Applied Measurement for Evaluation

Instructor: Ann Doucette (The Evaluator’s Institute)

Time: 4/11/2016 – 4/14/2016

Description: Measurement, whether it results from self-report survey, interview/focus groups, observation, document review, or administrative data must be systematic, replicable, interpretable, reliable, and valid.

While hard sciences such as physics and engineering have advanced precise and accurate measurement (e.g. weigh, length, mass, volume), the measurement used in evaluation studies is often imprecise and characterized by considerable error.

The quality of the inferences made in evaluation studies is directly related to the quality of the measurement on which we base our judgments. Judgments attesting to the ineffective interventions may be flawed – the reflection of measures that are imprecise and not sensitive to the characteristics we chose to evaluate. Evaluation attempts to compensate for imprecise measurement with increasingly sophisticated statistical procedures to manipulate data. The emphasis on statistical analysis all too often obscures the important characteristics of the measures we choose. This course includes: 1) Assessing measurement precision; 2) Quantification; 3) Issues and Considerations – using existing measures versus developing your own measures; 4) Criteria for choosing measures; and 5) Error – influences on measurement precision.