Evaluation checklists

A common program evaluation tool is a list of criteria or indicators of merit. Michael Scriven has given some helpful guidelines for constructing such a tool in his Evaluation Thesaurus, fourth edition, 1991, page 80-81. Examples of checklists are a checklist for program implementation and a checklist for program logic.

Here is a checklist for evaluation checklists. I welcome comments and alternative checklists.

* = required characteristic.

A checklist that is missing one required characteristic is a poor checklist. One that is missing two or more characteristics is a psuedochecklist.

(   ) * The list includes all significant relevant dimensions of value.

(   ) * Absolute requirements are marked and placed at the beginning of the list.

(   ) * The criteria or indicators are measurable or objectively observable.

(   ) * Weights are assigned to the criteria or indicators. The procedure for using weights is clearly described.

(   ) There is minimal overlap between items. Overlap is clearly described. 0-3 points.

(   ) A long list groups items into meaningful categories. 0-3 points.

(   ) The checklist is easy to remember, understandable and easy to use. 0-3 points.

Assuming the required characteristics are satisfactory, the other three items have equal weights. The point totals can be interpreted as follows:

7-9 = good checklist

4-6 = fair checklist; think about spending some time improving it

0-5 = definitely should be improved

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