Evaluating Recreation Services, 4th ed. - eText
Making Enlightened Decisions
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Evaluation is a process that each of us uses every day.
Professionals in any field of human services must have the means to access and assess information.
Having information is not enough, however, unless that information can be applied and used.
To organize and manage recreation services (i.e., all elements related to the various specialties in the field such as parks, tourism, sports, arts, therapeutic recreation, camping, event management), these professionals need information about people's preferences, needs, and behaviors and the programs, administrative structures, and resources that make up the organizations.
To build a body of knowledge and to document the value of recreation, they need systematic processes. Evaluation and research can provide information that will enable "enlightened decisions."
Evaluating Recreation Services: Making Enlightened Decisions (4th ed.) is about systematic evaluation and research that focuses specifically on identifying explicit evaluation criteria or research questions, collecting evidence or data, and making judgments about the value or the worth of something applied to service improvement or knowledge development.
This book provides a basic overview and working knowledge of procedures.
Knowing basic steps in evaluation research and having some familiarity with evaluation and research tools can help you to begin a process of lifelong learning about systematic inquiry.
UNIT ONE—CRITERIA: Foundations for Evaluation and Research
1.0 Introduction to Criteria
1.1 The Basic Question: What Is Systematic Inquiry?
1.2 Evaluation and Research: Viva la Difference
1.3 The Trilogy of Evaluation and Research: Criteria, Evidence, and Judgment
1.4 Why Evaluate: You Don’t Count if You Don’t Count
1.5 Approaches to Evaluation: Models and More
1.6 Those Who Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail: The Five Ps of Evaluation
1.7 From Good to Great: Evaluating Program Quality and Participants
1.8 A Time for Evaluation
1.9 Designing Evaluation and Research Projects: Doing What You Gotta Do
1.10 To Be or Not to Be: Competencies and the Art of Systematic Inquiry
1.11 Doing the Right Thing: Political, Legal, Ethical, and Moral Issues
UNIT TWO—EVIDENCE: Data Collection
2.0 Introduction to Evidence
2.1 Qualitative and Quantitative Data: Choices to Make
2.2 Choosing Designs and Methods: The Big Picture
2.3 Trustworthiness: The Sine Qua Non of Data Collection
2.4 What Are the Chances? Choosing a Sample
2.5 Choosing the Right Stuff: Measurement Instruments
2.6 On Your Own Again: Developing Measurement Instruments
2.7 Surveys: The Winner of the Popularity Contest
2.8 Surveys: Administering Questionnaires and Conducting Telephone Interviews
2.9 Surveys: Talking About Personal and Group Interviewing
2.10 Electronic Surveys and Mobile Devices: The Wave of the Present and the Future
2.11 Observations: On a Clear Day You Can See Forever
2.12 Unobtrusive Methods: Oddball Approaches
2.13 Experimental Designs: Focusing on Control and Interventions
2.14 Specific Applications to Recreation: The More the Merrier
2.15 Triangulation or Mixed Modes: Drawing on All the Tools
2.16 People Aren’t All the Same: Considerations for Data Collection
UNIT THREE—EVIDENCE: Data Analysis
3.0 Introduction to Data Analysis
3.1 Data According to Measurement
3.2 Getting Your Data Together: Organizing and Coding Quantitative Data
3.3 Univariate Statistical Analyses: Describing What Is
3.4 The Word on Statistical Significance and Its Meanings
3.5 Inferential Statistics: The Plot Thickens
3.6 Hurray for Computers and Data Interpretation
3.7 Qualitative Data Analysis and Interpretation: Exploring the What, How, and Why
UNIT FOUR—JUDGMENT: Data Reporting
4.0 Introduction to Judgment
4.1 Using Visuals: A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words
4.2 Developing Conclusions and Recommendations: The Grand Finale
4.3 Report Writing: Saving a Paper Trail
4.4 Oral Presentations: Telling the Tale
4.5 Evaluating Projects and Studies: Pitfalls and Problems
4.6 Using Evaluations and Research for Decision Making: Back to the Beginning
Appendix A: Table of Random Numbers