A Guide for Education Personnel: Evaluating a Program or Intervention

We often hear from school and district staff that they love their work, enjoy helping students, and are highly invested in their programs and interventions designed to help students—especially students with disabilities. What these individuals also often say is that one of the most difficult parts of their job is evaluating their programs and interventions. 

Often we think of evaluation research happening at the end of a program or intervention’s lifespan in order to determine whether the program worked—program impact. However, an equally important function served by evaluation research is monitoring program implementation. Evaluations of implementation are essential because they help identify problems with program implementation before the program ends, so that changes in programs or interventions can still have an impact.

The purpose of this guide is to provide school, district, and state personnel with an overview of the evaluation process. The guide should help these audiences plan an evaluation. If you are among these groups, this guide will provide you with an overview of what is entailed in an evaluation and issues to be aware of when planning one. It provides steps to help you get started in the planning process, identify areas where you may need assistance, and help in finding assistance to conduct an effective evaluation tailored to your program or intervention.