Program evaluation is a specialized applied research approach that may employ quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods research designs. Most people tend to think of evaluation as happening after a program is already in place. Formative evaluation, which occurs before or during program implementation, is a vital part of the planning that precedes designing programs and interventions. Why does formative evaluation play an important part in designing research? Also, who else besides the researchers themselves needs to be involved in formative evaluation, why, and at what point?
For this week’s Discussion, review the Learning Resources. Consider the purposes of formative evaluation in program planning. Then consider the stakeholders whose input would be of value in the formative evaluation and at what point their involvement should begin.
Post an explanation of the role of formative evaluation in program planning and implementation. What are the benefits and challenges related to formative evaluation? Explain which stakeholders would be involved in participating in the formative evaluation, and at what point (i.e., what is the influence of timing on involving stakeholders?). Provide a rationale for your post.