitative Research in Evaluation
The choice of the evaluation design depends on the type of research question, set hypotheses, and the expected evaluative outcomes. As a result, the measurements used to collect data are determined by the nature of the chosen evaluation design (Rossi, 2003, p. 54). The research question for the evaluation is the following: If African American women are provided with higher education, will they be more economically productive on an individual basis? Having analyzed the features of the research question, the procedures of the evaluation design, the possible access to data, and the available time, it is important to choose such a pre-experimental research design as the posttest-only design with nonequivalent groups because of the focus on present resources and expected outcomes.
While selecting the appropriate evaluation design, it is necessary to concentrate on the available resources and time required to conduct the evaluation. Focusing on the posttest-only design with nonequivalent groups, it is possible to use minimal resources. The main task is to select the appropriate sample and a control group with the help of the random assignment to contribute to the evaluation’s validity (Royse, Thyer, & Padgett, 2009, p. 230).
Thus, the appropriate sample can include 35 African American women with higher education received as a result of the special program intervention, and a control group should include 35 African American women without higher education in order to assess the differences in women’s productivity. The posttest-only design allows focusing on limited time frames. Thus, it is possible to conduct the evaluation for less than three weeks. As a result, this pre-experimental research design can be discussed as cost-effective because of requiring minimal resources.
Referring to the issues of accessibility, comprehensiveness, continuity, and awareness, it is necessary to note that pre-experimental research designs are effective to be used when minimal resources are available for conducting the evaluation. The research question is rather general, and the rigorousness of the evaluation is caused by the expected limitations (Royse et al., 2009, p. 232).
Referring to the validity of outcomes expected after conducting the posttest-only design with nonequivalent groups, it is important to note that the evaluator receives an opportunity to compare the productivity rate in relation to the African American women with the higher education and without it while using a simple assessment method. That is why the answer to the uncomplicated research questions is expected to be rather valid for the concrete intervention.
The reason for the evaluation is the necessity to discuss the effectiveness of the programs promoted higher education for African American women in relation to their further status as economically productive individuals. The internal constraints can include the lack of cooperation with the program developers and the problems associated with selecting a sample.
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Thus, pre-experimental research designs, as the simplest ones, often refer to the convenient sampling methods (Royse et al., 2009, p. 232). Paying attention to the fact that the valid results can be expected only while using rather large samples and control groups, it is necessary to focus more on the selection of respondents according to the convenient sampling method or other appropriate method.
In spite of the fact that pre-experimental research designs are the simplest evaluation methods, they are rather effective in conducting the evaluation directed by the uncomplicated research method. The posttest-only design with nonequivalent groups is cost-effective and appropriate to answer the question related to the role of higher education for African American women.
Rossi, P. (2003). Evaluation: A systematic approach. New York, NY: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Royse, D., Thyer, B., & Padgett, D. (2009). Program evaluation: An introduction. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.