Evaluation Advice- What to write

First, if you are writing a document to satisfy a specific group, you MUST read their instructions so that you don't get nailed for being unprepared. I sat on a visiting committee with a school that never bothered to download the guide and turned in a pathetic report. Needless to say, the entire three days was pretty much spent with our lead chair, a very talented and wise person, explaining the WASC evaluation process to all school members. For me, it was the best training about how WASC works that I could have ever asked for. I learned the difference between AYP and API. Apparently it is significant.

Things to keep in mind:

So how do you do the writing if there is NOT a set format proscribed by the people reading the evaluation?

One way is to follow a format similiar to a lab report.


Call your evaluation something descriptive without being too wordy. Be precise and not too general.


Write a summary of who was involved, what you did to get the information you needed, the findings, and what are the consequences of what you figured out?


What are the circumstances for this evaluation? Who is involved? What did they do? What is the project? Why does the evaluation need to be done?


Why does an evaluation need to be done? What is the function of having the evaluation completed? What are the possible consequences of completing the evaluation? Who benefits? Why do they benefit?


List not only the raw data you did not put in the Appendix, but also tell what type of data it is. All of the information you collected from surveys, focus groups, interviews, or other places you gathered information from stakeholders should minimally be summarized here. If you have a significant amount of data, make an Appendix and organize the data there. If you have permission to put your report online, then create webpages for the data and make a neat listing to organize links to charts, graphs, data from surveys, or listings of specific details you uncovered.


What does the data tell you?


How successful was the program? Did the people involved with the program do what they said they would do?

Next Steps

Based on what you found out, what do you recommend be done to prepare for the next time an evaluation needs to be done. If you are writing an evaluation to accompany a grant that can be refunded, what will you do with the next round of funding? Why do you need the funding? If it is for a program that could otherwise be shut down, why should they not be shut down? On the other hand, did this program meet up to the expectations? Why or why not? What are logical next steps for this group?

Would you like to learn more about evaluation?

Check out this presentation I made for the Boise State EDTECH 505, Evaluation for Educational Technologists, class. I misspelled my professor's name on the last slide. Credit goes to Dr. John Thompson for creating a class that let me learn everything that is in the PowerPoint presentation.

Advice for people writing a self-study for WASC
Chapter 1:


Chapter 2:
Chapter 3:
Chapter 4:
Chapter 5:


Use this small set of links to move back and forth between the Evaluation Pages:

Link to WASC site so you can download the most recent documents from their website.