AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

TAG | scriven

Hi, we’re Abhik Roy and Kristin A. Hobson, students and Doctoral Associates (we know what you’re thinking…wow…they must be rich) in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Evaluation (IDPE) at Western Michigan University (WMU), and Dr. Chris L. S. Coryn, Professor of Evaluation, Measurement, and Research and Director of the IDPE (our boss…please tell him to pay us more). Recently, Abhik formulized a Scriven number and we wrote a paper on it entitled “What’s in a Scriven Number?”

Lesson Learned: What’s so important about a Scriven number? Since the article appeared, evaluators are asking each other “what’s your Scriven number?” Perhaps you’re new to the field of evaluation and have no idea what this means or the significance. Dr. Michael Scriven is widely considered the father of modern evaluation. His influence theoretically and in application within the field of evaluation has ben quite significant as his numerous manuscripts total over 400. In addition, Dr. Scriven is a past president of the American Educational Research Association and the American Evaluation Association. He is also an editor and co-founder of the Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation.

Cool Trick: Determining your Scriven number. You may be asking, what’s a Scriven number? Well that’s what we’re here to explain. To put it simply, a Scriven number is a measure of collaborative distance, using both direct and indirect authorship, a person is from Dr. Scriven. Ok maybe that wasn’t so simple. Let’s try explaining this in a different way. A Scriven number is how far you, as an author of a published paper, are away from Dr. Scriven. In other words, Dr. Scriven has a Scriven number of zero, a person who has written a paper with Dr. Scriven has a Scriven number of one, a person who has written a paper with another person who wrote a paper with Dr. Scriven has a Scriven number of two, and so on. For example, using the paper Cook, Scriven, Coryn, and Evergreen (2010), Cook, Coryn, and Evergreen have a Scriven number of one. Now anyone who has published with Cook, Coryn, or Evergreen receives a Scriven number of two, unless the person has published with Dr. Scriven directly, then the person has a Scriven number of one. If a person has multiple Scriven numbers, his or her Scriven number is the lower number.

Rad Resources:

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

· ·

My name is Stewart Donaldson, and I am Dean, Professor, and Director of the Institute of Organizational and Program Evaluation Research at Claremont Graduate University. I am also the convener of the annual summer professional development series in evaluation and applied research methods at Claremont Graduate University.

Rad resources: It’s rather difficult to think about the world of evaluation without Claremont Graduate University Professor Michael Scriven’s influence. Through his dedication and hard work, he has given us a philosophical grounding in the logic of evaluation, continuously pushed our thinking about unintended consequences of programs and interventions, offered us a Goal-Free evaluation approach, pioneered the ideas of formative and summative evaluation, helped us think about evaluation as a transdiscipline, developed a series of valuable evaluation checklists to help practitioners do their work, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg! These contributions are housed in several locations, such as:

  • The Evaluation Thesaurus, 4th edition: The Evaluation Thesaurus is a must-have for every evaluator. Arranged alphabetically, this incredible work provides detailed definitions and descriptions for the terms we use as we conduct evaluation work.
  • Michael Scriven’s webpage: This webpage is set up to house recent editions of some of Michael’s most influential works. For example, there is a checklist for conducting meta-evaluations (v. 2.11.11), a checklist for expanding upon Donald Kirkpatrick’s criteria for evaluating training programs (v. 11.20.10), and a paper-in-progress on the revolutions in evaluation. As Michael mentions, he is open to feedback, and an email address is available on the website itself.
  • The Evaluation Center’s Checklist Site: This website hosts many checklists on different topics (e.g. evaluation models, meta-evaluation, etc) that have been developed by Michael and his colleagues at Western Michigan.

Hot Tip: As we look towards the future of evaluation, it is important to honor those that have made the field what it is today. This August, we all have an unprecedented opportunity to do this. As a way of honoring Michael and his many contributions to evaluation, I invite you to spend some time reflecting and writing about how Michael has influenced your ideas and work. Perhaps you were his student in a workshop or class. Perhaps you are his colleague, friend, or thankful acquaintance. Perhaps he inspired you or challenged you, or did both at the same time!

Call for your participation: Please send your reflections to honoring.scriven@cgu.edu by August 10, 2011. They will be compiled and presented to Michael at a Symposium and Dinner on August 20th honoring his career.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

·

Archives

To top