As you engage in tasks, you will need to take intermittent breaks to determine how much progress has been made and if any changes need to be effected along the way. This is very similar to what organizations do when they carry out  evaluation research.  

The evaluation research methodology has become one of the most important approaches for organizations as they strive to create products, services, and processes that speak to the needs of target users. In this article, we will show you how your organization can conduct successful evaluation research using Formplus.

What is Evaluation Research?

Also known as program evaluation, evaluation research is a common research design that entails carrying out a structured assessment of the value of resources committed to a project or specific goal. It often adopts social research methods to gather and analyze useful information about organizational processes and products.  

As a type of applied research, evaluation research typically associated  with real-life scenarios within organizational contexts. This means that the researcher will need to leverage common workplace skills including interpersonal skills and team play to arrive at objective research findings that will be useful to stakeholders. 

Characteristics of Evaluation Research

  1. Research Environment: Evaluation research is conducted in the real world; that is, within the context of an organization. 
  2. Research Focus: Evaluation research is primarily concerned with measuring the outcomes of a process rather than the process itself. 
  3. Research Outcome: Evaluation research is employed for strategic decision making in organizations. 
  4. Research Goal: The goal of program evaluation is to determine whether a process has yielded the desired result(s). 
  5. This type of research protects the interests of stakeholders in the organization. 
  6. It often represents a middle-ground between pure and applied research. 
  7. Evaluation research is both detailed and continuous. It pays attention to performative processes rather than descriptions. 
  8. Research Process: This research design utilizes qualitative and quantitative research methods to gather relevant data about a product or action-based strategy. These methods include observation, tests, and surveys.

Types of Evaluation Research

The Encyclopedia of Evaluation (Mathison, 2004) treats forty-two different evaluation approaches and models ranging from "appreciative inquiry" to "connoisseurship" to "transformative evaluation". Common types of evaluation research include the following: 

  • Formative Evaluation

Formative evaluation or baseline survey is a type of evaluation research that involves assessing the needs of the users or target market before embarking on a project.  Formative evaluation is the starting point of evaluation research because it sets the tone of the organization’s project and provides useful insights for other types of evaluation.  

  • Mid-term Evaluation

Mid-term evaluation entails assessing how far a project has come and determining if it is in line with the set goals and objectives. Mid-term reviews allow the organization to determine if a change or modification of the implementation strategy is necessary, and it also serves for tracking the project. 

  • Summative Evaluation

This type of evaluation is also known as end-term evaluation of project-completion evaluation and it is conducted immediately after the completion of a project. Here, the researcher examines the value and outputs of the program within the context of the projected results. 

Summative evaluation allows the organization to measure the degree of success of a project. Such results can be shared with stakeholders, target markets, and prospective investors. 

  • Outcome Evaluation

Outcome evaluation is primarily target-audience oriented because it measures the effects of the project, program, or product on the users. This type of evaluation views the outcomes of the project through the lens of the target audience and it often measures changes such as knowledge-improvement, skill acquisition, and increased job efficiency. 

  • Appreciative Enquiry

Appreciative inquiry is a type of evaluation research that pays attention to result-producing approaches. It is predicated on the belief that an organization will grow in whatever direction its stakeholders pay primary attention to such that if all the attention is focused on problems, identifying them would be easy. 

In carrying out appreciative inquiry, the research identifies the factors directly responsible for the positive results realized in the course of a project, analyses the reasons for these results, and intensifies the utilization of these factors. 

Evaluation Research Methodology 

There are four major evaluation research methods, namely; output measurement, input measurement, impact assessment and service quality

  • Output/Performance Measurement

Output measurement is a method employed in evaluative research that shows the results of an activity undertaking by an organization. In other words, performance measurement pays attention to the results achieved by the resources invested in a specific activity or organizational process. 

More than investing resources in a project, organizations must be able to track the extent to which these resources have yielded results, and this is where performance measurement comes in. Output measurement allows organizations to pay attention to the effectiveness and impact of a process rather than just the process itself. 

Other key indicators of performance measurement include user-satisfaction, organizational capacity, market penetration, and facility utilization. In carrying out performance measurement, organizations must identify the parameters that are relevant to the process in question, their industry, and the target markets. 

5 Performance Evaluation Research Questions Examples

  1. What is the cost-effectiveness of this project?
  2. What is the overall reach of this project?
  3. How would you rate the market penetration of this project?
  4. How accessible is the project? 
  5. Is this project time-efficient? 

performance-evaluation-survey

  • Input Measurement

In evaluation research, input measurement entails assessing the number of resources committed to a project or goal in any organization. This is one of the most common indicators in evaluation research because it allows organizations to track their investments. 

The most common indicator of inputs measurement is the budget which allows organizations to evaluate and limit expenditure for a project. It is also important to measure non-monetary investments like human capital; that is the number of persons needed for successful project execution and production capital. 

5 Input Evaluation Research Questions Examples

  1. What is the budget for this project?
  2. What is the timeline of this process?
  3. How many employees have been assigned to this project? 
  4. Do we need to purchase new machinery for this project? 
  5. How many third-parties are collaborators in this project? 

  • Impact/Outcomes Assessment

In impact assessment, the evaluation researcher focuses on how the product or project affects target markets, both directly and indirectly. Outcomes assessment is somewhat challenging because many times, it is difficult to measure the real-time value and benefits of a project for the users. 

In assessing the impact of a process, the evaluation researcher must pay attention to the improvement recorded by the users as a result of the process or project in question. Hence, it makes sense to focus on cognitive and affective changes, expectation-satisfaction, and similar accomplishments of the users. 

5 Impact Evaluation Research Questions Examples

  1. How has this project affected you? 
  2. Has this process affected you positively or negatively?
  3. What role did this project play in improving your earning power? 
  4. On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you about this project?
  5. How has this project improved your mental health? 

  • Service Quality

Service quality is the evaluation research method that accounts for any differences between the expectations of the target markets and their impression of the undertaken project. Hence, it pays attention to the overall service quality assessment carried out by the users. 

It is not uncommon for organizations to build the expectations of target markets as they embark on specific projects. Service quality evaluation allows these organizations to track the extent to which the actual product or service delivery fulfils the expectations. 

5 Service Quality Evaluation Questions

  1. On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with the product?
  2. How helpful was our customer service representative?
  3. How satisfied are you with the quality of service?
  4. How long did it take to resolve the issue at hand?
  5. How likely are you to recommend us to your network?

Uses of Evaluation Research 

  • Evaluation research is used by organizations to measure the effectiveness of activities and identify areas needing improvement. Findings from evaluation research are key to project and product advancements and are very influential in helping organizations realize their goals efficiently.     
  • The findings arrived at from evaluation research serve as evidence of the impact of the project embarked on by an organization. This information can be presented to stakeholders, customers, and can also help your organization secure investments for future projects. 
  • Evaluation research helps organizations to justify their use of limited resources and choose the best alternatives. 
  •  It is also useful in pragmatic goal setting and realization. 
  • Evaluation research provides detailed insights into projects embarked on by an organization. Essentially, it allows all stakeholders to understand multiple dimensions of a process, and to determine strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Evaluation research also plays a major role in helping organizations to improve their overall practice and service delivery. This research design allows organizations to weigh existing processes through feedback provided by stakeholders, and this informs better decision making. 
  • Evaluation research is also instrumental to sustainable capacity building. It helps you to analyze demand patterns and determine whether your organization requires more funds, upskilling or improved operations.

Data Collection Techniques Used in Evaluation Research

In gathering useful data for evaluation research, the researcher often combines quantitative and qualitative research methods. Qualitative research methods allow the researcher to gather information relating to intangible values such as market satisfaction and perception. 

On the other hand, quantitative methods are used by the evaluation researcher to assess numerical patterns, that is, quantifiable data. These methods help you measure impact and results; although they may not serve for understanding the context of the process. 

Quantitative Methods for Evaluation Research

  • Surveys

A survey is a quantitative method that allows you to gather information about a project from a specific group of people. Surveys are largely context-based and limited to target groups who are asked a set of structured questions in line with the predetermined context.

Surveys usually consist of close-ended questions that allow the evaluative researcher to gain insight into several  variables including market coverage and customer preferences. Surveys can be carried out physically using paper forms or online through data-gathering platforms like Formplus

  • Questionnaires

A questionnaire is a common quantitative research instrument deployed in evaluation research. Typically, it is an aggregation of different types of questions or prompts which help the researcher to obtain valuable information from respondents. 

  • Polls

A poll is a common method of opinion-sampling that allows you to weigh the perception of the public about issues that affect them. The best way to achieve accuracy in polling is by conducting them online using platforms like Formplus. 

Polls are often structured as Likert questions and the options provided always account for neutrality or indecision. Conducting a poll allows the evaluation researcher to understand the extent to which the product or service satisfies the needs of the users. 

Qualitative Methods for Evaluation Research

  • One-on-One Interview

An interview is a structured conversation involving two participants; usually the researcher and the user or a member of the target market. One-on-One interviews can be conducted physically, via the telephone and through video conferencing apps like Zoom and Google Meet. 

  • Focus Groups

A focus group is a research method that involves interacting with a limited number of persons within your target market, who can provide insights on market perceptions and new products. 

  • Qualitative Observation

Qualitative observation is a research method that allows the evaluation researcher to gather useful information from the target audience through a variety of subjective approaches. This method is more extensive than quantitative observation because it deals with a smaller sample size, and it also utilizes inductive analysis. 

  • Case Studies

A case study is a research method that helps the researcher to gain a better understanding of a subject or process. Case studies involve in-depth research into a given subject, to understand its functionalities and successes. 

How to Formplus Online Form Builder for Evaluation Survey 

  • Sign into Formplus

In the Formplus builder, you can easily create your evaluation survey by dragging and dropping preferred fields into your form. To access the Formplus builder, you will need to create an account on Formplus. 

Once you do this, sign in to your account and click on "Create Form " to begin. 

formplus

  • Edit Form Title

Click on the field provided to input your form title, for example, "Evaluation Research Survey".

  • Edit Form 

Click on the edit button to edit the form.

Add Fields: Drag and drop preferred form fields into your form in the Formplus builder inputs column. There are several field input options for surveys in the Formplus builder. 

Edit fields

Click on "Save"

Preview form.

  • Form Customization

With the form customization options in the form builder, you can easily change the outlook of your form and make it more unique and personalized. Formplus allows you to change your form theme, add background images, and even change the font according to your needs. 


evaluation-research-from-builder


  • Multiple Sharing Options

Formplus offers multiple form sharing options which enables you to easily share your evaluation survey with survey respondents. You can use the direct social media sharing buttons to share your form link to your organization's social media pages. 

You can send out your survey form as email invitations to your research subjects too. If you wish, you can share your form's QR code or embed it on your organization's website for easy access. 

Conclusion 

Conducting evaluation research allows organizations to determine the effectiveness of their activities at different phases. This type of research can be carried out using qualitative and quantitative data collection methods including focus groups, observation, telephone and one-on-one interviews, and surveys. 

Online surveys created and administered via data collection platforms like Formplus make it easier for you to gather and process information during evaluation research. With Formplus multiple form sharing options, it is even easier for you to gather useful data from target markets.



  • Formplus Blog
  • on 11 min read

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