Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Evaluation: Seven Critical Books

I was recently asked by a friend identify books I think every evaluator should read. It proved to be an interesting discussion as we are both evaluators and have different training backgrounds (psychology versus education) and interests (qualitative versus quantitative). I thought it might be interesting to share my list; here it is in no particular order:

Dillman, D., Smyth, J., and Christian, L. (2008). Internet, mail, and mixed-mode surveys: The tailored design method (3rd. Edition). New York, NY: Wiley & Sons.

Campbell, D. & Stanly, J. (1963). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for research. New York, NY: Wadsworth Publishing.

Davidson, E.J. (2004). Evaluation methodology basics: The nuts and bolts of sound evaluation. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Scriven, M. (1991) Evaluation thesaurus (4th. Edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Alkin, M. (2004) Evaluation roots: Tracing theorists' views and influences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Patton, M.Q.(1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Yin, R. (2002). Case study research: Design and methods, (3rd. Edition), Applied Social Research Methods Series, Vol. 5. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Interestingly, she agreed with my choices of the Dillman book, Campbell and Stanly ("a classic"), and likes Patton but would have chosen his book on Utilization-focused Evaluation as opposed to the one I chose.

What ones would you identify?

1 comment:

Jane Davidson said...

Amy, Patricia Rogers and I had an interesting discussion on this a while back and came up with a list that had quite a few overlaps with yours!

Probably the "must read" ones I'd add would be Scriven's "Hard-won lessons in program evaluation"; Miles & Huberman's "Qualitative Data Analysis"; Gareth Morgan's "Images of Organization"; and Levin & McEwan's Cost-effectiveness Analysis". Linda Smith's "Decolonizing Methodologies" is also well worth a look.

We set up a Shelfari bookshelf that we can update as we go - you should add one to your site too! Here's ours: http://genuineevaluation.com/the-genuine-evaluation-bookshelf/