Evaluation within a Design Context
In the design process, evaluation questions are asked with the intent of providing information regarding the merits of taking a specific action. Decision-oriented questions describe an evaluation's purpose and justify the need for an evaluation. Evaluation questions may ask: Which option would be best? Which features of this product are essential, and which are unimportant?
Evaluation in the Analysis phase
Evaluation in the analysis phase often involves a gap analysis to identify and describe the difference between what is and what we want it to be. The needs analysis uses the information from the gap analysis to identify the cause of the problem and evaluate potential solutions. Before deciding to design a new solution you also need to determine the nature of the problem and whether solutions already exist.
Evaluation in the Design Phase
Theory-based evaluation is often underutilized if utilized at all. Many designers fail to consider the theoretical underpinning of their design choices. Many educators may not consider the pedagogical theories that support a specific instructional approach. The following evaluation approaches are commonly used by instructional designers in the design phase.
Evaluation in the Development Phase
Formative evaluation is prominent in both the design and development phases. It can be part of prototype testing in the design phase or a beta testing process in the development phase. In practice, designers continually evaluate a design's effectiveness, efficiency, and appeal throughout these stages. It is good practice to begin user testing early in thedesign and development process.
Evaluation in the Implementation Phase
Evaluation in the Implementation Phase takes many forms. The Kirkpatrick Model is a popular summative evaluation model used to evaluate training programs. It is most appropriately used in the implementation phase after the product is stable (i.e., fully developed) to determine if learning has occurred and what impact the learning has inspired. However, other evaluation activities might also include an implementation fidelity study, negative case analysis, and exploring unintended consequences that result from the products use or programs implementation.
Reporting Evaluation Findings
Evaluation reports are a form of storytelling. There is no one correct way to write a report (or tell the story), but depending on the purpose and intended audience, specific guidelines will help you present your evaluation findings accurately and effectively. Both the Logical and Emotional Arguments can help persuasively tell the story you need to communicate.