Types of evaluation
Evaluation is often divided into three discrete aspects:
- Formative evaluation helps shape the project. It includes activities such as gathering information on the audience that might help determine the best way to present information. Formative evaluation begins early in the development of the project and may be collected in phases as the project develops. Formative evaluation is often carried out with representatives of the intended audience, but may also explore the needs and skills of the researchers and wider project delivery team.
- Process evaluation is used to improve the project. This type of evaluation explores what works well and what could be done differently to improve the project next time. It may focus on the delivery team, but it is also useful to consider the experiences of the audience (for example, venue choice or clarity of materials might be explored).
- Summative evaluation seeks to understand whether the project has met the stated objectives. Summative evaluation often focuses on the audience or participants, but for some projects it is also useful to explore impact on the delivery team.
Next step, how much evaluation should I do?