Summer 2020 - EDUC 822 G031

Evaluation of Educational Programs (5)

Class Number: 3786

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA



Processes used in program evaluation; including test and other measurement devices; and political, social and philosophical issues relating to the evaluation of educational programs.


Meeting Dates:
May 22, 23
June 5, 6 & 19,20  
July 3, 4 & 10, 11

Fridays, 4:30pm - 9:00pm
Saturdays, 8:30am - 4:30pm  


Program evaluation is an essential factor in furthering the development and improvement of educational programs.  Program evaluation can be of a formative, ongoing nature, in order to secure information on which to base the adjustment and attunement of a program during implementation.  It can be cumulative and summative in order to provide information regarding the relative success of a program’s current configuration and to explore decisions regarding program expansion, revision, or discontinuation.  Or it can be conducted periodically to address issues of program accountability.
“Educational programs” appear in many varieties.  They may be based nationally, provincially, within a single institution, within a single department, or within the practice of a single instructor.  They may also be personalized as “individual education programs.”  Educational programs vary broadly in content, configuration, and pedagogical approach.  They may be offered through public sector, not for profit, and/or private sector agencies.
Program evaluators may use the same types of qualitative, quantitative, and/or mixed methodologies that are used by educational researchers. Program evaluators seek, in a similar way, to be rigorous and systematic in collecting relevant and reliable data.  However, the activities of program evaluators are often more client-focused and assessment-focused.  Though the processes used for program evaluation and student assessment are based on somewhat different sets of criteria, student assessment data will often be examined as indicators of program effectiveness, especially when the aims of a particular instance of program evaluation focus on expected levels of academic achievement.
Ideally, program evaluation is a collaborative, dialogical, and reflective process during which evaluators work closely with program administrators, program staff, and representatives of other relevant stakeholder groups to design and implement a multi-stage evaluation process that is appropriate, inquiry-based, respectful toward both the clientele and the aims of the program, and transparently communicative.
Leaders at all levels of educational organizations need to understand and apply the ethical principles and procedures of program evaluation, whether in regard to ongoing educational practices; program design and implementation; program review or revision; radical reconceptualization; and/or possible discontinuation of a program.

The course will involve theoretical and practical aspects of educational program evaluation as practiced in a variety of contexts, including the relevant concepts, methods, processes, applications, and tools of evaluation, which include communication of results, adoption of recommendations, and legitimation of subsequent actions.  
Current examples of program evaluation handbooks will be compared, with the intention of synthesizing the generic steps in an evaluation process.  Methods for gathering relevant data, information, and knowledge will be explored and assessed in relation to specific evaluative situations.  Specific tools for gathering information (e.g., questionnaires, focus groups) will be explored and applied.  Evaluation reports from a number of program types will be examined regarding structure, contents, thoroughness, transparency, and coherence. The fidelity of these reports to the declared terms of reference will be reviewed.  Salient aspects of this review will include the relevant policies; the selected conceptual frameworks; the evaluation questions and intentions; the methodologies and tools; the data and information obtained; and the avowed processes of analysis and interpretation.  
Students will be encouraged to apply their developing knowledge and understanding of program evaluation theories, practices, and processes to their current professional settings and the educational programs in which they are involved.  Students will share their perceptions, reflections, and findings with other members of the cohort, both informally in small group discussions and more formally during presentations to the class.


The broad goals for students enrolled in this course can be expressed as follows:  

  • To conceptualize and interpret relevant educational knowledge and theory  
  • To encounter, experience, experiment with, and critique relevant methods of educational research and program evaluation  
  • To encounter, conceptualize, reflect upon, design, and apply diverse educational and ethical practices pertaining to program evaluation  
  • To communicate, in various modalities, in accord with the expectations of the disciplines involved in the evaluation of educational programs  
  • To act ethically, responsibly, and with growing initiative as scholar-practitioners in both scholarly and professional capacities pertaining to program evaluation  
  • To examine and cultivate values of ethical educational engagement, including community engagement, international (and transdisciplinary) engagement, and engagement among diverse identities and within marginalized constituencies, with particular attention to indigenous communities.


  • Proof of Course Participation (eg. Notebook, Glossary of Terms 10%
  • Participation in Small Group and Plenary Dialogue 10%
  • Participation in Small Group Presentations 10%
  • Midterm (3 Minor assignments) 30%
  • Presentation of Major Project Outline and Intentions 10%
  • Final (Major Project: Case Study) 30%


Details of assignments are provided to students in the extended course outline.

Normally, it is expected that students will complete all elements of the coursework.

(Apply to the written assignments and the oral presentations)
A+ Outstanding grasp of concepts and issues; evidence of careful and precise reading of required texts and of other related texts; ability to relate theoretical discussions to practice accurately; critical evaluation of readings and discussions and lectures giving evidence of independent and consistent judgment; fluent and appropriate use of relevant concepts; careful attention to the ideas of others, and respect in addressing them; imaginative organization and presentation of written and oral work.  
A As above, but at a somewhat lower level of quality.
A- Clear use of relevant literature and background reading; appropriate use of relevant concepts; sound structure and good organization; sound critical evaluation; linkages with wider issues made clearly; courtesy in dealing with others’ ideas and opinions. Competent organization and presentation of written and oral work.
B+ Reasonably accurate grasp of key concepts and issues; analyses and discussions relevant and appropriate; adequately clear structure to written work; readings sensibly incorporated into arguments; evaluative discussions made accurately and sensibly; courtesy in dealing with others’ ideas and opinions. The organization and presentation of written and oral work is adequate.
B As above, but at a somewhat lower level of quality.
C+ Little evidence of required reading or little evidence that it has been adequately understood; limited grasp of the concepts being discussed; divergence from the main point to only peripherally or superficially related items; largely dealing with anecdotal or concrete instances rather than with the level of principles and theories; largely descriptive writing with little analysis, though showing some grasp of the main issues. The organization and presentation of written and oral work is lacking. C As above, but at a somewhat lower level of quality.
C- Solely descriptive and only peripheral points engaged; lack of evidence of reading
or limited understanding of what read; conceptual confusion, irrelevant and muddled material poorly organized.





A variety of journal articles and online sources, along with a draft outline of dates for various topics, assigned readings, and submissions of assignments, will be provided in the extended course outline, prior to the commencement of classes.


Sanders, J. R. & Sullins, C. D. (2006). Evaluating school programs: An educator’s guide (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. ISBN: 9781412925231 (Hardcover) or 9781412925242 (Paperback).

A complete list of recommended readings will be provided to students in the extended course outline.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.


Please note that all teaching at SFU in summer term 2020 will be conducted through remote methods. Enrollment in this course acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.