Monthly Archives: October 2014

Scriven’s Key Evaluation Checklist

Michael Scriven, a renowned evaluator for decades, developed the Key Evaluation Checklist (KEC) to guide evaluators in planning and implementing an inquiry that is a legitimate program evaluation. The KEC, which has gone through many revisions, is described in the Evaluation Thesaurus (1991, pp. 204-211).  Each item on the checklist also has a separate entry in the Thesaurus.  An outline is on p.83 of Foundations (1991).  Another version is in Evaluation Models (1983).

The checklist identifies the multiple dimensions which must be explored prior to the final synthesis in an evaluation. Failure to do so increases the risk dramatically that the evaluation will include invalid arguments.  Many iterations of the KEC are involved in the typical evaluation, generating a process of successive approximation.  It is used in preparing the design, but it is also used during data collection and analysis and report preparation.

Another use for the checklist is to critique an evaluation report or a description of a completed evaluation inquiry. This link, KEC charts, gives my brief description of 14 features of legitimate program evaluation based the references to Scriven’s work. Study the references carefully if you decide to use this approach to test the value of your evaluation work.

For more information

Scriven, Michael. 1983. Evaluation Ideologies. In Madaus, George F.; Scriven, Michael; Stufflebeam, Daniel L. (Eds.). Evaluation Models: Viewpoints on Educational and Human Services Evaluation. 258-260. Sage.

Scriven, Michael. 1991. Evaluation Thesaurus (fourth edition). Sage.

Shadish, William R., Jr.; Cook, Thomas D.; Leviton, Laura C. 1991. Foundations of Program Evaluation: Theories of Practice. Sage.