The foundation of a program design and evaluation plan is to have clearly stated goals and measurable objectives. The goals and objectives refer directly to the program and not the actual evaluation. It is the goal of the program evaluation to determine if the program met the goals and objectives. Goals are another way of stating what the overall purpose of the program represents. These specific goals are not directly measurable. Measurable objectives describe a desired outcome of the program. These objectives measure the amount of progress, if any, the program has made.
Some might think that objectives are merely a list of activities. They would be very wrong. In fact, objectives relate directly to a certain goal. The objective can be qualitative or quantitatively represented by documentation of the program.
The goals of the FOCUS (Faculty Outreach Collaboration Uniting Scientists, Students, and Schools are listed as follows: to change the institutional culture regarding a shared accountability for math and science education, to create a collaborative model for ongoing professional development, to raise the number and diversity and preparation of math and science teachers, to increase the engagement of educationally disadvantaged students in a higher curriculum, and to contribute to the national dialogue on how to effect systemic change to support quality middle school education through rigorous data, documentation, and evaluation. The difference between the goals and measurable objectives is similar to looking at a race. At the beginning of the race the runners make a goal for themselves. Perhaps it is the way they plan to pace themselves, or maybe it is the type of sneaker to wear. Regardless, the goal is made at the start of the race. Next the runners determine, after the race is over, if there measurable objectives determine that their goals were met. The goals are determined first and the objectives are measured after to determine if the goals were met.
Objectives can be measurable and non-measurable. However, the measurable objective is more effective in program evaluation. Measurable objectives represent three essential elements of objective measurement: they can be edited to make it better, it can be used to assess or document that an objective has been achieved, and it is a true indicator of the program’s success. An example of a good measurable objective is to examine a student populations test scores.
Without clear goals and measurable objectives, it is not possible to effectively evaluate the success of a program. The goals and objectives are written for the program and not for the program evaluation.
Logic models are important tools for describing a program and determining the short and long-term evaluation needs. A logic model is equivalent to a picture of how the organization works. It also links outcomes with program activities and processes the principles of the program. Logic models consist of several areas: inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes, and impacts.
Within the TLC (Teacher Leadership Cadre), the second of three strategic action plans outlined in the University of California draft, it discusses the resources that will be needed to contribute to the success of the program. For example, they indicate that the majority of the cost should be allocated to the teacher time for professional development. The professional development requires the commitment of district officials, site administrators, and teachers.
Resources Activities Outputs Outcomes Impact
Substitute teachers, school supplies, funding for presenters. Dialogue, professional development job fairs, university faculty talks. 3,000 teachers in 101 schools involved in activities Long term follow-up, professional development integration with environment Re-structuring of how professional development will be formed.
Early interest, skills, recruitment, preparation, placement, and induction/retention funding. All sections will be engaged to exposing students to a career in education. Partnerships and expand pre-teaching experiences Increase by a 4 to 1 margin the number of students interested in pursuing a career in education Regional infrastructure and policy to build a future teacher pathway of new math and science educators.