Evaluation Utility Metrics (EUMs) in Reflective Practice
Keywords:evaluation, utility, metrics, reflection, recommendations, evaluation recommendations, reflective practice
The article proposes three evaluation utility metrics to assist evaluators in evaluating the quality of their evaluation. After an overview of reflective practice in evaluation, the different ways in which evaluators can hold themselves accountable
are discussed. It is argued that reflective practice requires evaluators to go beyond
evaluation quality (i.e., technical quality and methodological rigor) when assessing
evaluation practice to include an evaluation of evaluation utility (i.e., specific actions taken in response to evaluation recommendations). Three Evaluation Utility Metrics (EUMs) are proposed to evaluate utility: whether recommendations are considered
(EUMc), adopted (EUMa), and (if adopted) the level of influence of recommendations (EUMli). The authors then reflect on their experience in using the EUMs, noting the importance of managing expectations through negotiation to ensure that
EUM data are collected and the need to consider contextual nuances (e.g., adoption
and influence of recommendations are influenced by multiple factors beyond the
control of the evaluators). Recommendations for increasing EUM rates by paying
attention to the frequency and timing of recommendations are also shared. Results
of implementing these EUMs in a real-world evaluation provide evidence of their
potential value: practice tips led to an EUMc of 100% and and EUMa of over 80%.
Methods for considering and applying all three EUMs together to facilitate practice
improvement are also discussed.
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