Evaluations For Product Development and Funding

This post will focus on formative evaluations because this evaluation is important but often overlooked because of  the methodology  it takes to conduct it. The evaluation is strategic and adheres to principles, formulas, and theories.   However, formulative evaluations are useful in every industry in producing viable products and securing funds.  There are two types of evaluations: summative and formative.  A summative evaluation informs decisions.  In other words, it determines if  the project is a go or not.  A formative evaluation informs revisions.  In other words, it determines what needs to be corrected or added in order for the product ( assessment, project, training, or learning) to meet its objective and stakeholders requirements.  The big question that both evaluations ask is: Did the project, training, or instructions meet its goal? Why or why not.

Evaluations
Evaluations

Most industries including corporate, health, education, religious, and government agencies conduct formative evaluations to produce viable products and secure grants or other funding source.  Education, training and health industries conduct formative evaluations to determine if their instructions, training needs, assessments, and hypothesises are sound. The entertainment industry uses formative evaluations to ensure a project (new innovation, movie, game, concert etc..) is developed to have the impact it needs on its intended audience, as well as meet its stakeholders goals and to secure funding.  It could be costly to develop a great movie, or game to find out the intended audience had no interest in the subject matter.

checklist
checklist

Both evaluations, formative and summative, consist of  the subject matter expert phase (SME), one to one phase, and  the small group phase.   Both evaluations ask questions, collect quanitative and qualitative data using similar methods, analyze data, and report data . Both evaluations can be conducted by internal staff or external consultants. The difference  is what is being done with the data.

Ratings
Ratings

In conclusion,  a summative evaluation determines if a project is a go or not. A formative evaluation provides the benefit of a neutral eye to a project to discover errors, impact, and need during the development stage.  The big question that both evaluations ask is: Did the project, training, or instructions meet its goal? Why or why not. The formative evaluation is useful to all industries in producing viable products and in securing outside funding.  Below is an abstract this author wrote of a  formal evaluation of a custom designed set of instructions that included assessments (test). In addition,  resources are provided for more information on this topic .

                   Evaluation Report of Microenterprise Sustainability  101:  Incorporating       

                                        Strategies  for New and Repeat Evaluation Report

                                            (Evaluation Methodology and Instrumentation) 

Abstract

 This formal evaluation research was conducted to discover problems and issues during development of a custom designed set of instructions in order for the product to meet its instructional and its stakeholders’ goals: Disabled microbusiness owners should be able to increase work efficiency in the areas of time management, customer relationship management, and marketing for sustainability.   It also evaluated the outcome (benefits) for its intended audience, disabled microbusiness owners.  This evaluation is supported with mixed qualitative and quantitative data from all three stages of the formative evaluation plan: subject matter expert (SME), one to one, and the small group phase. Included is a summary of data analysis and recommendations.  Quantitative data consisted of assessment item analysis, objective analysis, item difficulty analysis, item discrimination analysis, qualitative distractor analysis, and internal consistency reliability tests (Split Half Reliability). The qualitative data consisted of construct validity, face validity, interviews, and observations. This evaluation determined that the designed instructions with corrections met stakeholders’ goals, learning, and benefit outcomes  and is ready for distribution.

Keywords:  time management, customer relationships, micro-business, sustainability

end of abstract

 Other Resources:

Formal Evaluation

How to Evaluate Instructions including eLearning

Evaluation Research: Introduction to principles, methods and practices.