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Syllabus:

Evaluation, 15 Credits

Swedish name: Utrednings- och utvärderingsarbete

This syllabus is valid: 2019-11-25 and until further notice

Course code: 2SO134

Credit points: 15

Education level: First cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Sociology: First cycle, has only upper-secondary level entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Sociology

Revised by: Head of Department of Sociology, 2019-11-25

Contents

Focus of the course
Evaluation is a research-based activity designed to assess the merits of policies and programmes. Increasing demands that policy decisions and public spending are based on evidence, mean that evaluation increasingly permeates all sectors of decision-making in society. The growing social and political significance of evaluation in turn means that evaluations need to be of high quality and informative. 
Against this background, this course focuses on five central questions: What is evaluated? Why evaluate? How should evaluations be conducted? How are evaluations used? How can one assess the quality of evaluations? 

Module 1: Evaluation as practice. 7,5 hp
Module 1 of the course studies evaluation as a social phenomenon, as practice and as a skill. Topics covered in this part of the course include: What is policy and programme evaluation? How does evaluation differ from research? What societal developments explain the growth of evaluation and monitoring systems? How does evaluation relate to the "evidence" debate? From a more practical perspective, the course introduces different evaluation models and discusses how to design evaluations for specific purposes.  

Module 2: The evaluation society and evaluation use, 7,5 hp
Module 2 of the course addresses the following questions: What kind of problems are professional evaluators often confronted with in the course of their work? How are evaluations used? How can we assess the quality of evaluations (meta-evaluation).

Expected learning outcomes

Module 1: Evaluation as practice. 7,5 hp
On successful completion of the course, the student will, in terms of knowledge and understanding:
* Be able to describe different evaluation models
* Grasp the basic ideas behind the "evidence debate", and understand why the evidence movement has become so widespread

On successful completion of the course, the student will, in terms of skills and abilities:
* Be able to critically discuss the role of evaluation in society
* Critically analyse how evaluation relates to the "evidence debate"
* Be able to analyse the relative strengths and weaknesses of different evaluation models
* Demonstrate skills in designing an evaluation plan for a specific purpose
* Orally communicate evaluation knowledge to different groups

On successful completion of the course, the student will, in terms of the skills of valuing:
* Be able to apply ethical guidelines for evaluators

Module 2: The evaluation society and evaluation use, 7,5 hp
On successful completion of the course, the student will, in terms of knowledge and understanding:
* Be familiar with programme theory as an evaluation method
* Describe different forms of evaluation use
* Grasp the basics of meta-evaluation as a method

On successful completion of the course, the student will, in terms of skills and abilities:
* Analyse different forms of evaluation use
* Demonstrate skills in information seeking
* Demonstrate skills in meta-evaluation
* Demonstrate independent skills in presenting an analytical argument in written and oral form. 

On successful completion of the course, the student will, in terms of the skills of valuing:
* Be able to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of programme theory
* Be able to assess the various forms of evaluation use
* Judge the quality of evaluations

Required Knowledge

General entry requirements

Form of instruction

The course content is delivered through lectures, seminars, group and individual work. Compulsory attendance is required in group work and seminars. All lectures and seminars are held in English.

Examination modes

Examination in module 1 is in the form of active participation in seminars and group work, as well as a written assignment. The assignment is to design an evaluation for a specific purpose. The design will be presented both orally and in written form.

The grading scale for module 1 is: Pass with distinction, Pass, Fail. Attendance at the compulsory seminars is required in order to be eligible for a pass grade. International students will be graded in accordance with the European Credit Transfer System. Grading decisions are based on an assessment of the student's individual performance. In case of a student being awarded a fail grade, she or he has the right to be re-examined in a form and at a time agreed upon in consultation with the examiner.

Examination of module 2 is in the form of active participation in seminars and group work, as well as a written assignment. The assignment is to conduct a written meta-evaluation. The meta-evaluation should demonstrate an understanding of the course literature. This assignment is to be carried out individually and handed in to the relevant course tutor at the end of the course. 

The grading scale for module 2 is: Pass with distinction, Pass, Fail. Attendance at the compulsory seminars is required in order to be eligible for a pass grade for the course as a whole. International students will be graded in accordance with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Grading decisions are based on an assessment of the student's individual performance. In case of a student being awarded a fail grade, she or he has the right to be re-examined in a form and at a time agreed upon in consultation with the examiner.

To be awarded a pass grade for the course as a whole, a pass grade must have been attained for both module 1 and module 2. In order to be awarded the grade pass with distinction for the course as a whole, the student must attain the grade pass with distinction for both module 1 and module 2. In cases where a student attains a pass grade for one of the modules and a pass with distinction for the other module, then a pass grade will be awarded for the course as a whole.

For each examined aspect of the course, there will be one main examination and a second opportunity to be re-examined within two months of the original examination. For examinations conducted in May and June, the first opportunity to be re-examined will be within three months after the original examination. After this, a third examination opportunity will be offered within a year after the end of the course. Re-examination based on the same syllabus as the original examination can be guaranteed for no longer than two years after the original syllabus has ceased to be valid, or after the course has ceased to be offered (see rules for grading and examination at undergraduate and graduate levels, Dnr: FS 1.1.2-553-14). If a student is awarded a fail grade on at least two consecutive attempts of the examination of the course or course component, she or he has the right to request a new examiner. Such a request should be made in writing and addressed to the head of department. 
   
Departure from the form of examination described in the syllabus may be possible for a student who has been granted learning support due to disability. Individually adapted forms of examination will then be considered in light of the individual student's needs. The examination will adhere to the expected learning outcomes as stipulated in the syllabus. In such cases, the student makes a request for an individually adapted examination form to the course convenor, who together with the examiner will make a swift decision on the form of examination. The decision will thereafter be communicated to the student.

Literature

Valid from: 2019 week 48

Part 1: Evaluation as practice, 7,5 hp

Evaluation : a systematic approach
Rossi Peter Henry, Freeman Howard E., Lipsey Mark W.
7. ed. : Thousand Oaks, CAb Sage,c 2004 : Sage : 2004 : x, 470 s. :
ISBN: 0-7619-0894-3
Mandatory
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

Weiss Carol H.
Evaluation : methods for studying programs and policies
2., [rev.] ed. : Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Prentice Hall : cop. 1998 : xii, 372 s. :
ISBN: 0-13-309725-0 (hft.)
Mandatory
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

What counts as credible evidence in applied research and evaluation practice?
Donaldson Stewart I., Christie Christina A., Mark Melvin M.
Los Angeles : SAGE : cop. 2009 : xviii, 265 p. :
ISBN: 9781412957076 (pbk. : acid-free paper)
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

Other texts will be included in the obligatory reading list for the course.

Part 2: The evaluation society and the use of evaluation 7,5hp

Leeuw Frans
Reconstructing program theories: Methods availabile and problems to be solved. American Journal of Evaluation, 24, 5-20.
2003 :
Mandatory

Quality, Context, and Use: Issues in Achieving the Goals of Metaevaluation
Cooksy Leslie J, Caracelli Valerie J
American Journal of Evaluation, 2005, 26: 31-44 :
Mandatory

Evaluation : a systematic approach
Rossi Peter Henry, Freeman Howard E., Lipsey Mark W.
7. ed. : Thousand Oaks, CAb Sage,c 2004 : Sage : 2004 : x, 470 s. :
ISBN: 0-7619-0894-3
Mandatory
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

Stufflebeam Daniel, L.
The Metaevaluation Imperative
Included in:
The American journal of evaluation.
Stamford, CT : JAI Press : 1998- : 22 : pages 183-209 :
Mandatory

Weiss Carol H.
Evaluation : methods for studying programs and policies
2., [rev.] ed. : Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Prentice Hall : cop. 1998 : xii, 372 s. :
ISBN: 0-13-309725-0 (hft.)
Mandatory
Search Album, the University Library catalogue

Other texts will be included in the obligatory reading list for the course.