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Trends in Evaluation Vocabulary

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Shakman, K., & Rodriguez, S. M. (2015). Logic models for program design, implementation, and evaluation: Workshop toolkit (REL 2015-057). Retrieved from

Shakman et al. introduce a logic model toolkit that evaluators and researchers often use to help them with the various elements and instructions in designing their model. Theory approach, Activities approach, and Outcomes approach are three categories of logic models listed by the authors. The authors also go into all of the logic models and concepts, such as goals, tasks, strategy outcomes, and outcome effects. Previous analysis by Rogers et al. used similar terms, but the reasoning model was referred to as Impact Evaluation. Despite this, all are looking for the same outcomes.

Burrows, T. L., Lucas, H., Morgan, P. J., Bray, J., & Collins, C. E. (2015). Impact evaluation of an after-school cooking skills program in a disadvantaged community: back to basics. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research, 76(3), 126-132. Retrieved from

Burrows et al. wanted to see how the Back to Basics cooking club affected eating habits in a group of people who were at high risk of obesity (2015). To test the result results, the investigators used the presentation of a reasoning model to equate Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the program. The authors identify ten main structures to characterize events or inputs in the comparison model, which offers information for the results in each Step. Though some some of the verbs used by Burrows et al. differ from those used by other sources, their vocabulary suits their intention of work. The terms used were “environment, situation, behavioral capabilities, outcomes expectations and expectancies, self-control, observational learning reinforcement, self-efficacy, emotional coping responses, and reciprocal determinism” (Burrows et al., 2015).

Zimmerman, M. A., Eisman, A. B., Reischl, T. M., Morrel-Samuels, S., Stoddard, S., Miller, A. L., Rupp, L. (2018). Youth Empowerment Solutions: Evaluation of an After-School Program to Engage Middle School Students in Community Change. Health Education & Behavior, 45(1), 20–31. Retrieved from

Zimmerman et al. use some different vocabulary, but their wording is close to that of the previous two examples. The Empowerment Principle, for example, the words used discusses and used to assess youth services that rely on offering positive contexts to develop youth assets and involve them in community activities (Zimmerman et al., 2018). However unlike previous references, Zimmerman et al. also mentions that empowerment effects have three interconnected components: interpersonal, interpersonal, and behavioral. Furthermore, certain empowerment projects are tested using experimental or quasi-experimental designs, according to the article.

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